LLC Name Change: Everything You Need to Know
If changing your business's legal name is not essential, filing for a fictitious business name is a better and simpler option. 3 min read
An LLC name change is an easy but time-consuming process. If changing your business's legal name is not essential, filing for a fictitious business name is a better and simpler option.
Can You Change the Name of Your LLC?
To create an LLC, you must file the formation documents, also known as the Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation. The state agencies that oversee LLC creation also regulate name changing procedures. To change your LLC's name, you must file a Certificate of Amendment along with any fee required.
Often, all you need is a name correction instead of a full name change due to a typo or mistake made by the company that handled your formation filings. In this case, you must file a Certificate of Correction.
Remember to change your name on all state and government records, like business licenses, certificates of occupancy, and tax filings.
You must file an amendment request only for a legal name change. If you just want a new trade name, you can apply for a fictitious business name, also known as a DBA (“doing business as”). The application for a DBA is simpler and cheaper than the one for a legal name change because no changes have to be made to other records.
Changing the Name of Your LLC
- Check the secretary of state's website for your chosen name availability. In most states, your company's name must differ from other LLCs' names. In Alabama, several LLCs can have the same name.
- Obtain a written resolution stating that all your LLC's owners approve of the name change.
- File Articles of Amendment, also known as an amendment to the Articles of Organization, at the secretary of state's office or online, along with the fee.
- Make sure to file the amendment document in the property records of all the counties where the LLC has property.
- If you merge with another LLC, the new LLC will have the name of the other company. For a merger, you must file the Certificate of Merger in the property records of all counties where the LLC had property before the merger.
- Once approved by the state, your new business name can be used on brochures, forms, websites, business card, and other materials. Let your clients know too.
- If you have an operating agreement, make the necessary changes to it as well.
- Let federal, state, and local tax agencies know about your LLC's name change.
- Change your business name with your bank, credit card companies, vendors, suppliers, landlords, and insurance companies.
- Amend any forms and contracts you use in your business.
Though it is easy to change your legal business name, make sure it is good for your business before doing it.
Things to Consider Before Changing Your LLC Name
If changing your LLC's name is not crucial, file for a DBA. With a DBA, you can run your business under the name you like without changing your legal business name. Also, you would only need to file a basic form along with a small fee.
If you must change your firm's legal name, first check voting requirements for a name change in your LLC's operating agreement. If you don't have an operating agreement, check your state's LLC laws about minimum requirements for such a change or simply get the approval of all the members. Form a written resolution with the members' signatures. Make changes to your LLC's Articles of Organization within 30 days of the written resolution.
Pennsylvania LLC Name Change
To change your LLC name in Pennsylvania, file a Certificate of Amendment with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations, by mail or online, along with the $70 fee. Your paperwork will be processed within two business days. Once your name change is approved, change your name with the IRS.
Steps to File an LLC Name Change by Mail:
- Print, fill out, and signs the Certificate of Amendment (Form DSCB:15-8622/8822) and Docketing Statement – Changes (Form DSCB:15-134B).
- Mail the forms with the $70 fee to the bureau.
Steps to File an LLC Name Change Online:
- Create an online account with the PA Bureau of Corporations.
- Log in, go to the “Start or Manage Business Filings” section, click on “Domestic Limited Liability Company,” then on the “Certificate of Amendment – Domestic Limited Liability Company (8622-8822),” and fill it out.
- Check for accuracy and click “Proceed to Cart” and “Checkout.”
- Add your payment information and click the “Make Payment” button.
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