How to change your LLC name in 2023?
By Bazal Razzaq
Updated: June 23, 2023
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- Is it even possible to change your LLC name?
- Look up the laws in your state
- Choose a new LLC name and check its availability
- Adopt a resolution to rename your LLC
- File Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State
- Update your LLC Operating Agreement
- Update your LLC name wherever you use it
- Notify everyone you do business with
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Are you looking to change the name of your LLC? Look no further. We’re here to walk you through the whole process with ease.
Sometimes, despite putting our best effort into creating a perfect name for our LLC, we stumble and second-guess ourselves. What seemed perfect initially when you set up the LLC may not feel right anymore.
Maybe your business grew as a brand, and the name you chose isn’t flexible enough. Maybe it includes the name of an earlier LLC member who has left. Another reason could be that it doesn’t reflect your updated brand image. Perhaps it just doesn’t suit your business strategy anymore. Or maybe you don’t like it anymore. Whatever the situation may be, we’re right here to help you out. Just scroll down and keep reading!
The very first thing to consider is…
Is it even possible to change your LLC name?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that even though you’ve made a solid, firm decision to change the name of your LLC, it doesn’t end there. There are now a lot of legalities and processes of business management involved.
Why? So you can alter your LLC business name carefully, considering the many different official procedures and legal implementations. Confused? Don’t worry. The good news is that, in most cases, it’s possible to change the name of your Limited Liability Company. You just need to follow the action plan set by your chosen state.
For example, for an LLC in California, you must file a Certificate of Amendment with the Secretary of State and contact the IRS. The process might or might not be different for any other state of America. Oh, and this brings us to our very first step:
Look up the laws in your state:
The most important point to consider when starting an LLC, running an LLC, or making any changes to an LLC, is looking up the laws and rules of your state. There are over 50 states in America, and all of them have different rights, rules, and regulations for changing the name of your LLC. It’s best to contact an attorney or a professional consultant familiar with the laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Also, because there are so many states, you must double-check if you’ve followed the proper steps. You can access every state’s requirements for name changes on their Secretary of State or equivalent government website.
In most cases, you’ll easily get a dedicated section of business services where all the resources and additional information on LLCs is available. You can search for the whole process of business name changing in that section and move forward accordingly.
Choose a new LLC name and check its availability:
Pick out a different name for your LLC that is memorable and unique. Ensure that another business entity doesn’t use the same name anywhere in your state. You can perform a quick Google search to check if there are any similar or the same results.
You can also visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to confirm that already registered services or products don’t trademark the name you will offer.
Some other bits to take care of when changing the name of your LLC are:
- Avoid including any information that could mislead the public into thinking that your company is a bank, corporation, or some other type of enterprise that it is not.
- There aren’t any limiting words like “trust,” “board,” or “insurance.”
- There shouldn’t be any offensive or illegal words in your LLC name.
- Double-check that it isn’t already used as a domain name to prevent trademark or legal difficulties.
- The name should be short and conclude with an acronym like “LLC,” “LLC,” or “Ltd.” to indicate the LLC status of the company. (Most individuals continue to use only LLC.)
Adopt a resolution to rename your LLC:
Most LLC operating agreements require member approval for significant business structure changes. The members of the LLC often need to formally approve a name change by signing a written resolution. The resolution, which acts as a formal approval record, should be kept with the other corporate records of an LLC, which varies from state to state.
File Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State:
Remember when you set up your LLC, you filed the Articles of Organization? Now when you switch the name of your LLC, you need to amend them. The amendment form usually asks for very basic things like:
- The current name of your LLC
- The new name of the LLC
- The effective date of the name change
- A statement explaining the reasons for the name change
- Name and title of the signer
Once you complete the form, you can submit it online or mail it to the IRS or an equivalent government agency. The required filing fee is to be deposited, too, most states have an average fee of $50, but it differs. States like Montana are $15, while places in Delaware can go up to $200.
Note that the forms or documents required vary from state to state. Sometimes other documents, such as a Certificate of good standing or different copies of Articles of Organization, are also asked for by the states.
Update your LLC Operating Agreement:
Once your state of interest approves the new name, you need to update the same on your LLC’s operating agreement. This step is usually the last of your document update process. You can do either of the following:
- Make a new version of your old Operating Agreement, update the document with the new name, and have the members sign it.
- Create an entirely new Operating Agreement, update the name, and have the other members sign it.
Update your LLC name wherever you use it:
Update your new name on your official website, business bank accounts, stationary, business cards, brochures, or any other promotional items your LLC may have.
It also includes your marketing and promotional materials such as your social media like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other platforms you may use. It’s necessary to inform people about the name change to avoid uncertainty and mayhem.
Notify everyone you do business with:
Once the name is changed and officially registered, you must notify your local, state, and federal regulatory authorities. If you carry business licenses, you have to inform the agencies that have authorized those licenses and permits so that they can update their records accordingly. You may have to show them a certificate from your state of interest with approval for your name change.
You must also notify your clients, customers, vendors, and suppliers of your LLC name change to avoid any future misunderstandings and confusion.
While legally switching up your LLC name may be more complex and straightforward than filling up a form, it has a life-changing impact on your business as a brand. It can ultimately result in a more suitable and appropriate name that suits and represents your LLC better.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
An LLC could need to change its name for several reasons. For instance, the LLC might have shifted its focus or merged with another business. The existing name might not be appropriate or relevant anymore. Also, the LLC may wish to rebrand or change its name for marketing or legal reasons.
The state where the LLC is registered and the processing time of the state office in charge of registering LLC affect how long it takes to alter an LLC name. The processing and approval of the name change often take a few weeks to a few months.
Changing an LLC’s name usually incurs a charge. The charge varies by state, ranging from $25 to $500.
No, an LLC’s tax position shouldn’t be impacted by changing its name. To prevent confusion or problems with tax filings, the LLC must alter its name with the IRS.
The legal makeup of an LLC remains the same even if its name is changed. The LLC will continue to have limited liability and be taxed as such.
You can inform the Internal Revenue Service of a name change for your LLC (IRS). You must submit Form 8822-B, Change of Address, or Responsible Party – Business to accomplish this. Businesses use this form to alert the IRS of any changes to the information listed as the responsible party, such as a name change. Moreover, you must update the information on your state records and business registration paperwork.