How to Change Your Michigan Business Name

To formally change a business name in Michigan, you’ll ultimately need to file either a Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Organization if you own a Michigan limited liability company (LLC) or a Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation if you own a Michigan corporation. However, before even filing the paperwork to make your business name change in Michigan official, there are a few other important steps in the process. 

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If you own a business and are worried about whether and how you can change your business name, don’t fret. Doing so is certainly possible and not as uncommon as you might think.

Some of the most successful businesses in existence have undergone name changes for a variety of reasons. So if you’re considering a potential business name change in Michigan, you’re in good company. 

When you’re ready to get started, use our guide below to learn more about how to change a business name in Michigan and see how we can help.

How to Get a New Michigan Business Name

Of course, each business is unique, with different goals, legal entity structures, business licenses, and products and services. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the process to change a business name in Michigan will always require these 3 key steps. 

1. Choose a new business name

First, you must choose a new business name to replace your current one. While this may sound simple, there’s more to it than you might realize. 

This is because there are several business naming requirements that you must comply with. For example, the new name you select must:

  • Contain certain words or phrases to indicate the legal entity structure of your business (e.g., “limited liability company,” “LLC,” “corporation,” “corp.,” etc.)
  • Be distinguishable from the names of other active businesses registered to operate within the state
  • Not contain words or phrasing that would imply that the business is organized for any purpose other than that which is permitted in the business’s formation documents

Thus, before filing any paperwork to complete your name change, it’s crucial that you first do your due diligence. This might include verifying that your desired name meets statutory requirements and conducting a preliminary search on the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Corporations Online Filing System database to verify whether there are any other identical or similar names already in use in the state. 

With so many business naming requirements to keep up with, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, we can help make this feel more manageable with our Business Name Checker

2. Gather information for filing your amendment

Once you’ve found a name that is distinguishable from any others and meets the minimum statutory naming requirements, it’s time to start gathering the information you’ll need to file your amendment.  Such information will include: 

  • Present name and mailing address of the business
  • Identification number assigned by the Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
  • Proposed new name of the business
  • Date of filing of the original formation documents
  • Date of adoption of the amendment

Be sure to check the appropriate Certificate of Amendment form for your entity type for a complete list of information you’ll need. 

While gathering this information may seem tedious, doing so now can save you significant time later on down the line.

Importantly, however, not all changes can be completed with a Certificate of Amendment form. For example, to make a change to your business’s resident agent, sometimes referred to as a registered agent, you must instead file a Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent form. 

3. File your Michigan amendment

Finally, once you have all the information you need, you can file your Certificate of Amendment and pay the appropriate filing fee.

You can submit your filing by mail, in person, or electronically using the Corporations Online Filing System. Filing fees and processing times will vary depending on the method of filing and whether expedited service is selected. 

After You Change Your Business Name

Even after you submit your amendment and you’ve officially changed your business name, there are a few additional steps to take.

For example, you may want to update your new business name on: 

  • Your website
  • Any future marketing materials for the business
  • Business bank accounts
  • Loan paperwork
  • Any other important legal documents pertaining to the business

Don’t assume that people will automatically know that you’ve changed your name. As a best practice, be sure to inform your customers as promptly as possible to better prevent confusion and keep your business in compliance with the state moving forward.

We can help

Changing a business name can feel complicated, but with our help, it doesn’t have to be. When you’re ready to get started, use our Amendment Filing Service to get through the name-change process as effortlessly as possible.

If you’re still in the planning stages and don’t have your business set up quite yet, we can help with that too. Use our Michigan LLC Formation Service or our Michigan Corporation Formation Service, and let us help you get your business off the ground. We even have a Worry-Free Compliance Service to help your business stay in legal compliance with the state.

We have the tools and resources you’ll need as you navigate the business lifecycle. See what else we can do to help you start, manage, and grow your business today. 

Michigan Business Name Change FAQs

  • Your official business name is the name you file with the state when you file your initial formation documents. A DBA name, on the other hand, is another name under which you might conduct business. A DBA name is also referred to as a trade name or fictitious name.

  • No, you don’t have to change your business name solely because you have a DBA name.

  • You will register your business name by filing your formation documents with the state when you form your business entity. However, make sure that your registered business name complies with the state business naming requirements.

  • There is no limit to the number of amendments you can make to your business. However, if you’ve previously amended your formation documents and wish to make another, you might consider filing a Restated Articles of Organization or a Restated Articles of Incorporation to integrate all your amendments into one document.

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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