Summary: When it comes to revising the Articles of Organization for your California LLC, the pivotal document that initially established your business within the state, you’ll need to initiate the process by submitting an Amendment to Articles of Organization to the California Secretary of State.
This update requires a $30 filing fee, and you have the flexibility to submit it either by mail, in person, or online.
Our comprehensive and complimentary guide will walk you through all the necessary steps for filing the California Amendment to Articles of Organization, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free process.
Can an LLC Name Be Changed in California?
Certainly, updating your LLC’s name in California is a straightforward and feasible process. Here’s a condensed guide on how to do it:
- Initiating the Change: Begin by submitting a document known as the Certificate of Amendment to the California Secretary of State. This is the formal method for altering your LLC’s name within the state.
- Processing Fee: The state of California charges a nominal fee of $30.00 for this amendment process.
- Post-Approval Actions: Once your new LLC name is officially approved by the state, there are a few critical entities you need to inform. These include:
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS): To ensure that your tax records are accurately maintained.
- The State Tax Department: To update your tax information at the state level.
- Your Business Bank Account: To align your financial records and transactions with the new business name.
- Additional Updates: Beyond these formalities, it’s also important to reflect your new LLC name across various aspects of your business presence. This includes updates to your website, marketing materials, and any other platforms where your business name is displayed.
Throughout this guide, I’ll provide useful tips and insights to help you navigate this process smoothly and effectively.
Over time, we’ve undergone the process of renaming our LLCs, giving us direct insight into the procedure. This experience includes completing and submitting the necessary documents, as well as coordinating with the IRS and various financial institutions.
Summary: 7 Steps to Change an LLC Name in California
To change the name of your LLC in California, here are the key steps you need to follow:
- Verify Availability of the New Name: Make sure the new name for your LLC is not already in use by conducting a search through the California business records.
- Submit the Amendment Form: File the required California Amendment form with the state to officially change your LLC’s name. This process includes a waiting period for approval.
- Inform the California Franchise Tax Board and the Department of Tax: It’s essential to update your business name with this department for state tax purposes.
- Notify the IRS: Update your business name with the Internal Revenue Service to ensure proper tax filings.
- Update Financial Institutions: Inform banks and credit card companies about your LLC’s name change to maintain financial consistency.
- Revise Business Licenses: Amend any business licenses or permits to reflect your new LLC name.
- Update Branding and Accounts: Make sure to change your business name on all branding materials, business accounts, and any other relevant places.
Regarding the cost, changing an LLC name in California requires a filing fee of $30.00 for the Certificate of Amendment form. This fee remains the same whether you file the form online or via mail.
Changing Your LLC’s Name in California
Changing the name of your Limited Liability Company (LLC) in California involves several steps, from ensuring the new name’s availability to updating official records with various entities. This article will guide you through each step, drawing on firsthand experience in the process.
California Secretary of State
Business Programs Division-Business Entities
PO Box 944260
Sacramento, CA 94244-2600
California Secretary of State
1500 11th Street, Room 390
Sacramento, CA 95814
T: (916) 653-6814
Step #1: Check if Your New LLC Name is Available
Before you can rename your LLC, it’s crucial to ensure that the new name you have chosen is not already in use. This involves conducting a thorough search through the California Secretary of State’s business entity database. This search will confirm whether the name you want is unique and adheres to California’s naming guidelines.
Step#2: File the California Amendment Form (and Wait for Approval)
Once you’ve confirmed that your desired name is available, the next step is to officially file for a name change. This is done by submitting the California Amendment form, also known as the Certificate of Amendment, to the Secretary of State. After filing, there will be a waiting period during which your application is reviewed and, hopefully, approved.
Step#3: Update the IRS
After your new LLC name is approved, the next critical step is to inform the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of this change. This ensures that all your tax documents and liabilities are correctly aligned with your new business name. Generally, this involves updating the information associated with your LLC’s Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Step #5: Update your LLC’s Account with the Franchise Tax Board and Department of Tax
Once your newly approved LLC name is in place, the next crucial step is to ensure that your business’s account with the state’s tax authorities is up to date. In California, this process involves making updates with two distinct departments.
To begin with, you must first update your information with the Franchise Tax Board, responsible for overseeing the mandatory registration of businesses. This step is essential to maintain compliance with state regulations.
Additionally, you’ll need to address the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, responsible for handling all aspects of business tax filings. Ensuring both of these departments are informed and updated with your new LLC name is essential to the seamless operation of your business within the state.
Step #6: Update Financial Institutions (Credit Card Companies, Banks)
Financial institutions where your business has accounts must also be informed of your LLC’s new name. This includes banks where your business holds accounts and credit card companies. Updating these institutions is crucial to maintain financial continuity and to ensure that all transactions are processed under your LLC’s new name.
Step #7: Update Business Licenses
Depending on your business type and location, you might need to update or reapply for business licenses and permits under your new LLC name. This is an essential step to ensure that your business operates legally and is in compliance with local and state regulations.
Step# 8: Update Other Places (Branding Materials, Business Accounts, etc.)
Finally, don’t forget to update your new business name in all branding materials and business accounts. This includes your business website, social media profiles, business cards, letterheads, and any marketing materials. Ensuring consistency across all platforms is vital for brand identity and recognition.
How Much Does it Cost?
In California, the filing fee for the Certificate of Amendment form, which is necessary for changing your LLC name, is $30.00. This fee is standard whether you file the form online or by mail.
Changing your LLC’s name in California is a detailed process that requires careful attention to each step. By following this guide, you can ensure a smooth transition to your new business name, maintaining legal and financial integrity throughout the process.
FAQs on Changing Your LLC’s Name in California
1. How do I check if my desired new LLC name is available in California?
- You can check the availability of your new LLC name by searching the California Secretary of State’s business entity database. This online search will help you determine if the name you want is unique and complies with state naming guidelines.
2. What is the filing fee for changing an LLC name in California?
- The filing fee for changing your LLC name in California is $30.00. This fee is required when you submit the Certificate of Amendment form to the Secretary of State, regardless of whether you file online or by mail.
3. How long does it take for an LLC name change to be approved in California?
- The approval time can vary, but generally, it takes a few business days for the California Secretary of State to process and approve your LLC name change application. It’s advisable to check with the Secretary of State for current processing times.
4. Do I need to update my LLC’s name with the IRS after changing it in California?
- Yes, after your LLC name change is approved by the state, you should update the IRS with your new business name. This update is crucial for maintaining accurate tax records and should be done promptly.
5. Are there other entities I need to notify about my LLC’s name change?
- Beyond the IRS, you should notify the California Department of Finance and Administration, your financial institutions (like banks and credit card companies), and update any business licenses and permits. Additionally, it’s important to update your branding materials and business accounts to reflect the new name.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org