How to Change Your Washington Business Name

To complete a business name change in Washington, 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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Are you thinking about how to change a business name in Washington? While “out with the old in with the new” is a timeworn saying, sometimes it’s the right thing to do. A new business name can revamp a waning company or add a little more sparkle to your star as it rises in popularity.

If you’re thinking about a business name change in Washington, we’ve got you covered. The first thing you need to do to change a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation name is file paperwork with the State of Washington. When you file name change paperwork, you keep your business legally compliant.

To finalize a business name change in Washington, you’ll need to submit amendments to your business formation documents: an Amended Certificate of Formation (for LLCs) or an Articles of Amendment of a Profit Corporation Certificate (for corporations). Have you been meaning to file but haven’t found the time? We can register your amendment forms for you with our Amendment Filing Service. 

How to Get a New Business Name in Washington

Here are three helpful steps to changing your business name in Washington.

1.) Choose a new business name

First, check the laws applicable to name changes for different business structures. Washington provides numerous rules for changing a business name for both LLCs and corporations, such as:

  • The name you choose must be distinguishable from other business names registered with the Washington Secretary of State.
  • Except for a social purpose corporation, corporations must contain the words “corporation,” “incorporated,” “company,” or “limited”; the abbreviation “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”; or words or abbreviations similar in meaning in another language.
  • The name of an LLC must contain the words “limited liability company,” the words “limited liability” and the abbreviation “Co.,” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”
  • A business corporation can’t contain any of the following words or phrases: “Bank,” “banking,” “banker,” “trust,” “cooperative.” It can’t contain any combination of the words “industrial” and “loan,” or any combination of any two or more of the words “building,” “savings,” “loan,” “home,” “association,” and “society.”

For more guidelines, you can also visit the Washington Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing and Renewals FAQ page.

Once you’ve taken the time to look through Washington’s business naming rules, you can focus on your new company name itself. Here are a few things you might consider:

  • Does your new business name sound good when you say it out loud?
  • Does your new business name mean something to you?
  • Does your new business name convey the purpose of your product or service?
  • Does your new business name avoid generic words or forgettable words?

We can check to see if your desired new name is available with our Business Name Checker.

2.) Gather information for filing your amendment

Washington State LLC and corporation owners will need the following information to change a business name: 

  • Your Unified Business Identifier (UBI)
  • The current name of your business
  • Your new business name
  • Your company’s new Name Reservation and Number if you have one
  • The period of duration for which you intend to use the business name
  • Signed consent of the company’s registered agent
  • A list of the business’s current governors responsible for governing the business
  • The date you want the amendment to go into effect

Once you gather your information, you may submit it to Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations and Charities Division to get started. If you have questions about the information you need to complete the Amended Certificate of Formation or Articles of Amendment of a Profit Corporation Certificate, we can help.

3.) File your Washington amendment 

Once you’re ready to file your amendment, you can download an Amended Certificate of Formation of an LLC form or an Articles of Amendment of a Profit Corporation form, fill it out, and mail it with a fee to P.O. Box 40234, Olympia, WA 98504-0234, or send it by courier to 801 Capitol Way South, Olympia, WA 98501-1126. You may also fill out and submit an amendment form and fee on the Washington Secretary of State Business page online.

Or we can take care of your name change documents for you. Let us file your amendment so you have more time to share your new business name with the world.

After You Change Your Business Name

Nearly all businesses have licenses and permits listed with various local and federal government branches. Be sure to contact the Washington offices associated with those permits. For instance, you can visit the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner to learn how to change your business name on their forms.

Now that you’ve registered a new business name change in Washington, it’s time to notify the IRS. Be sure to visit the IRS website for specific business name change requirements. 

And don’t forget to change your business’s branding so it displays your new company name and logo. Remember to change all your business forms, signage, and website too. Then contact your website administrators and ask them to redirect your site to your new domain if necessary.

We can help

Now that you know how to change a business name in Washington, we can help with our Amendment Filing Service. Or if you’re just starting with a new business or registering your business for the first time, you can rely on our Washington LLC Formation Service or our Washington Corporation Formation Service. We’re also here to register your new domain name and ensure that your business is legally compliant with our Worry-Free Compliance Service. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on the bigger picture.

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.

Washington Business Name Change FAQs

  • A DBA allows sole proprietorships to conduct business under a name different from its legal name. Companies and corporations already have a separate name as part of their business or product identity. Like LLC and corporate name changes, however, a DBA must still be registered with the Washington State Business Licensing Service.

  • In Washington, you don’t have to change your business name if you use a DBA name. A DBA name isn’t your legal business name, but a commercial one. Imagine it more as the outward face of your business.

  • Go to the Washington Department of Revenue and click on the “open a business” tab. From there, you’ll be able to read and complete all the steps needed to register your business name.

  • You may file an amendment as many times as you need to as your business changes. Keep in mind that each time you file, fees apply.

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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