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How to Change Your LLC Name in Washington

Man on ladder hanging sign on brown building with red and white roof and window with sign saying "New Name Same Great Service."

The name of a Washington limited liability company is not set in stone. If you need to change your LLC’s name, you can do it by filing an amendment to its Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. Making the actual change is fairly straightforward, but the process doesn’t stop there, as you’ll still need to update internal documents and notify other authorities of the modification, among other things. We’ll walk you through it all in our guide to Washington LLC name changes.

Check Washington LLC Name Availability

You may eventually decide your Washington LLC’s name needs to go. Its original name could be tied to a former owner no longer involved with the business, reflect a once-trendy fad, focus on an aspect of the business you no longer pursue, or you might want to change it for other reasons. No matter why you need to change the name, you’ll need to file an amendment to make it happen—but before you do that, you’ll first need to make sure the new name you want is even available.

Under Revised Code Washington (RCW) § 23.95.300, a business name must be distinguishable from any other active entity formed in the state (or any out-of-state entity doing business in Washington). So, prior to starting name change paperwork, it’s important to look up your desired business name in the Washington Business Search directory first. If it’s unclaimed (and there are no other names similar enough to potentially confuse consumers), you’re free to move on with filing your amendment.

Do I need to reserve a Washington LLC name?

Name reservations aren’t required when changing your LLC name in Washington, and with the speed of filing a change online, you’ll almost never be beat to the punch on a name you have confirmed is available.

However, if you prefer to file by mail or in person, or for some other reason unable to file a name change quickly, you can file a Name Reservation form. This allows you to list three names to reserve in order of preference. It costs $30 to file, or $80 for expedited service within three days of receipt.

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Filing a Washington LLC Amendment

The next thing you’ll need to do is file an Amended Certificate of Formation for your company with the Secretary of State’s Corporations & Charities Division. The amended certificate is a document notifying the the state that your LLC name is changing, and updates the Certificate of Formation that was originally filed when the company was formed.

What information do I need on my amendment form?

You can update a lot of information about your LLC with an amendment form, but if all you want to do is change its name, you’ll just need the following:

  • The LLC’s Washington Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number
  • Current name of the LLC
  • New business name
  • If the name was reserved, reservation number and reserved name
  • Effective date of the change (maximum of 90 days after filing)
  • The date and signature of an authorized person

How do I file the LLC amendment?

You can file your Amended Certificate of Formation online through the Washington Corporations & Charities Filing System portal, or by mail or in person with a printable paper form.

Mailing address:
Corporations & Charities Division
PO Box 40234
Olympia, WA 98504-0234

In-person or overnight address:
Corporations & Charities Division
801 Capitol Way S
Olympia, WA 98501-1226

How much does filing the amendment cost?

LLC amendments are $30. Mailed or in-person filings can be expedited for an additional $50.

After Your Washington LLC Name Change

Once the Secretary of State’s office processes the amendment, your LLC’s new name is official. But there are still a few things you’ll need to do afterward: updating other documents, notifying the IRS and other authorities, and changing your branding.

Updating your LLC paperwork

You’ll need to update your LLC’s internal documents to reflect the new name. In particular, this will mean updating the LLC’s operating agreement, but you’ll also need to change the name on things like time cards, invoices, and handbooks.

Notifying other authorities

Other than the Washington Secretary of State, you’ll need to contact a number other institutions about the your LLC name change.

Do I need a new EIN if I change my LLC’s name?

It is sometimes thought that the IRS needs to issue your LLC a new Employment Identification Number (EIN) after a name change, but that is just a common misconception. Simply changing your LLC’s name is not cause for a new EIN.

Changing your LLC’s branding

Lastly, any of your company’s branded material will need to be updated to reflect the LLC’s change of name. This will include updating your website, social media accounts, signage, business cards and stationery, along with anything else you can think of that ties your new LLC name to the old one.

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