If you are running an LLC for some time now, it is possible that you might want to change the name of your LLC due to many reasons.
You might just not like the existing name anymore, or it might not be in line with your current branding or business strategy.
So, is it possible to change the name of your LLC? Yes, you can change the name of your LLC anytime you want. While this is mostly a straightforward process, it can be time-consuming, especially if you have operations in multiple states.
Also, a lot of LLCs rather than legally changing the name of their LLC, prefer filing a fictitious business name or DBA.
Let us have a close look at the process of changing the name of your LLC and why do businesses prefer DBA.
- Changing the Name of Your LLC
- Step 1- Check Availability of Business Name
- Step 2- Fill and Submit the Amendment Form
- Step 3- Notify Licensing and Taxing Agencies
- Step 4- Changing LLC Name on Business Accounts and Other Business Documents
- Why Do LLCs Prefer DBA?
- Changing Name of Foreign LLCs
- Name Change in Case of Typographical or Spelling Error
Changing the Name of Your LLC
Following are the steps to change your LLC name-
Step 1- Check Availability of Business Name
The first step is to check whether the new name you have for your business is available in your state. It is very much possible that there might be another business already operating under the new name you are planning for your LLC.
You can check the secretary of state’s website to make sure that your new business name does not have any conflicts with existing businesses in your state.
Refer our 50-State guide for checking business name availability (opens in new tab).
Step 2- Fill and Submit the Amendment Form
LLCs have to file Articles of Organization with the state to form the LLC. To change LLC name, you will have to make changes to those articles. You can find the amendment form from the secretary of state’s website. The amendment form is different in every state. So, make sure that you only use the amendment form of your state.
Fill this form and submit the same to your state. Most states have a fee for filing this amendment form.
Step 3- Notify Licensing and Taxing Agencies
Once you submit this form, the next step is to notify the name change to license and tax agencies. In some states, you get a certificate after you file the amendment form. Some of the licensing agencies might require you to provide a copy of this certificate to change your LLC name in their records.
Similarly, you will also have to notify local, state, and federal tax authorities.
Step 4- Changing LLC Name on Business Accounts and Other Business Documents
To change the name of your LLC, you will also have to change the name on your business accounts. Moreover, you should also notify about the name change to your suppliers, vendors, lenders, and landlords. If you have a website, the same needs to be updated with the new name as well.
Once all of this is done, you will also have to change the business name on your brochures, business cards, stationery, and signage. Your customers would also need to know that you are changing the name of your LLC. You can do this with the help of advertisements.
This is it! You now have a new name for your LLC.
Why Do LLCs Prefer DBA?
As you can see, the LLC name changing process can be very time-consuming. As a result, a lot of businesses prefer applying for a DBA (Doing Business As) or fictitious business name unless the name change is due to a serious reason.
It allows businesses to get a new trade name for the products or services it offers while the legal name of the business remains the same. In comparison to legally changing the name of your LLC, applying for a DBA is easier and less expensive in most cases.
An entrepreneur can operate several businesses under the same LLC by applying for several DBAs.
Changing Name of Foreign LLCs
If you have operations in multiple states, your LLC registration in those states might be as foreign LLCs. If you want to change the name of your LLC, you will have to file the amendment form in each of the states where your foreign LLC is registered.
This is another reason why most LLCs prefer applying for DBAs.
Name Change in Case of Typographical or Spelling Error
A lot of times, LLCs want to correct their business name and not entirely change it. This is generally the case with new LLCs that sometimes have a typographical or spelling error in their name.
To correct the name of your LLC, most states offer something known as a “Certificate of Correction“. Just like the amendment form, you will have to submit this certificate of correction to the state for correcting the LLC name.
Changing the name of your LLC is a decision which you should only take if the name change makes some business sense. In all other cases, it is better to apply for DBA which will allow you to use another business name while keeping the same legal name of your LLC.
While the steps for changing LLC name are almost similar in all the states, make sure that you do check the secretary of state’s website to know more.