Q: How do I change the name of my LLC?
Thank you to a customer from California for that great question! If you want to change your LLC name in California, you’ll need to file a California Certificate of Amendment with the Secretary of State and contact the IRS. You’ll also need to update your business name wherever you use it, including on your business license, website, and social media. We’ll take you step-by-step through the process.
1. Choose a new business name
Every California LLC name must follow the state’s naming laws. Per CA Corp Code § 17701.08, an LLC name must not:
- Be too similar to another California business name. (Use the California Business Search to make sure your name isn’t taken.)
- Use words reserved for financial institutions or insurance companies, such as “bank,” “insurer,” “trust,” etc.
- Contain the words “corporation,” “incorporated,” or any abbreviation of those words.
Additionally, your name must contain the words “limited liability company” or an abbreviation, such as “LLC.”
For more information, read What to Know When Naming Your CA LLC.
2. File a California LLC Certificate of Amendment
To officially change your business name, file a California Certificate of Amendment with the Secretary of State:
- If only changing your business name, use this form—Certificate of Amendment (Name Change Only).
- If changing your business name and your management structure, use the standard Certificate of Amendment form.
Learn more about How to file a California LLC Amendment.
How do I file a California Certificate of Amendment?
You can file the Certificate of Amendment online, by mail, or in person.
Online: bizfile Online
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Limited Liability Company Filings
P.O. Box 944260
Sacramento, CA 94244–2600
How much does it cost to file the California Certificate of Amendment?
The filing fee for the Certificate of Amendment is $30. If filing in person, there is an additional $15 handling fee.
How long will California take to process my Certificate of Amendment?
The California Secretary of State’s office typically processes online filings within 5 business days. However, the state can take as long as a month to process paper filings. To find out California’s current processing time, visit the California Secretary of State website.
If you’re in a hurry, there are expedited options available for online filers:
- 24 hours—$350
- Same day—$750
3. Contact the IRS
Once your new business name is official, you must inform the IRS. How you contact the IRS about your new name depends on how your business is taxed and whether you have already filed your tax return for the year. If your business is taxed as a…
- Sole proprietorship, or if your business has already filed its taxes for the year, write to the IRS at the address where you filed your tax return, informing them of your name change. This notification must be signed by someone authorized by your LLC.
- Partnership, use Form 1065 (Page 1, Line G, Box 3).
- S-corp, use Form 1120-S (Page 1, Line E, Box 3).
- C-corp, use Form 1120 (Page 1, Line H, Box 2).
4. Update your business name wherever you use it
Finally, you should update your business name everywhere else you use it, including:
- business licenses and permits
- business documents like your California operating agreement
- marketing materials, such as your website, social media, business cards, etc.