How to Change the Name of an LLC
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Owning an LLC is a big deal. You now have your own business that you can do as you see fit. But what if things change, and you want to change the name of your LLC down the line?
The good news is it is pretty simple to change the name of an LLC as long as you follow the proper procedures. You will need to file to change the name of the business before you begin working under the new business name.
Read on to learn more about owning an LLC and what you need to do when you want to change the name of your LLC.
How to Change the Name of an LLC
There are several steps you will need to complete in order to change the name of your LLC. We have outlined them all below to streamline the process and make it as simple as possible.
Step 1: Approve the Change
If you are the sole owner of your LLC, this won’t be a problem. But if you have business partners or investors, you must also get their approval to change the name of your business before you can file name change documents.
If you have lots of partners, you may need to look into the business incorporation documents to find the process that must be followed to implement a name change.
Step 2: Make Sure the Name is Available
Under US law, there can only be one business under each unique name in each state. This means that after you decide you want to change your name and get it approved, you must also be sure it is available in the state or states where your business will operate.
As a side note, if your business uses a trademark and you plan to use the name as the trademark, now is a good time to file for copyright protection for your trademark before you make the new name public.
Step 3: Check That Your Name Meets the Rules
Besides just making sure no one else has your desired name, you also need to ensure that it meets any naming regulations that may be present in your state. For example, certain words are prohibited, and some states require your name to identify the type of your business.
Step 4: File an Article of Amendment
Now that you know that your name is available and legal (and approved by all), it’s time to file your articles of amendment. This is the document that you will file with the local government to change the name of your LLC.
There is an associated fee when filing an article of amendment, so ensure you are prepared to pay it. Articles of amendment are filed in the state where your business operates.
Is It Hard to Rename an LLC?
Overall, it isn’t that difficult to change the name of the LLC. All you have to do is fill out some paperwork. But, if you have lots of partners in your LLC, note that it may take a while to decide on the new name before you can file for it.
How Long Does it Take to Change the Name of an LLC
The length of time it will take for your business to have a new name depends on the processing time of your state as well as the IRS. But, in general, you should plan for at least 2 months for the administrative process of changing a name, even though some states will have the name change processed in as little as 2 weeks.
Even after that, it’s important to keep in mind that you will have much more to change than just the documents. In total, a full name change, including all signage and websites, etc., can take up to a full year or longer. Especially if you don’t have the funds to order everything new at all once!
Why Would You Change the Name of Your LLC?
While the process of changing the name of your LLC is simple, you may be wondering why you would do this. Below are some of the common reasons different LLCs choose to change their name.
1. Your Business Has Changed
Maybe you started out with one product, but thanks to technology, that product is now obsolete. It might be a little weird if you develop a new product and sell it under the name of the old product. For this reason, many people choose to change the name of their LLC to something less specific.
2. Your Audience Has Changed
Many businesses start out with an intended audience in mind, and then over the course of business, they find they are catering to a different audience. For example, your LLC may start out as a business-to-consumer start-up, and have a business name that reflects that. But as you run your business, you become aware that becoming a business that serves businesses company would work better, and you want a new name to reflect that.
3. You Want to Offer More Products
Just like when your business changes directions, maybe you want to offer something new that you have never offered before. In this case, you will want to change your LLC name to be inclusive of all the products you plan to offer.
4. Change in Location
If you moved your business to a new location, you may need to change the name as well, especially if your business is expanding to other states and your previous business name is unavailable in the new state.
5. Acquisition or Split
As much as everyone wants to succeed in an LLC, sometimes, not all partners can agree. In the same way, there's a chance your business may acquire another business. When this happens, a name change can help to reflect the two new businesses now merged as one or can be monumental from removing a former partner from the business.
Where Else Does Your Business Name Need Changed?
Once your articles of amendment have been accepted by the state, your LLC now officially has a new name. But the articles of amendment aren’t the only thing that you need to change. Below are all the aspects of your business that you will need to adjust now that you have a new name.
1. Amend Your Business Articles
If you have an LLC that is owned by a partnership, you will need to take the time to update your articles of incorporation and any operating agreement you have in place. These documents need to cite your business’ current name in every instance it appears in the articles.
2. Update Your Bank Account
You will need to update your bank account to match the new name. In some drastic name change cases, this will include acquiring new debit cards, credit cards, and checks for your account with the proper name on it.
3. Update Your Permits
Depending on the industry your business is in, you likely have some permits on file that will need to be updated, such as alcohol licenses or food service permits. These must be in your current business name in order to be considered valid.
4. Check Your EIN
Your employment identification number might need to be updated now that you have a new name. Check with the IRS to see if this is the case for your specific name change situation. If you operate a sole proprietorship, you will need to notify the IRS of your name change.
5. Change Your Email Address
If your former business had an email address with the name in it, you’ll need a new address with the new business name so as not to confuse customers. Once you set up the new email address, you can set everything to forward from your old inbox as a safeguard and to help transition clients that are staying on.
6. Change Your Website
This is one of the most tricky changes of all. Hopefully, you checked to see if your domain was available before you changed your name, this way, you can change your company website with ease. Just be sure to set up a forwarding program from your old website, and don’t drop the old domain name until all your clients have adjusted to your new one.
If you forgot to buy the new domain name before changing the name of your business, then you might need to get creative when it comes to your new website.
7. Order New Business Cards
Your business cards should always have the full title of your business on them. Be sure to order new ones, taking extra care to remove any names or old information beyond just the title (such as new email address, website, etc.).
8. Change Business Signage
Now that you have changed everything internally, it’s time to make the exterior match. Change all the signs on your business to the new name, as well as any prepared marketing materials you may have on hand.
Reference Legal Explanations
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"How to Change the Name of an LLC". Legal Explanations. Accessed on March 23, 2023. https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-to-change-the-name-of-an-llc/.
"How to Change the Name of an LLC". Legal Explanations, https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-to-change-the-name-of-an-llc/. Accessed 23 March, 2023
How to Change the Name of an LLC. Legal Explanations. Retrieved from https://legal-explanations.com/blog/how-to-change-the-name-of-an-llc/.