Thinking about LLC Name Change?
Wondering how you should go about changing your LLC name?
What’s the difference between LLC name change and DBA?
In this article, we will break down the notion of LLC Name Change so you know all there is to know about it.
We will look at what are the reasons why you may want to consider changing your LLC name and how you should do it, step by step.
Are you ready?
Let’s get started!
Why change your LLC name?
There are many reasons why you may want to change your LLC name:
- You have a new branding strategy in mind
- New partners have come on board
- Some partners have left
- It’s time to change company image and culture to shake things up
- You are penetrating new markets
- You are changing your market positioning
- You want to modernize your name
- You want to eliminate market confusion
Once you’ve made up your mind that it’s time to change the name of your LLC or Series LLC, the next step is to determine how you will go about doing it, practically speaking.
In a nutshell, you can change the LLC name by filing the necessary forms and requests with your state where the LLC is registered.
The actual process to change your LLC name is not that complicated as you must file the necessary name change forms with your state and pay the relevant fees.
What’s tedious and time-consume is all the paperwork you need to do after you changed your LLC name to update all your business records, licenses and documents.
How to change LLC name?
Let’s look at the different steps you need to accomplish to change your LLC name, step by step!
Step 1: Name search
To start the name change process, make sure the name you want to give your LLC is available.
To do that, should do an online name search by going to the relevant corporate registry’s website, typically the Secretary of State’s website.
Step 2: Name change resolution
Once you find the name that fits your requirements and does not conflict with the name of another registered business in your state, make sure your LLC members approve the process.
To do that, you should follow the procedures or rules outlined in your LLC operating agreement.
In the absence of any specific rules, make sure you have your LLC partners sign a name change resolution accepting that the LLC formally changes its name to the new name.
Step 3: Amendment of articles of organization
Once you have clearance from your partners, you’ll need to amend your LLC’s articles of organization as it was originally filed with the state.
By going on the relevant Secretary of State’s website or equivalent agency, you can look up and find the necessary articles of organization amendment forms to complete.
Make sure you complete those forms correctly and without any errors in the name you intend to give your LLC.
Once you file your amendment request and everything is approved, you’ll receive an official name change certificate proving your LLC’s name change.
Depending on your state, you may need to specifically request a copy of your Certificate of Amendment so you have the necessary official document to update your banking and tax records.
Step 4: Amendment of operating agreement
In parallel to amending your LLC articles of organization with your state, you should amend your LLC operating agreement, if you have one.
The substance of your LLC operating agreement should not change unless you want to take the opportunity to make specific modifications.
However, you should amend your operating agreement in such a way that the name of your LLC is referenced properly.
Step 5: Updating business licenses
After you obtain your name change certificate from your Secretary of State, you should notify all agencies who have issued your LLC a business license of some kind.
Step 6: Updating tax registries
One important agency to update your LLC name change is with the tax authorities.
You want to make sure that the right entity is registered on the federal and state books with respect to your taxes such as sales taxes, business taxes and others.
Step 7: Updating banking records
Your LLC may have bank accounts, lines of credit, credit cards, loans, checks, investments and other banking or financial instruments.
You’ll need to make sure you update all of those records so they reflect your LLC’s new name.
Changing LLC name vs DBA
You may want to consider filing a DBA for your LLC to avoid having to change names many times in the life of your LLC.
DBA stands for “doing business as” representing a fictitious name associated with your LLC.
Imagine the DBA to be your LLC’s nickname.
If you file and adopt a DBA for your LLC, then if members come and go, you may not need to update your name everywhere as your LLC is doing business under a DBA.
Be sure to read our post on DBA under LLC for more insights on this topic.
LLC name change FAQ
Can I change the name of my LLC?
Yes, you can change the name of your LLC.
To do that, you must make sure that the name you want to give your LLC does not conflict with another registered business, have your LLC members approve the name change, file the amendment forms with your state and update all your business records once your name change is officialized.
How to change an LLC name in New York?
If you are a domestic New York LLC, you should complete a Form 1358 (Certificate of Amendment) or Form 2120 (Certificate of Amendment Name Change Only).
Your name change filing fees will amount to $60.
The name change application can take anywhere between 3 to 5 weeks.
How to change an LLC name in California?
To change your LLC name in California, you must file a Certificate of Amendment (Form LLC-2) for a California limited liability company.
The filing fees will cost you $30 and you can request a copy of your Certificate of Amendment.
How to change the name of a Florida LLC?
In Flordia, you can change the name of your Florida LLC by filing Articles of Amendment of Organization.
Your filing can be done by using the Florida online services offered by Sunbiz.
There is a cover letter that you’ll need to complete with your Articles of Amendment.
You will need to pay a $25 filing fee.
It may take approximately one week for the name change to be officialized.
What should I update once my LLC changes name?
The most tedious part of changing an LLC name is updating bank accounts, tax records, permits and so on.
There are many places you should notify your LLC’s name change.
To get you going, here is a quick list of what you should think of updating:
- LLC operating agreement
- Business cards
- Marketing materials
- Business licenses
- Business permits
- Tax registries
- Sales tax registry
- Active contracts
- Update records with suppliers
- Update records with clients
- Update records with prospects
- Commercial registered agent
- IRS records
- Service professionals like lawyers and accountants
- Credit card companies
It’s going to be a long process but it’s gotta be done!