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Is your company name outdated, or does it no longer reflect the nature of your business?
You are allowed to officially change your company name. Often, people think it will be costly and time-consuming to change a company name, or that a new company must be filed with the new name.
This is not true; your company name can be officially changed, quickly and easily.
In some cases, the original name may have been too specific, such as Bob's Deck & Patio LLC, created before Bob began doing more general contracting and home building. In other cases, a company may be re-branding and want the centerpiece to be the new name.
|Original Name||Re-branded Name|
|Quantum Computer Services||AOL|
|Jerry’s Guide to the Worldwide
|Blue Ribbon Sports||Nike|
|Minnesota Mining and
|Peter’s Super Submarines||SUBWAY|
|Sound of Music||Best Buy|
|Matsushita Electric Corporation
|Computing Tabulating Recording
Instead of filing a new company, you can simply call us. We can prepare and file a Delaware Certificate of Amendment to the Certificate of Formation (for LLCs) or Certificate of Incorporation (for corporations) with the Delaware Secretary of State’s office.
This filing officially changes the name, either immediately or on an effective date, whichever option is selected by the client.
Filing a name amendment, as opposed to filing a new company, will allow you to maintain the history that is connected to your original filing. Assets don’t change hands, liabilities remain the same, all contracts remain in force and all accounting and tax records remain the same.
The name changes but everything else remains intact. This saves you the hassle of opening a new bank account, obtaining a new EIN and creating entirely new internal documents. The formation date of the company remains the date of the original formation, which is an important consideration for many entrepreneurs.
The first step in the name change process is choosing the name. This can be a tough decision. For assistance in picking out the right name for your company, read What to Consider When Naming a Company.
To make sure your company name is available in Delaware, take advantage of our free corporation search.
After the name has been selected, a Certificate of Amendment will have to be prepared; it must be signed by an authorized officer of the company.
Next, the Certificate of Amendment needs to be filed with the state, and the name will officially change as of the date and time the document is filed, or at some specified date known as the "effective date," after the file date.
Company names cannot be effective before the filing date of the name amendment. The state of Delaware typically takes three to five business days to return certified copies of the filing documents. We can file your Certificate with the state of Delaware, relieving you of the hassle and paperwork.
Once the amendment is filed, you should make sure everyone--your clients, your bank, et al.--is aware of the new name for the company.
The easy way to inform everyone is to make a list and inform everyone on the list of your new company name. Be sure to include:
Some of the bureaucracies involved may have a form to fill out, and they may ask you to return the form with a copy of the approved Certificate of Amendment.
The IRS allows this change to be made rather easily. Simply send a letter to the IRS stating the new name of the company, the old name, your EIN (Employer ID Number) and the signature of a corporate officer.
Wait, there’s more!
Traditionally, you’ll want the registered name to match in all states where you do business, which may include some states where you are registered as a foreign entity. Once the name is amended and approved in Delaware (or whatever your company's home state may be), you can file to change the name on your foreign registration with the Secretary of State in other states.
We can assist you in understanding what needs to be done and checking the name to make sure it’s also available in each applicable state.
Finally, go forward and prosper with the new company name that properly reflects the business you have worked so hard to build!
Photo Credit: By Eviatar Bach (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.
There are 7 comments left for Change Your Company Name: Certificate of Amendmentjanet otero said: Saturday, January 27, 2018
Need to correct name and complete corporation bookHBS Staff replied: Monday, January 29, 2018
Feel free to call us or Live Chat with us from our homepage in order to do a name change amendment. 1-800-345-2677.Dennis R.White said: Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Fee please for name change......thank you!HBS Staff replied: Thursday, June 1, 2017
$450 includes the state of Delaware fee, document preparation and approval from Delaware in 3-5 business days.
Feel free to contact us for assistance at 1-800-345-2677.
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