Knowing how to change a corporation name in Florida is important when you decide to operate your company as a corporation. The state will require it to have a DBA, or "doing business as" name. It can be confusing when filling out all the forms to register your business, and you may feel pressured to pick a name quickly. If you feel that the name you originally chose no longer suits your business, you can head to the state corporation bureau to put in a request to change its name.

What Are Florida Corporation Naming Requirements?

Whether you incorporate your business in Florida or in another state, you'll need to go to the state government to register a name for the business. What name you choose is fairly open as long as another company's name isn't duplicated and the name you choose meets all the requirements of the state. Once you decide on the legal name for the business, you're not able to change it whenever you want. You'll need to register any new names with the state.

Before you submit a request to modify the name of your business, you must first confirm that the new name is free to use. You can look at the list of names on the Florida Division of Corporations' website to verify this. The name you pick should be different from any other names that are on there. You face the risk of the state rejecting any name that's too similar to one that's currently being used. It's also recommended by the Small Business Administration that you research whether the name violates a domain name or trademark that's already been established.

Steps to Amend a Business Name

In order to change the name of a corporation, you must change the articles of incorporation for a company. You can do this through the following steps:

  • Download the proper form from the Division of Corporations.
  • Pay the filing fee of $35 to change it.
  • Enter the new name you want to use.

The same form can be used to make additional changes, such as using a different registered agent or changing the official address. The form should also state if the change was made due to a board decision or shareholder vote.

You need to let the IRS know when you change a business name. You can report this on the tax return for the company or let the IRS know in writing if the return has already been filed. You also should let your local government know and find out if you need any new permits or business licenses. If you possess a federal license, such as one to sell firearms, the agency might also need to know when the name changes will take place.

What is a Fictitious Name?

A business can have both a legal name and a fictitious name. Florida defines this is anything besides the personal name of the owner. If you decide to amend the name in the future, you can use one registration form to have the original name canceled and register the desired name. If you're forming a sole proprietorship or small business in Florida under a name that isn't yours, you'll need to register this name with the Florida Division of Corporations so it's protected from infringement.

This isn't necessary for limited liability companies, corporations, or limited partnerships, as these have separate filing requirements. The process to file a fictitious name is fairly easy and can be done online. There is no need to reserve the name as long as you register it.

Steps to File a Florida LLC Name Change

To file the name change for an LLC, you'll need to file an amendment to an LLC. You'll use the Limited Liability Company Amendment form to do this. You'll need to include the original name that's currently in the state record, the Florida document number, the date when the articles of organization or incorporation were originally filed, the new name you want to use, and a signature of an authorized representative or member.

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