How to Change Your Business Name

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Changing Your Business Name: Getting Started

This guide serves as a step-by-step lesson on what ‘s involved with changing your business name. Since it has legal implications, it’s always a good idea to consult a business attorney. 

1. Find the perfect new business name

Regardless of the type of business you have, you need to find the right business name for your business. Questions to ask yourself as you think of new names: 

  • What will my new name to represent that my current name doesn’t? 
  • Does it make sense for my business now and in the future? 
  • Is it easy to remember? 
  • How will I explain my new business name to my customers? 
  • Is my new business name available? 

Confirm your business name is available in your state

The last question is the most important one. You need to confirm your business name is available in your state. Simply go to your state’s Secretary of State website.

Check with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

You can also check with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as they have a trademark search tool. Make sure your new name isn’t trademarked. 

Change your website

Changing your website? You should also confirm your new domain name is available, assuming you’re updating your website. Use our domain name checker to find out if your domain is available. 

2. File your name change with the state

Once you land on the ideal new business name for your company, it’s time to make it official with legal documents. 

You have a few options if you’re changing the name of your LLC or corporation. Are you abandoning your original name? Then you need to file an Article of Amendment. If you’re only changing the name for marketing purposes, consider filing a “doing business as” (DBA) name. 

File an Article of Amendment with the state

You filed Articles of Organization, or similar documents, when you started your company. Now it’s time to file an amendment with the state so they can authorize your official business name change. You can find the Article of Amendment form on your state’s Secretary of State office. 

When you file your amendment with the state, you’ll likely need to provide: 

  • Your current LLC’s name
  • The date your Articles of Organization were filed
  • The name LLC name
  • Business Address 
  • Effective Date

Once approved, you’ll receive confirmation from the state. And your business name is officially changed. 

Are you a ZenBusiness customer? If so, we’ll file up to 2 amendments with your state for you per year with our Worry-Free Compliance Service. We’ll do the heavy lifting for you.  

DBA Name Change

Not every company wants to officially change its name. Perhaps you just want to use a different name for marketing purposes? 

Why would you consider a DBA name? 

  • You hold a trademark for the name. 
  • You have a built-in client base who is set up with your old name. 

Filing a DBA Name

Depending on the state, you file your DBA at the state or county level. DBA names are also known as fictitious or trade names.

When filing a DBA name, you typically need: 

  • A DBA application form
  • Your desired new DBA name
  • Names and addresses of company owners
  • Payment (which varies based on state)

Note: Some states require you to post a public notice in your local newspaper or other location to announce the name change. Visit your state’s Secretary of State website for more information. 

3. Update your business information

There are several steps to follow after you file your Article of Amendment or DBA form: 

  • Contact Your Business Bank: If you have a business bank account, you may need to open a new one under the new name. 
  • Review Business Licenses and Other Documents: Some local government offices will require you to update your existing business license or permits. 
  • Notify the IRS: This will be important when you file taxes for the current year return. Typically you just have to fill out a section on the form you use to submit taxes, but review the requirements. 
  • Communicate with Your Customers: What’s your plan for notifying customers? It’s important to think about your communication. Avoid confusion and uneasiness. You’re the same great company – but now you’re ready for even more growth. 
  • Review Marketing Materials: Your business name is likely on every piece of marketing you use, from print to digital. Do you need a new logo? How are you handling the change on your website? Do you need new business cards? Take inventory on all of your marketing materials. Changing the name of your business is one of the biggest changes you will make. 

We can help!

We’ve formed more than 500,000 businesses for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Our customers run and grow their business with us, and many take advantage of our Amendment Service. This service allows for up to two amendments to be filed on your behalf per year. We handle the heavy lifting, so you can get back to running your company. If you still need to start your business please visit our How to start an LLC page or How to start a Corporation to see the steps!

Changing Your Business Name FAQs

  • Changing your business is a big decision. The act of filing for a new business name only requires a few steps, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Consider the right name that’s best for your business, how you’ll communicate with customers and how it influences the other aspects of your company.

  • This will vary by state, but name changes are typically handled within a few weeks of filing.

  • The cost will also vary by state. Typically it’s less $150 or less to make the change.

  • No, you file an amendment to change your business name officially. You can also create a DBA name for your company if you want to maintain your current legal business name for trademarking or other purposes.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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