of the LLC. But before you change your LLC's name, consider your options.
LLC Name Change Options
Consider a DBA instead
Changing your LLC’s name will have lots of potential ramifications aside from the process of the name change (see Other Considerations below). Instead of changing the LLC’s name, consider filing a DBA (AKA: Assumed Business Name or Fictitious Name). If your LLC is operating a new business, your LLC could file a DBA within the county or state it operates, and this would connect your existing LLC to that new business name. For example, if your LLC is called ABC, LLC and it is now operating a floral website known as “ABCFlorists.com”, you could file a DBA publically stating that you are now operating as “ABC, LLC, doing business as ABCFlorists.com”. If this option appears to be feasible, check with your state filing agency or county clerk/recorder for DBA filing options (several states and/or counties don't have offer dba's/assumed name filings).
Form a new LLC
If you’ve expanded and/or opened up a new business, rather than change the name of the existing LLC, consider forming a new LLC to own and operate the new or expanded business operations. By separating the existing business from the new/expanded business into two LLC’s, you’ve separated the liabilities of each as well. This option of course carries with it the additional costs of maintaining two entities in your state, instead of one. And there maybe some additional accounting charges for additional filings with the IRS. Check with your accounting professional before you move forward with this option.
The Process to change the LLC’s name
Make the decision to change official
If you and your members/managers have decided to move forward and change the name of your LLC, be sure to first make it official. Check with your LLC’s Operating Agreement to see how making major decisions like this are handled. If something as big as changing the LLC’s name is not covered, then be sure to at least agree to the change in writing. Often this can be done by writing down the “Resolution by the Members” (Mangers if your LLC is Manager Managed instead – check your articles of organization). The resolution should layout the who, what, where, when, and how of the LLC name change. Then, all managers (or managing members) should sign.
File the LLC name change with the state
Once the decision to change the LLC name was documented, change it with the formation state. This is done by filing Articles of Amendment with the state agency that formed your LLC. Articles of Amendment are typically made available by the state for download. After correctly filling out the amendment form(s), submit to the state with the appropriate fee. Upon acceptance by the state, the amendment, and therefore the LLC name change is filed.
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Other considerations of an LLC name change
Although you may be done with the process of officially changing the name of the LLC with the state, there are still other agencies, vendors, and others who should be notified of the change you have just made.
Write a letter to the IRS telling them of the LLC name change and send it here: IRS-Stop 343G, Cincinnati, OH 45999. For more information about this, go here: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Business-Name-Change.
If your business has registered for a sales tax ID, Use Tax ID, occupational license, permits, etc., because it would have been your LLC (the owner of the business) that applied for these, you will most likely need to update the record for each. Check with your state taxing body, usually the State Dept. of Revenue.
County & Local Governmental Agencies
If your business has registered for a sales tax ID, Use Tax ID, occupational license, permits, etc., because it would have been your LLC (the owner of the business) that applied for these, you will most likely need to update the record for each.
Your bank needs to update its record as well. You will need to take in a copy of the filed articles of amendment showing them the change. A new card with officer signatures maybe required as well. Also, your checks may need to be re-ordered, reflecting the new name.
Assuming you are not acting as your LLC’s registered agent, the person or company providing this service, must be notified of the change. Otherwise he/she/they will not know that your company is the same as the newly named LLC that it receives notices from the state or legal inquires or lawsuits on its behalf.
There maybe other vendors that have provided credit or have signed contracts with your LLC, which need to be notified of the change.
Whatever action your LLC decides to follow, consider all these issues before taking changing your LLC name.