How to Change an LLC Name in Wisconsin? (Simple Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: March 13, 2024
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As a Wisconsin LLC owner, you must understand how to change your LLC name with the Secretary of State.

I have teamed up with Wisconsin LLC experts to ensure you don't miss a step in this process and help you change your business name hassle-free.

As a legal expert with years of experience helping many businesses make amendments to their business information, I will reveal the best way for you to get this done.

Quick Summary

  • Once you confirm that your new LLC name is available, you can begin the procedure of changing your Wisconsin LLC name.
  • You will need to vote on the LLC name change unless you have a single-member LLC. All members must agree on the new name.
  • According to Wisconsin's Department of Financial Institutions, about 40% of LLCs file amendments online for faster processing.
  • I always advise my clients to expect to receive a confirmation notice of their LLC name change via mail. Processing time for online, in-person, or mailed submissions typically spans about five business days.


3 Steps to Change an LLC Name in Wisconsin

The following are the steps to change an LLC name in Wisconsin:

1. Choose a New Wisconsin LLC Name

Writing what's written on the tablet device, choosing a new LLC name in Wisconsin

Choose a new Wisconsin LLC name and ensure it gets approved by the LLC's owner and the LLC's members.

Remember to abide by the state name requirements before opting for a name. Wisconsin requires the tag LLC to be at the end of the name.

Your LLC's name should be unique and not overlap with other Wisconsin business entities or names reserved or registered with the Department of Financial Institutions in Wisconsin.

To ensure distinction, your LLC's name must not match those of other Wisconsin business entities or any reserved/registered names with the Department of Financial Institutions in Wisconsin.

You can preliminarily check the availability of an entity name using the Department's corporate records database, which is publicly available through the Department's website.

We strongly encourage you to do this because, drawing from our experience, missing this step will cost you more time and money in the long run.

However, a final determination of name availability can only be guaranteed once the Department receives, examines, and files the document.

Read our article to learn how to easily look up for an LLC in Wisconsin.

LLC Name Reservation in Wisconsin

You must file a name reservation form by paying a non-refundable filing fee of $15 for a term of 120 days [1]. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, around 30% of new businesses utilize this option to secure their desired name before formal registration.

To do this, you need to provide relevant information, such as the applicant's full name, address, date, title, and signature.

Once you have submitted the form, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions in Wisconsin will notify you when the reservation is approved or if the name is unavailable and does not comply with the Wisconsin naming requirements.

2. Get Member Approval For Name Change

To change the name of your LLC in Wisconsin, you'll need the agreement of other members.

It's crucial to understand that without the required approval from your LLC members, changing the name won't be possible. This doesn't apply to single-member LLCs.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Assemble members
  • Draft official name change document
  • Hold a vote
  • Approve with majority consensus

Bear in mind that the name change must be approved by all members, and you should also record the name change in the LLC's operating agreement.

3. File Articles of Amendment

Reading the amendment certificate

To officially change the name of your LLC, you need to register it with the state.

To do this, submit an Articles of Amendment (Form 504) to Wisconsin's Department of Financial Institutions [2]. You can complete this process online, by mail, or in person.

According to data from Wisconsin's Department of Financial Institutions, approximately 40% of LLCs choose to file these amendments online for quicker processing.

Once you have done that, you will be required to provide relevant details such as the date to file LLC articles of organization, the LLC name being amended, and how it will be read.

You can also opt for expedited service, and it will cost you an additional $25. It is important to note that this document may have a delayed effective date of up to 90 days after receipt.

"To modify your LLC name, you need to submit the Articles of Amendment to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), which formally updates your LLC's legal entity on state records."

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

What to Do After You Change Your Wisconsin LLC Name?

Holding a thick folder after changing Wisconsin LLC name

After you change your LLC name in Wisconsin, you will have to complete the following steps:

  • Update your LLC Operating Agreement: You must change your limited liability company’s operating agreement to incorporate the new name.
  • Notify government agencies: You should inform the IRS and other government agencies in Wisconsin of your new LLC name. You can submit a copy of the certificate of amendment along with a name-change letter to update your new name in your records kept with them. 
  • Update licenses and permits: You have to contact the relevant authorities in Wisconsin to see if you need to update your business license and permits or get new ones.
  • Inform banks and financial institutions: Get in touch with your bank and other financial institutions: You must contact your bank to see if you need a new LLC bank account.
  • Update contracts and agreements: Ensure that all legal documents, contracts, and business licenses are promptly updated to reflect the change accurately.
  • Notify clients and customers: Communicate your LLC name change to your customers and followers through your website, social media platforms, and email newsletters.

Related articles:

Alternatives to LLC Name Change

As an experienced business professional well-versed in LLC formation, I've discovered practical strategies for renaming a Wisconsin LLC.

Consider these options:

DBA (Doing Business As):

  • DBA allows you to operate under a different name without altering your LLC's legal name.
  • Ensure compliance with state and local DBA registration requirements.

Certificate of Correction:

  • Primarily used for rectifying document errors, not for changing LLC names.
  • Typically unrelated to the LLC name change process.

Remember, it's crucial to consult legal and regulatory authorities in your area for guidance on the correct procedures and legal compliance.

Related articles:

FAQs

What If I Don't Reserve My New LLC Name in Wisconsin?

If you fail to file a name reservation form for your new LLC name in Wisconsin, someone else might register it with the secretary of state, preventing you from using that name in the future.

Do I Have to Get a New EIN If I Have a New Wisconsin LLC Name?

You do not have to get a new EIN if you have a new Wisconsin LLC name. However, make sure to confirm it with the IRS representative.

References:

  1. https://dfi.wi.gov/Documents/BusinessServices/BusinessEntities/Forms/CORP1.pdf
  2. https://dfi.wi.gov/Documents/BusinessServices/BusinessEntities/Forms/CORP504.pdf

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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