How to Change Your Company Name

Company owners often find that they need to know how to change a company name during the course of owning a business. While it is commonplace, it is a serious decision to make. Businesses thrive on branding for distinguishing themselves from competition and establishing themselves as an entity, so take changing the name very seriously.

Research a New Name

Conduct market research to find a new name that adequately identifies your business. Consider the image that you want the business to project and its purpose. If you plan on having a website, go to a domain name service to find out which names are available.

State Department

Check with your local state's attorney or department of state's office to find out if the name you have chosen is available. If not, you will need to choose another name to legally register. Then complete the proper forms with the appropriate state attorney general or the closest Circuit Court Clerk's Office. Arrange to pay any fees that are required.

File with the IRS

Submit the name change information to the IRS. If an EIN has already been assigned, you may send Business Name Change requests to the following address: IRS-Stop 343G, Cincinnati, OH 45999. Check with the IRS to verify that you may do this in your situation. If you are the sole proprietor, partnership or corporation, you will need to sign the IRS notification. If the business is a corporation, an officer needs to sign it. If it's a partnership, both partners must sign the form. Send the notification by mail to the IRS address that was on your last tax return.

Notify Customers

Be sure to notify all of your customers about the business name change. Change and update the company name in any of the other marketing services and directories you use, such as the yellow pages, radio and television. Send out mailers and fliers to customers and business neighbors announcing the new business name.

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