How to Change the Name of an LLC

By Ronna L. DeLoe, Esq.

How to Change the Name of an LLC

By Ronna L. DeLoe, Esq.

If you're a member of a limited liability company (LLC), you or other members may decide to change the LLC's name at some point. There are a variety of reasons for this, including having an outdated name or wanting a more marketable name.

People at company standing around a computer

Amending the LLC's name is a very similar process to changing your DBA to an LLC. You can complete the name change with or without an attorney, or you can have an online legal service do this for you.

While each state has slightly different procedures for amending your LLC's name, the basic steps are similar. Here's what to do if you want to handle the process yourself.

1. Do a name check.

Many states have a searchable online database for you to determine if the LLC's desired name is already in use. Visit the website of the state agency that regulates businesses, usually the Secretary of State. You should also check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to see if another company has trademarked the name you want to use. If similar names exist, you must change the LLC's proposed name to something else so there's no trademark infringement or confusion between your businesses.

2. Check your operating agreement.

Some LLCs have an operating agreement, which describes how the LLC handles certain issues. If your operating agreement states how to amend the LLC's name, follow that procedure. If it doesn't, members must vote for a name change. If amendment passes, write a resolution that summarizes what the members decided, the date the members voted, and who voted in favor and against the name change.

3. Complete the Articles of Amendment.

Your state may call this form something similar, such as a Certificate of Amendment or a Certificate of Change. You must use your state's specific form, usually available online, for changing the LLC's name. If you cannot find the form, contact your Secretary of State. Once your form is completed, submit it to the state agency along with the required fee.

4. Inform the IRS of the LLC's name change.

Send a letter to the IRS to inform them of the name change. At the same time, find out whether you need to get a new employer identification number (EIN) or if you need to file any additional forms. The procedure will vary depending on which state your LLC is registered in.

5. Change the Articles of Organization.

Contact your Secretary of State to amend your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation. Because the LLC is the same company with a new name, filing new Articles of Organization is usually not necessary, but you must update it to reflect the name change. In some states, filing the Articles of Amendment is sufficient to change the Articles of Organization.

6. Update all documents and signage.

Close savings and checking accounts and open new accounts with the LLC's new name. Contact vendors and your landlord. Change your LLC's letterhead and business cards. Update all social media and the LLC's website. Update phone listings and voicemail. Change signs on the place of business. Review your marketing plan and change your marketing material to reflect the amended name.

7. Inform other interested parties.

This can include your registered agent, vendors, and even customers.

Although changing your LLC's name can be a bit of lengthy process, if you believe the name change can benefit your business, it's worth the trouble.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.