How to Change Your California Business Name

Embracing change can breathe new life into your business, and a simple switch like adopting a new name can provide the fresh start your company needs.

Updated on
Jan 24, 2024
min read
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How to Secure a New Business Name

Changing your business name in California may not be the most arduous task, but it does require thoughtful planning and preparation.

  1. Select a New Business Name: Adhere to the naming guidelines pertinent to your California business entity. These guidelines mirror those used when originally naming your LLC. Typically, the name must include some form of "LLC" and should not be in current use or misleading.
  2. For California corporations, similar requirements apply. The business name usually needs to incorporate terms like "Corporation," "Incorporated," or "Limited," often placed at the name's end. These suffixes can also be abbreviated. Ensure compliance with your corporation bylaws or LLC operating agreement to obtain approval from shareholders or members.
  3. Once you've settled on a new name, utilize our Business Name Checker to confirm its availability.
  4. Compile Information for Amendment Filing: Your new name is just one component of the information required for your amendment submission. When filing a Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation (for corporations) or an Amendment to the Articles of Organization (for LLCs) to change your business's name in California, you'll typically need the following information:
  5. The current business name
  6. The business's state-issued entity number
  7. The new business name
  8. Board of directors' approval statement
  9. Filing fee payment
  10. Share-related details (if applicable)
  11. Signatures from appropriate shareholders or members
  12. Gather this data and cross-check it against your existing formation documents to ensure accuracy, as forms may be rejected due to inconsistencies or missing information.
  13. File Your California Amendment: Submit the correct form to the California Secretary of State. You can complete and submit all forms online, opt for e-filing, or send them via mail. It's worth noting that online filing is the fastest method, while mail submissions may take several months to process.

After Changing Your Business Name

Once your new business name is official, you'll be responsible for updating various other documents and legal aspects of your business:

  • California Statement of Information: This report must be filed every two years.
  • City Business Registration Certificate: Many cities mandate a business registration certificate that must accurately reflect your business's name.
  • Fictitious Business Name Statement: If you operate under an alternative name, you'll need to update your fictitious business name with the county and ensure it's published.
  • California Employment Development Office: If you have employees, update your business name with this office.
  • Seller's Permit: Notify the California Board of Equalization about the name change if you hold a seller's permit.
  • Business Licenses: Ensure that federal, state, and local business licenses or permits are updated.
  • IRS: Notify the IRS of your new name.
  • Bank Accounts: Update your company's bank accounts with the new legal name.

It's also crucial to inform vendors and business partners of the name change.

Let Us Simplify the Process

Change can be challenging but rewarding. Now that you've learned how to change your business name in California, you must decide whether to handle it independently or let us handle your amendments. With the myriad tasks involved in running a business, we aim to reduce distractions and make your business operations smoother. Our Amendment Filing Service is designed to assist you in efficiently changing your business name with the state.

If you haven't formed an LLC or corporation yet, explore our California LLC and California Corporation Formation Services. Additionally, consider our Worry-Free Compliance Service to relieve administrative burdens. While we don't dictate how you run your business, we're here to facilitate its operations.

‍Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. Seek the counsel of a licensed professional for specific questions related to these topics.

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