How to Change the Name of an LLC

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 15, 2023

In the age of increased need for transparency in business, it's often better to change the name of a limited liability company (LLC) than to do business under another name (DBA), especially if the purpose changes. You may need to correct a typo in the registered business name or change the name because of branding confusion. Or you may decide to use your LLC for a different business venture and want the name to reflect the new business. Whatever the reason, you'll find the steps for how to change the name of an LLC here.

Can You Change the Name of an LLC?

Yes, you can change the name of an LLC. To change the name, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State where your LLC is registered. Likewise, if you change the business address, stated business activities or member information, you'll need to file the Articles of Amendment and pay a state-determined fee (usually around $100). Below are the simple steps to change the name of your LLC.  

5 Steps for How to Change the Name of Your LLC

Filing to change the name of your LLC is relatively simple. Here are the steps if you're ready to move ahead with an LLC name change. 

Step 1: Determine the Requirements for an LLC Name Change

The first step is to understand state requirements. Check state requirements and any other legal obligations for changing an LLC name. An online agent can ensure compliance or file a name change. As a first step, you can check your state website. When you click on your state name, you'll find a link to the Secretary of State and other information for doing business in that state. 

Step 2: Develop a New LLC Name

If you don't already have a new name in mind, it's time to brainstorm LLC name ideas. You'll want to research keywords and domain availability to pick a new name that can be optimized online. You'll need to confirm that the name you want is available in your state. 

It's worth doing a Google search to see if there are any conflicting names. For example, if you want to use your LLC for business consulting, and the first search result is a cupcake company, you might consider a different name. 

You should also check the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to ensure the name isn't trademarked for the goods or services you plan to offer. 

Step 3: Update Internal LLC Procedures

After you've decided on a name, you'll need to inform all LLC members and obtain their approvals. This includes: 

  • A resolution: You'll need to adopt a resolution approving the name change. This change needs to be approved by a state-defined number of members. Check whether your state requires filing a resolution for an LLC name change. 
  • Maintaining "good standing": An LLC is in good standing if it has filed annual reports, has paid required fees, including reporting fees and has a registered agent. You can only change your LLC's name if it is in good standing. Before filing, make sure the LLC is in good standing.
  • Update the operating agreement: You'll need to update the LLC operating agreement to reflect the new name before filing with the Secretary of State.

Once you have the internal documents, it's time to file the Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State or applicable state agency. You'll submit a state-defined filing fee. As the forms and requirements vary by state, you can check your state's procedure and whether you can file online by clicking the state name here. 

After filing the new name for the LLC, you'll need to update the business license, obtain a new employer identification number (EIN) (if necessary) and change bank account information. You will also need to notify local, state and federal regulatory agencies, including licensing and tax authorities. 

Step 5: Updating Business Materials

Once the legal procedures are complete, it's time to update all other business information. You'll need to notify key stakeholders, including employees, vendors, suppliers, lenders, investors, and customers. You'll also want to update the website and marketing materials, including new business cards, stationery and company swag to reflect the new business name. 

This is the time to plan for rebranding efforts. Consider updating company signage, social media platforms and other online presence. If the name change represents a change in business activities, it's important to convey this to everyone you do business with.  

Summary of LLC Name Change Requirements

You'll need to check with the state government for state-specific procedures, but generally, changing the name of an LLC requires a resolution by the LLC members and filing the Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State, along with a filing fee. While the filing could be done in an hour, you'll need to follow up after the name change with all business stakeholders. 

This process includes updating business accounts, registrations and bank information. You'll also need to update websites, social media, stationery and other business materials to reflect the new name. With some attention to each detail, your new LLC name can set the impetus for the company's next stage of growth. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Can you change a business name and keep the same EIN?

A

Sometimes you can change a business name and keep the same EIN. It depends on the existing legal structure and what other changes you’re making to the business (like a change of purpose). You can see more from the IRS on EIN requirements here

Q

Do I have to notify the IRS of a business name change?

A

Yes, you have to notify the IRS of a business name change. You can write the IRS at the address where you filed your tax return to inform them of the name change.

Q

Can you change an LLC name in Florida?

A

Yes, you can change an LLC name in Florida by following the procedures set out by the state. 

About Alison Plaut

Alison Kimberly is a freelance content writer with a Sustainable MBA, uniquely qualified to help individuals and businesses achieve the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and financial profitability. She has been writing for various non-profit organizations for 15+ years. When not writing, you will find her promoting education and meditation in the developing world, or hiking and enjoying nature.