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When your business needs change, you may also consider changing your business’s name. Perhaps you feel that the name you previously selected is outdated. Maybe you prefer a different name.. Regardless of the reason, to change a business name in Maryland requires filing certain documents with the state so that your business complies with its legal obligations.
There are several steps to making a business name change in Maryland. You must first make sure the name you want is available. Then, you need to amend your business’s formation documents by filing an Amendment to your Articles of Formation for your LLC or an Amendment to your Articles of Incorporation for your Corporation with the Maryland Secretary of State. Below, we describe the steps to change a business name in Maryland.
To change your business name, you must gather information and take several steps to make your name change legally compliant.
The first step in changing your business name is choosing your new name. Generally, you can pick almost any name so long as it’s distinguishable from other Maryland entity names. This means that it can’t be too similar to other business names in the state.
LLCs and corporations have specific name requirements under Maryland law:
Once you’ve narrowed it down, check with the Maryland Secretary of State to make sure that it’s available. You can do so either by calling them or conducting an online search using Maryland’s Business Entity search tool. Then, you can reserve the name by filing a corporate name reservation form with a fee.
With our Business Name Checker, we make it easy to check whether a business name is both available and legally distinguishable. Pair this with our Business Name Reservation Service, and you will be assured that your name will be set aside for your use only.
The next step for a business name change in Maryland is to gather the information needed for filing the Amendment to the Articles of Organization for an LLC or the Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation for a corporation.
Generally, amending your business’s formation documents requires the following information:
The Amendment to your business’s organizing documents must be typewritten, not handwritten. If it’s handwritten, the Secretary of State will reject it.
You must file your amendment with your name change with the Maryland Secretary of State along with the filing fee. You can submit it by mail, in person, or through Maryland’s Business Express site online.
We can help you file your name change amendment in Maryland with our Amendment Filing Service, so you can rest assured that the legal requirements are met.
After you change a business name in Maryland, you need to update all your important documents with the new name. This includes updating:
You may also contact contractors, employees, or other entities who have relationships with your business so they’re aware of your name change.
Even something that seems simple like how to change a business name in Maryland requires navigating legal regulations and government filings. We can take that burden off your back with our Amendment Filing Service so that you can focus on running your business.
If you haven’t yet formed a Maryland business, we can help you with our Maryland LLC or Maryland Corporation Formation services. We also have a Worry-Free Compliance Service that includes two amendments a year. Plus, we have a customer service team that is here to help you with your small business.
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.
A business name is the business’s legal name that appears on all its organizational documents and filings with the government. A “doing-business-as” or “DBA” name is an assumed or fictitious name that your business uses essentially as an alias. It isn’t a separate legal entity. In Maryland, you still need to register your DBA name.
You don’t have to change your business name if you have a DBA name. Often, a DBA name is used because the business doesn’t want to change its legal name. As mentioned above, however, you still have to register a DBA name with the state of Maryland to use it.
To register a business name in Maryland, first, you check with the Maryland Secretary of State to make sure that the name you want is available. The name must be distinguishable from other business names in the state. Then, if this is an existing business, you’ll file an amendment to your business’s organizing documents. If this is a new business, you can simply include the name on your initial formation documents that you file with the state.
You can make as many amendments to your business as you need so long as you follow the proper procedures for amendments. For example, amending a Corporation’s Articles of Incorporation would likely require approval by its Directors. You file any amendments with the Secretary of State of Maryland.