Changing a business name may need to be done if you’re updating products or services, changing to a different format, or for numerous other reasons. Sometimes the change is a big one, but sometimes it’s minor or simply a correction needed to fix the original paperwork. Regardless, it’s going to require filling out the appropriate paperwork and filing it with the state to make the name change official. There are a few steps to this process to be aware of before getting started. 

Choosing the New Name

For Missouri, business owners must follow specific guidelines when naming their business. Corporations must include certain words like “corporation” or “company,” while LLCs must include “limited liability company,” “LLC,” or something similar in the name. 

The name can’t already be used or is too close to one that’s in use. It also can’t be confusing or purposely misleading. However, beyond that, business owners can choose just about any name they want. It is a good idea to check with the state before filling out and filing the paperwork to make sure the name hasn’t already been used, as having to make changes to the paperwork or start over can delay the process. 

Gather Paperwork and Information

It is a good idea to have everything on hand before getting started. To fill out the amendment paperwork, the following is needed.

  • Current Business Name
  • Charter Number
  • Date for Name Change
  • Return Mailing Address
  • Authorized Signatures
  • Filing Fee
  • Information on Voting if it Applies

If the name change is for an LLC, the document to file is the LLC Amendment of Articles of Organization. If the business is a corporation, it’s called the Corporation Amendment of Articles of Incorporation. If the name change is only being done to correct an error on the original paperwork, the form needed is a Statement of Correction Form. 

File the Amendment

With everything in hand, carefully fill out the amendment form. Double-check to make sure everything is correct and ready, then submit this to the Secretary of State. The filing fee should be included when the form is filed. It is possible to file the paperwork in person, by mailing it, or by fax. If it is faxed or mailed, expect the processing to take around four to seven business days once the Secretary of State has received the amendment. If it’s filed in person, processing should only take around one to two business days. 

Publicize the Change

Once the name change is approved, it’s necessary to publicize the change, so everyone involved with the business knows the new name. This way, payments, financial accounts, and more are all updated to the new name to prevent potential complications. Some of the ways to publicize the new name include the following.

EIN and State Taxes

The IRS will need to know about the updated business name. This is necessary to associate the correct name with the EIN for tax purposes.

Business Licenses

If there are any applicable business licenses, they will need to be updated to include the new name. The process for this can vary depending on the type of license and issuer. This should include all federal, state, or local licenses held by the business. 

Financial Accounts

The company bank account and any other financial accounts will need to be updated with the new name. It is important to do this quickly to prevent potential issues with making or receiving payments.

Partners and Vendors

Contracts, invoices, and payments can all be impacted by the name change. Let any business partners or vendors know about the new name for the business. 

Advertising and Marketing

Don’t forget to update advertising materials, so customers know about the change. It may be a good idea to advertise the name change, but at least update any marketing documents, so they include the new name going forward. 

Why Your Missouri Business Needs a Missouri Registered Agent Service

Business owners who need to receive official documents on behalf of their company should turn to Missouri Registered Agent Services. It is often more beneficial for business owners not to serve as registered agents themselves, and MRA offers reliable services tailored specifically towards this purpose. Let us help you with your important paperwork so that you can focus on the immediate needs of running a successful venture!

Contact us today to learn more.