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How to Change Your LLC Name in Wisconsin

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

Q: I would like to change the name of my Wisconsin LLC. Can you help me?

Thanks to a customer in Wisconsin for this great question. Changing your LLC’s name in Wisconsin mainly involves filing an amendment with Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions. However, you’ll need to jump through a few other hoops before and after the name change takes place. Here are the steps to change the name of your Wisconsin LLC.

1. Make Sure Your New Business Name is Available 

Your new LLC name can’t already be in use by another Wisconsin business. That’s why it makes sense to do a quick online corporate records search with Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions. If there is no record of anyone else using your preferred LLC name, you are good to go. If you aren’t quite ready to change the name, you can always file a Name Reservation Application with Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions. The application costs $15 and will reserve your new LLC name for up to 120 days.

2. Vote on the LLC Name Change

If you have a single-member LLC, you won’t need to hold a formal vote to change your LLC name, though you’ll still want to make note of it in your LLC’s operating agreement. But if there are other members in the LLC, you’ll need to vote on changing your LLC name, following the voting procedure in your operating agreement. Once a name change has been voted on and approved by all members, you’ll all want to sign a member resolution that records the vote for the LLC name change. An LLC member resolution acts as a written account of a member vote that authorizes a specific business action, in this case the LLC’s name change. You’ll also want to make note of the name change in the LLC’s operating agreement.

3. File Articles of Amendment

Your LLC name change is no good if you don’t register it with the state. To officially change the name of your Wisconsin LLC, you’ll need to fill out and submit an Articles of Amendment (Form 504) with Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions. This is the official state document on which you’ll note the new name of your LLC.

How do I file the Articles of Amendment?

You can file online, by mail, or in person.

Online:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Mail Filings:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate and Consumer Services
Corporate Section
PO Box 93348
Milwaukee, WI 53293-0348

In Person Filings:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705

How much does it cost to file an LLC amendment in Wisconsin? 

The filing fee for an LLC amendment is $40. You can get expedited (next business day) processing for an additional $25. Checks and all major credit cards are accepted.

How will I know if the LLC name change has been processed? 

You will receive a confirmation notice of your LLC name change by mail. Online, in person, and mail processing takes about five business days (add extra time for mail to be received). Expedited processing guarantees that your LLC name change will be processed at the close of the next business day (24 hours).

4. Amend LLC Operating Agreement

You’ll want to amend your Wisconsin LLC Operating Agreement to reflect the new LLC name. Your operating agreement is an internal document, which means you can keep it filed with the rest of the business records. It does not need to be filed with the state.

5. Alert Authorities and Others of LLC Name Change

Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions isn’t the only authority who needs to know about your LLC’s name change. Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue will also require notification of any name change. Businesses that change names need to provide the following information:

  • The current name on your LLC’s tax account
  • Your tax account number or FEIN
  • Your LLC’s new legal name
  • The date you want the change to take effect
  • A copy of the Articles of Amendment that you filed with the state

You can fax the above information to (608) 327-0232, email, or mail it to:

Wisconsin Department of Revenue
ATTN: Registration Unit
PO Box 8949
Madison, WI 53708-8949

You’ll also want to alert your vendors, customers, banks, lenders, and even employees of your LLC name change. Updating your website, social media accounts, and your business email address is also a good idea.

Do I need to tell the IRS about my LLC’s name change? 

You definitely do. The IRS has a Business Name Change page that will walk you through alerting them of your LLC’s name change. You’ll need to file paperwork with the IRS to officially complete the name change. The type of form you file with the IRS depends on how your LLC is taxed:

  • 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)
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