How to Change Your District of Columbia (DC) Business Name

To complete a business name change in District of Columbia (DC), you need to file a form such as an Amendment to Certificate of Incorporation (for corporations), or a Certificate of Amendment (for LLCs). We can handle the heavy lifting for you with our Amendment Filing Service.

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Change is good, even when it comes to your business name. Maybe you want to take your company in a new direction and feel the name should reflect that change. Or perhaps you’re just ready for something new. Whatever the reason, you must file certain paperwork to change a business name in the District of Columbia. If you skip this important step, your business may be out of compliance with the District and can face fines and other consequences.

To make a business name change in the District of Columbia, you need to file a Certificate of Amendment form for a limited liability company (LLC) or Articles of Amendment for a corporation. With our Amendment Filing Service, we can make these changes for you.

Below, we’ll explain how to change a business name in the District of Columbia. 

How to Get a New Business Name

You need to complete certain tasks if you’re thinking of changing your Washington D.C. business’s name. To change one properly, follow the steps below. 

1. Choose a new business name

Your new business name must meet the following requirements set by District regulations:

  • Must be distinguishable from the name of any other domestic or foreign entity registered in the District
  • Cannot contain the words “bank,” “banking,” “credit union,” “insurance,” or any other similar word without approval from the Mayor

When determining if your business name is distinguishable, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs will not take into account business designations, such as “LLC” or “corporation.” There must be more of a distinction between your new business name and one that’s already in use or reserved. 

You can reserve a business name for 120 days in the District of Columbia. 

2. Gather information for filing your amendment

Whether you’re filing a Certificate of Amendment for Domestic LLC or Articles of Amendment for Domestic For-Profit Corporation, there’s certain information you need to have ready. Here’s a list of information you may need to change a business name in the District of Columbia: 

  • The current business name
  • The date the LLC or corporation filed its formation documents 
  • The new business name
  • The date the name change was adopted
  • The method that the name change was adopted
  • The effective date of the name change
  • The name and signature of an authorized person
  • A filing fee

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Corporations Division handles all business filings, including business name changes. You can check their website to find more information as well as the different forms you will need to file to complete your name change.

3. File your District of Columbia amendment 

There are several ways to file your Certificate or Articles of Amendment. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Corporations Division accepts filings by mail, in person, or through an online portal called CorpOnline. You can pay an extra fee for expedited service. Keep in mind that the Corporations Division accepts only credit payments for online filings. 

While there are only three steps to changing your business name, you probably have better things to do than file paperwork. Remember, we can take care of this for you with our Amendment Filing Service, which is also included in our Worry-Free Compliance Service that offers comprehensive legal compliance tracking for your business.

After You Change Your Business Name

Once you change your business name, it’s essential to update any legal business documents, your website, and your marketing materials. Don’t forget to update existing employment contracts. Not only does this avoid confusion, but it shows that you’re thorough with managing your business. 

We Can Help

Now that you know how to change a business name in the District of Columbia, let’s get started. We make it easy for you to select a new business name with our Amendment Filing Service. 

If you’re in the beginning stages of starting a business, let us help with our District of Columbia LLC and Corporation Formation Services. Once you’re set up, we can help you maintain your compliance with the District through our Worry-Free Compliance Service. This service includes two yearly amendment filings and reminders about upcoming reporting deadlines. Together we can help you create the business of your dreams!

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational 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.

District of Columbia (DC) Business Name Change FAQs

  • A business name is an entity’s legal name on file with the state. A DBA name, also known as a trade or fictitious name, is an alternative name for your business. The DBA name is not the official business name and is typically used for marketing purposes.

  • No. You can keep your original legal entity name while using a DBA name for your business.

  • If you’re starting a company, you register your business name when filing the formation documents with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Corporations Division. If your business is already registered and you want to change the business name, you must file the appropriate amendment form.

  • There are no limits on the number of amendments you can make to your business. Both the LLC and corporation amendment forms even allow you to make multiple amendments at one time. Just be sure you’re completing the amendment form correctly so that it’s effective.

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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