Changing the Name of Your Limited Liability Company - dummies

Changing the Name of Your Limited Liability Company

By Jennifer Reuting

Assuming your limited liability company (LLC) isn’t operating in multiple states, changing the name of your LLC is usually a fairly easy process. However, there are a few things to consider.

First, you should ask yourself whether or not changing your LLC is absolutely necessary, or if you could simply get by with the much easier process of filing for a DBA or “doing business as” (also often referred to as a “fictitious firm name” filing).

A DBA will allow you to operate your business under the name that you desire, while still keeping your LLC name the same. Filing for a DBA usually just involves a simple form and a small fee. Your company’s legal name would remain the same; however, you wouldn’t have to use it for business if you choose not to.

If a simple DBA isn’t going to fly, and you want to go for the firm name change, then your first step is to check your LLC’s operating agreement and see what vote is required by the members (or managers) to make the change. If you don’t yet have an operating agreement (tsk tsk!) you will need to check your state LLC laws for default or minimum requirements for making this sort of amendment. Or, even easier, just make sure to get the consent of all of the members.

After you know that all of the members (or at least the ones required to approve the change) are on board, you need to create a written resolution. All of the members required to approve the change need to sign the resolution. Then, you will need to amend your LLC’s Articles of Organization on file with the state. You should file and execute the appropriate certificate of amendment of articles within 30 days of the effective date of the written resolution, approving the change. There will usually be a filing fee associated with this change, ranging from $20 to $150, depending on your state.

After your new name has been approved, you should notify everyone of importance about the name change. This includes your bank, creditors, local business authorities, vendors, and customers. You should also notify the IRS about your change. Although your LLC will keep its federal EIN, you have to amend the name on your tax return or otherwise notify them with a written letter.