How to Change Your Business Name in the US
Changing a business name comes with many considerations. There can be many reasons for a name change including corporate branding or that the name no longer fits. From a marketing standpoint, rebranding can create increased sales for a business.
A business name change can be a marketing tool. Surveying customers about a name change can assist in the process. This can be a fun and collaborative manner that connects the customer to the business.
A contest for the most innovative name can increase marketing and sales. It is also possible that the business may find that their customers like the original name.
Once it’s determined that a name change is necessary, some steps need completing.
Do the Homework
Check the name isn’t registered to another business with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Use an accredited registrar to research whether the domain name is available. For-Profit businesses will use .com, while a Non-Profit would use .org. Make sure the domain name is available with the state secretaries website.
Notify the State
Once done, notify your state of the business name change. The government charges a fee for a business to change its name, www.USA.gov will have information for each state.
Permits and Licenses
Update all permits and licenses with each government office. Complete paperwork online and submitted with any necessary fees.
Visit the IRS’s website for the requirements. It can be as simple as updating during the next tax season, or a more detailed process. You will want to check if your business needs a new EIN (Employee Identification Number). Follow whatever steps are necessary to complete this step.
Update Across the Board
Update all business material with the new name and web address. Be sure to contact the website administrator to redirect from your old website to the new one.
Notify the customers of the name change as soon as possible. This limits confusion and the potential loss of customers during this transition. The most important aspect of a business’s success shouldn’t be the last to know. Keep the customer informed of the new business name to show appreciation.
When to Change Your Business Name in the US
The best time to change your business name is if entering a new market or changing products. This allows for alignment with the new market or products they are selling.
It is also good to change a business name when there is confusion between one business and another. These similarities in logo, acronym, and name can confuse customers and decrease sales.
How to Change a Business Name on Facebook
Changing a business name on Facebook isn't easy with its strict guidelines. Contact Facebook for a name change request. This can take many tries since Facebook has a habit of rejection. With persistence, Facebook allows the name change. Before you start, check if your desired Facebook Page name is available. Also good to identify alternatives.
Creating a new page for the new business name is easier depending on how many followers a business has. Asking followers to redirect to the new business page can affect business success.
How to Change a Business Name with the IRS
If a corporation or LLC is changing its name and it’s tax time, change the name at the same time.
The rest of the year filing a Certificate of Amendment form will make the change. Usually, the business will keep the same EIN, but the name associated with that number will change.
The IRS website has further information for a business name change.
Changing a business name happens for a variety of reasons. It can be a detailed and lengthy process that is sometimes confusing. Keeping everyone involved ensures a successful transition.
At the end of the day, was a name change necessary? Only the key players in a business can answer this question. What is important to the customer is the products, services, and customer care, not the name.