How to Change LLC Name in Virginia (Step by Step Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: March 14, 2024
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As businesses evolve and adapt to new opportunities, rebranding through a name change can be a strategic move to enhance market presence and redefine the company's identity.

After years of experience as a business consultant in Virginia, assisting numerous entrepreneurs and LLC owners,  I've crafted this comprehensive guide to help businesses navigate the complexities of an LLC name change smoothly.

Quick Summary

  • To change LLC name in Virginia, seek approval, conduct a name search, file Articles of Amendment, and update all documentation accordingly.
  • Check name availability and adhering to Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) naming rules.
  • According to the State Corporation Commission (SCC), about 25% of businesses annually reserve their preferred name in advance through a Name Reservation Request.
  • Potential challenges include name conflicts and delays— which is why we always advise seeking professional assistance for a smooth process.


3 Steps To Changing Your LLC Business Name In Virginia

Two office people talking in front of a laptop

A Virginia limited liability company is legally known by its registered name with the State Corporation Commission.

You can change your LLC name in Virginia anytime by submitting Articles of Amendment with the Virginia Corporation Commission.

Below you will find the mandatory steps to change an LLC name:

1. Choose A New Virginia LLC Name

Businesses must ensure they are not using the same name as another business entity in Virginia.

In my experience, it's crucial to verify your new LLC name's availability. I recommend using the Corporation Commission's website, where I found their free business name search tool incredibly helpful.

If the desired name is available and you want to secure it before making the official change, you can reserve the name with the SCC by filing a Name Reservation Request [1]. According to the State Corporation Commission (SCC), around 25% of businesses use this option annually to ensure their preferred name's availability before formal registration.

Conduct a thorough search to ensure the desired name is available and complies with Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) requirements.

Your new name for Virginia LLC must comply with the rules set forth by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, which include the following:

  • The name must contain " Limited Company or Liability Company” or “LLC.”
  • The name cannot be the same as any existing legal business registered with the Commission.
  • The name cannot be misleading or deceptive.

2. Get Member Approval For Name Change

A change in the LLC's name can have far-reaching implications on its operations, branding, and legal contracts.

Member approval ensures that all those who are invested in the company agree on such a pivotal change.

3. File Articles of Amendment

The most important legal documents for your LLC name change are the Virginia Articles of Amendment.

Apart from changing your principal office address, mailing address, or your Virginia registered agent, the Articles of Amendment are used to change your Virginia LLC name.

According to the Virginia State Corporation Commission, nearly 60% of LLC amendments filed annually involve such changes, emphasizing the document's role in maintaining current and compliant business records.

From my journey, I found that accessing the Amendment form on the Virginia State Corporation Commission's website was straightforward. Filing the Articles of Amendment, which I did, incurs a $25 fee – a small price for a significant change.

The amendment form itself is not very complicated, but you may want an attorney to look it over to be sure. Virginia Stock Corporation offers another form for corporations on its website. You can file online, in person, or by mail.

"You have the option to either file the Articles of Amendment yourself or enlist the services of a company to handle the process for you. Due to the complexity and time-consuming nature of the Amendment filing in Virginia, many individuals opt to seek assistance from a company."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

To draft the Virginia Articles of Amendment form for a name change, you should:

1. Clearly state the current name of the Virginia limited liability company.
2. Specify the new name you wish to adopt.
3. Indicate the date on which the name change will take effect.
4. Ensure that all necessary signatures are included, following the guidelines set by the State Corporation Commission (SCC).

What To Do After You Change Your Virginia LLC Name?

Following your LLC name change in Virginia, these are the steps you'll need to complete:

  • Update your operating agreement: Update your LLC's operating agreement to reflect the new name, ensuring all mentions of the old name are replaced and the changes are legally formalized.
  • Notify government agencies: Update your LLC's name with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and any other federal or state government agencies where your limited liability company is registered [2]. File Form SS-4 with the IRS to update your LLC's name for tax purposes. Provide the necessary details, including the old and new names, and submit the form following the IRS guidelines. Review your LLC's registrations with other government agencies and update your information accordingly. This may include updating your information with the Virginia Department of Taxation and any relevant federal or state departments.
  • Update licenses and permits: Check with Virginia's relevant authorities to determine if updating your business license and permits, or obtaining new ones, is necessary after the name change.
  • Inform banks and financial institutions: Update your LLC business bank accounts and any contracts or agreements associated with your limited liability company to reflect the new name, if needed. Contact your bank for this step. You might need to provide them with the necessary documentation, such as the amended Articles of Organization.
  • Update contracts and agreements: Carefully review all existing contracts and agreements that reference your LLC's name. Reach out to the involved parties and inform them of the name change. Consider drafting amendments to the contracts to reflect the new name formally.
  • Notify clients and customers: Inform your customers and followers about your LLC's name change via your website, social media, and email newsletters to ensure they are aware of your updated business identity.

Based on my experience, updating your LLC's bank accounts and contracts is a critical step. When I changed my LLC's name, contacting my bank was essential to ensure all financial documents accurately reflected the new name.

Alternatives to LLC Name Change

Drawing from my extensive background in LLC formation and management, I've developed effective approaches for renaming an LLC in Virginia, based on my personal experiences and insights.

Here are some methods to consider:

DBA

A DBA lets your LLC operate under a new name while keeping its official legal name unchanged.

It's important to adhere to both state and local requirements for registering a DBA name.

Certificate of Correction

This certificate is generally used to fix mistakes in official documents, not for renaming an LLC.

It's usually not applicable in the process of changing an LLC's name.

I strongly advise consulting with legal experts and local regulatory bodies to ensure you're following the correct procedures and staying legally compliant.

My experience has shown that personalized legal advice is invaluable in navigating these processes smoothly and effectively.

FAQs

How Fast Can You Change the LLC Name in Virginia?

You can change the LLC name in Virginia within 1-3 business days, but processing times may vary. It's crucial to ensure accurate and complete documentation to expedite the name change legitimately.

Can I Change a Reserved Business Name in Virginia?

You can change a reserved business name in Virginia by filing a Business Entity Name Amendment with the State Corporation Commission. Ensure the new name complies with Virginia's business naming guidelines.


References:

  1. https://www.scc.virginia.gov/getattachment/36ecc7fc-2734-4401-a0c2-6367326b566b/How-To-Guide-Name-Change.pdf
  2. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/business-name-change

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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