Your company’s name holds plenty of significance. It serves as the key to brand recognition, customer perception, and even your legal standing.
However, there may come a time when you decide to change your LLC’s name for various reasons, such as rebranding or aligning it with your evolving business goals.
Reasons for Changing Your LLC’s Name
Your business has evolved, and the current name no longer aligns with your brand identity, products, or services. In such cases, a name change can breathe new life into your company.
Expanding Your Business
As your business grows and expands into new markets or offers new products and services, a name change may be necessary to reflect these developments accurately.
Your LLC’s current name may not comply with state regulations, or you may have discovered a trademark conflict. As such, changing your LLC’s name is imperative to avoid legal issues.
Explaining the Steps
Whatever the cause, changing the name of your LLC is a meticulous process and you should know what to do to comply with the requirements. These include the following:
Step 1: Understand the Legal Requirements
Each state in the United States has its own rules and regulations governing LLC name changes. Take time to review your state’s business entity laws and regulations. These are typically available on the official state government website or through your Secretary of State’s office.
Step 2: Check the Availability of the New Name
Visit your state’s official business registration website and look for the business entity search or name availability search feature. Enter your desired LLC name and see if any existing businesses share the same or a similar name.
To protect your LLC’s name nationally, it’s always wise to check the USPTO database. This step is especially important if you plan to expand your business beyond your state’s borders or plan to trademark the name of your LLC down the line.
Step 3: Approve a Resolution to Change Business Name
Depending on your LLC’s operating agreement, you may need to hold a meeting with the members or managers. If you’re the sole member or manager, you can approve the resolution yourself, but it’s still advisable to document it formally.
In the resolution document, include the current and proposed names and the reasons for the change. The document should be signed and dated by all relevant parties.
Step 4: Amend Articles of Organization to Change LLC Name
Changing your LLC’s name isn’t as simple as updating the sign on your office door; you will also need to amend your LLC’s Articles of Organization, which consists of the following steps:
Obtain the Appropriate Form
Visit your state’s official business registration website and download the necessary form to amend your Articles of Organization. This form may have a specific name like “Amendment to Articles of Organization” or something similar.
Complete the Form
Fill out the form with the necessary information, including your current LLC name, the new LLC name, and the reason for the name change. Also, don’t forget to attach the signed resolution as evidence of your decision to change the name.
Submit the Forms and Fees
Mail or electronically submit the completed forms to the appropriate state agency. Include any required fees along with your submission.
You don’t need to live in Nevada to enjoy the best asset protection and audit defense a Nevada LLC can provide.
Wait for Approval
You must wait for approval after submitting the form and paying the fees. The processing time can vary, but once your amendment is approved, your LLC’s name is officially changed.
Step 5: Revise Your Operating Agreement
As part of the name change process, update your LLC’s operating agreement to reflect the new name. This is an important step to maintain internal consistency within your business.
Review the Operating Agreement
Carefully review your LLC’s operating agreement to identify any references to the old business name. Commonly, the operating agreement includes the LLC’s name in the introductory section and may reference it throughout the document.
Draft an Amendment
Create an amendment to the operating agreement, specifying the change in the business name and the effective date of the change. In addition, ensure that the members or managers sign this amendment to make it legally valid.
Share copies of the amended operating agreement with all members or managers of the LLC. Make sure that everyone is aware of the name change, as this document governs your business’s internal operations.
If your LLC has an Employer Identification Number (EIN), inform the IRS about the name change. You can send a letter with your new name, the old name, and your EIN. Mention that it’s a name change, not a new EIN application. You may even hire a professional to do it for you.
Be sure to notify your state’s taxing authorities about the name change. Depending on your state’s requirements, this may involve sending a letter or filling out a form.
Step 7: Change the Name on Accounts and Everything Else
This involves working closely with your financial institution to ensure all accounts and financial documents are updated with the new name.
Rebranding your business across all mediums—online and offline—ensures that your customers, partners, and the public at large are aware of the change and can easily identify your company with its new identity.
Consistency is key, as a unified and well-executed name change reflects positively on your company’s professionalism and commitment to evolving with the times.
Changing your LLC’s name involves numerous steps combining legal procedures, administrative tasks, and communication with relevant parties. With your new LLC name, you can continue to grow and evolve your business with a fresh brand identity.If you are unsure whether you can change your LLC’s name, don’t hesitate to contact us at NCH. Our business formation experts at NCH can provide valuable assistance to avoid potential pitfalls and ensure the transition is seamless and legally sound.
Visit our website or call us at 1-800-508-1729 to schedule your free consultation!
DISCLAIMER: The above material has been prepared for informational purposes only, containing opinions of the provider and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consider consulting tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.