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How to Change the Name of Your LLC

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Business Attorney

Congratulations! If you are reading this article it’s because you have a business that is operating as an LLC and that appears to be moving forward with its business plans. Sometimes as you operate your business, a need for a change or an update occurs. This can sometimes even include needing to change or update the name of your business.

This can happen for any number of reasons. For example, you may have a competitor that has a similar name to your business, and you decide you want to differentiate from all other similar businesses. Alternatively, you may have brought on additional partners or owners to your business who want to have their names as part of the business. The need to change the name for your business may result from the fact that your business is doing something different than what it started to do in the first place. Regardless of the reason, changing the name of your LLC is entirely possible and it really isn’t that difficult.

At the Racine law office, we use a team approach when it comes to assisting our business clients need all of their legal needs including setting up and operating an LLC. Our team of Idaho business lawyers includes partners Lane Erickson and TJ Budge, and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of the attorneys on our team have earned the highest ratings possible from all legal ranking services including Martindale Hubbell, justia, and AVVO. Our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to LLCs including changing the name when needed.

The purpose of this article is to walk you through the steps necessary to change the name of your LLC. We will first describe the homework that you need to complete before you change your business name. We then discuss the necessary documents that need to be filed. Finally, we describe the other steps that must be taken after you have formally changed the name of your LLC. So, let’s get started.

Do Your Homework First

The very first step you must complete is your own homework. What I mean by this is that you have to decide what the new name of your business is going to be. After you’ve done this you then need to research the current listing of LLC business names in the state where you are incorporated so you can make sure the name you want to use isn’t a name that is already being used by another business.

When I am helping clients with this phase I usually suggest that they come up with their first choice of a new business name and then a couple of derivatives. For example, let’s say that your original business name is: Pretty Good Auto Mechanics, LLC. However, you want to change your business name to emphasize the fact that you now work on transmissions too so your first choice for a new business name is: Pretty Good Auto Mechanics & Transmissions, LLC. Other options for a new name could also be Pretty Good Mechanics & Transmissions, LLC, or Pretty Good Transmissions & Auto Mechanics, LLC.

The key with the new name you choose is simply to make sure that it is unique and not already being used by some other business. By coming up with a few different options, it’s more likely that you will find one that will work for you.

File the Necessary Documents

Once you have created the name you want to change your business to, the next step is to complete the proper paperwork. In Idaho, this is relatively simple.

When you first filed for your LLC you filed a Certificate of Organization where you listed the name and all the other information that was necessary for your business. You also paid a filing fee of $100. Changing your business name is similar. However, the document that you now use is an Amendment to Certificate of Organization.

In the Amendment to Certificate of Organization you have the ability to change the address, the names of the managers or members, the name of the business itself, and who the registered agent is for the business. To file the amendment, you have to pay a $30 filing fee. The Idaho Secretary of State’s office will then review your Amendment and will notify you once it has been processed. Once the Idaho Secretary of State has accepted the Amendment, the official name of your business has now been changed.

Change the Name of Your LLC Everywhere

The next step that you need to complete to fully change the name of your business is to make sure that the name of your business has changed everywhere else. This would include all bank accounts, all credit cards, all accounts associated with other creditors such as utilities, suppliers, and so forth. You would also need to change the name of any logos or signs that you use as part of the advertisement of your business. You will also need to notify state and federal tax collection agencies which in Idaho is the Idaho State Tax Commission and for federal taxes the IRS.

When it comes to finances, again you’ll need to change the names on all accounts. This means you’ll need to destroy all old checks that you were using and get new checks that have the new name of your business.

It may sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t that bad. We have helped numerous clients change the name of their LLC even if it’s been operating for many years. If you have questions about changing the name of your LLC, we are confident that we can help you too!

ENLIST AN IDAHO BUSINESS ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU

Our team of Idaho business lawyers can help you with any of your business structure or operation needs. Whether you are seeking to create a new business or review a current business, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho business problems.

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