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How Do I Change My Business Name?


Question: How Do I Change My Business Name?

Changing your name is an expensive process. Here are some things you will have to change, all of which cost lots of money:

  • Stationery
  • Business cards
  • Brochures, catalogs and other company literature
  • Advertisements and promotional materials
  • Interior and exterior signs
  • Your web site
  • And lots more.
Most important, there are some legal and regulatory notifications you must make if you change your business name.

How you make changes to your business name depends on the type of legal structure of your business and how your business files its income tax returns. For all business types except a sole proprietorship, you should first notify your state, according to the procedure set out by the secretary of state.

Notify the Internal Revenue Service
How to notify the IRS:

  • If you are a sole proprietorship, write the IRS and let them know of your name change. Use the address where you mailed your tax return (your 1040).

  • If you own a corporation, (including an s corporation) you can change your name when you file your tax return (on Form 1120), or you can write to the IRS at the address where you mailed your tax return. Also be sure to notify the secretary of state for your state about your corporation's name change. A corporation officer must sign the notice.

  • If your business is a partnership, notify the IRS about the name change when you file your partnership information return on Form 1065, or you can write to the IRS, including a notification form signed by a partner.

  • If your business is a limited liability company (LLC), follow the sole proprietorship process above if you are a single-member LLC and the partnership process above if you are a multiple-member LLC.
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