What to Do When You Change Your Business Name
Yes. To change the name of your LLC or company, you must file “articles of amendment” with your state. Once approved, you can start operating under the new name. Save my name, email address, and website in this browser to comment next time. Talk to your lawyer and tax professional about the possible name change to be aware of any potential issues related to the change. The legal name of your company is the official name of your company for tax and other purposes for legal purposes. If you use a business name, a doing business as (DBA), or a “fictitious” name to do business, that name is registered with your location, not with a state or federal agency. To change this name, you must submit a DBA name change application to your district clerk`s office. Business owners and other authorized persons may submit a name change for their business. The specific measures required may vary depending on the type of business. If the EIN has recently been assigned and responsibility for the submission has not yet been established, send requests to change the company name to the IRS address where you are submitting your return.
There are many moving parts and action points to keep in mind when changing a company`s name. From choosing the name to filing the company`s name change with the IRS (or regardless of your national tax authority), change the articles with the state (any state in which you operate and with any agency with which you are licensed) or file a DBA name change (if you are organized as a partnership or sole proprietor). If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership and you want to change your DBA, you can do so by: The official name of your business is not the same as your business name or the name under which you do business (often referred to as “d/b/a” or “fictitious name”) for tax and legal reasons. The fictitious name is registered with a place, not a state or federal agency. A trade name is a name used for marketing purposes; it may or may not be identical to the fictitious name. 6. Update your business documents. Replace your branding with your new name and logo. This includes all business forms, signage, and your website. Contact your website administrator and ask them to redirect your website to your new domain. Whatever your reason, changing your business name is a difficult task, and you run the risk of losing your brand awareness. That is, if the positive aspects outweigh the negative aspects, it can be done.
Here`s how. Conduct a formal investigation to make sure your new name is available in the states where you operate. In addition to the naming rules for state-owned enterprises, you should verify that the name of your new company does not violate the trademark rights of another company. If your LLC or your company name is used as a trademark, you must also protect its rights. A trusted advisor who is familiar with trademark law can help. Over time, you may decide that the company name you`ve chosen for your business no longer accurately reflects your brand. Or you might decide that you would be legally better off having a different name. Whether you`re submitting articles to change a business name or create a database administrator, it`s important to verify that the new name you want isn`t already legally claimed by another company.
Using the United States Patent and Trademark Office`s online database can help identify potential conflicts. I also recommend doing a more thorough search of government databases. A trademark attorney or online legal advice service can help. You must also inform your state tax authority of your company`s new name for sales tax, income tax, and other tax purposes. Businesses registered as an LLC or corporation can change their name using one of two methods. One requires that the original company name be dropped completely, while the other retains the original name and creates a new one for marketing purposes (for example. B for a new product range). There are several reasons why you may want to change the name of your business.
You may want to attract a new audience, reflect an expansion of your offering or location, or maybe have acquired a new business. Another common reason for a name change is a brand renewal or a desire to attract a new generation of customers. Negative publicity is also a call for a name change. Or maybe you just chose the wrong name when you started your business and it`s time to do something new. If not, check if the domain name is available from an accredited registrar. Ideally, if you`re a for-profit business, you want a .com address, and if you`re a nonprofit, you want a .org address. Once you are convinced of the products and services of your company and your target clientele, you can choose a more appropriate business name. Companies change their name for many reasons – some of a strategic nature and others of a more practical nature. Whatever your motivations, changing the name of your business often has both positive and negative consequences. As with all important business decisions, you must first weigh the pros and cons before making the decision to change your name. Now that all these boxes are checked, you can prepare your modification articles, pay the applicable fees and submit them to the state.
Other business owners may simply want to reposition their names first in an alphabetical list or after an industry change. For example, if a construction company wants to showcase its green solutions for its customers. Choosing a business name that is aligned with your brand and easy to remember is likely to resonate with your customers. In addition, it helps you stand out from your various competitors. Before you start the process, think about the cost and time it takes to change a company`s name. Legally changing the company name is only part of the process and cost. The other part is to make the change in all the places where your company name is displayed to the public and internally and on legal documents. If you are submitting an up-to-date annual return, check the appropriate name change field on the Form 1120 you are using: After filing the DTA, contact your bank to find out if the database administrator can be added to your company`s existing bank account or if it needs its own account. When you start a formal business, it`s all a learning experience. This is often the case when choosing a name for your business. We`ve been through all of this recently with our recent name change, so now I want to guide everyone with a checklist to change the company name they should review and consider. Below, we`ll see if you really need to change your name (or if you`re just considering changing your name), how to perform the basic rebranding process, and finally, the checklist of steps to take.
If you change your business name, you may need to change legal documents, including contracts, loans, and your business account (and checks). If you`re thinking about a new business name that will help you stand out from the crowd, try our free business name generation tool. It is the ideal springboard for rebranding your business. Name changes can be an extremely lucrative choice – you just need to land on a handful that really appeals to your customers. Even if you make it clear that your business is changing brands, it`s unlikely that everyone will hear the news. You should be prepared to lose at least a few confused customers after your name change. In fact, some may assume that your business has been shut down when they can no longer find your original name on social media and other platforms. Since you don`t officially change the name or structure of your business, you don`t need to change your tax identification numbers, bank account names, business licenses, etc. In fact, adding a DBA is a great way to experiment with a name before you go full throttle and change your business name.
You can first test and see how your customers react to a temporary change. First of all, you need to know why you change the name in the first place. Is it because it`s outdated or confusing or because you`re expanding into new markets? How do you know objectively? You could avoid a lot of work by interviewing some of your customers (or potential customers) and even your employees and asking them a) if you think the current name is right for the company, and b) you could think about a list of company names that you think are better and get the opinion of real people (see below). As mentioned above, you can ask customers, potential customers, friends and family for your new choice of name, logo, slogan, etc. Go through the process and finally choose the winner. Make sure you feel “comfortable” with the name (say it out loud “thank you for calling MyCompanyName”), then it`s time to work on the name change. Finally, head over to your secretary of state`s website to make sure your new name isn`t already registered in your state. Now that you have a few names in mind, consider updating the company colors, logo, and a slogan (it`s easier to do everything at once, in our opinion). Here are some resources: It`s not uncommon for a company to experience an identity crisis in its lifetime. When this happens, many companies choose to reinvent themselves by changing brands.
4. Notify the IRS. The IRS has different requirements depending on the type of business. Visit the IRS website to learn more about your specific needs. In some cases, it`s as simple as noting the name change on your next tax return. .