Business Name Changing Guide for Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, LLCs, and Corporations
Are you contemplating a change in your company’s name? There are many reasons a business might want to rebrand, but it’s important to understand the process of changing your business name to ensure that you are making informed decisions and following the correct legal procedures. This guide will provide you with valuable information on the steps to take when changing your business name, regardless of your company’s entity type.
Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships
If you operate as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you have the option to file for a fictitious business name, also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA). While sole proprietorships and general partnerships are required to include the owner’s first and last name in the company name, they can still use a DBA for marketing purposes. Here’s how you can change your DBA:
• Cancel the existing DBA and file for a new one with the government authority that registers DBAs or consider utilizing an online legal business document filing service.
• Contact your bank to inquire about changing the business bank account’s name to the new DBA or opening a new account for the DBA.
• Check with county, city, and local government authorities to determine if business licenses and permits need to be updated or obtained for the new DBA.
• Check with the IRS to find out if obtaining a new DBA requires applying for a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) and follow the necessary notification procedures.
Limited Liability Companies and Corporations
LLCs and corporations can change their name by either filing Articles of Amendment with the state or by maintaining the original name and creating a new DBA for marketing purposes. Here are the steps for each method:
• File Articles of Amendment with the state to change the business name. Additionally, follow through with the necessary procedures such as updating bank accounts, business licenses and permits, and notifying the IRS of the name change.
• Keep the original name of the business and file a DBA for the new name for marketing and branding purposes. After filing the DBA, contact your bank to add the DBA to the existing bank account.
Tips for Changing Your Business Name
Changing a business name is not something to be taken lightly, and it’s crucial to ensure that the desired new name is legally available. Utilize the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online database and conduct a more in-depth search using state databases or consult with a trademark attorney to check for any potential conflicts before making the change.
In conclusion, incorporating these tips into your business’s strategy will not only help you navigate the process of changing your business name but also ensure compliance with the relevant legal requirements. Remember to seek advice from a licensed business attorney before taking any action to change your business name.
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This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the knowledge you need to successfully navigate the process of changing your business name. Whether you’re a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or corporation, this guide has you covered, offering practical steps and tips to guide you through the transition.