Change LLC Name in California

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Can I change the name of my LLC in California?

Absolutely! You can easily change your California LLC name.

The first step is to file a form called the Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State and wait for it to be approved. This is how you officially change your LLC name in California.

The filing fee for an Amendment to Articles of Organization in California is $30.

After the state approves your LLC name change, you should then notify the following 3 places:

  • the IRS
  • state tax department
  • your business bank account

And finally, you can update your LLC name in other places like your website and marketing materials.

This page will guide you through the process and include helpful tips along the way.

Note: We’ve changed the names of our own LLCs over the years. So we have first-hand experience with filing the paperwork as well as dealing with the IRS and financial institutions.

What are the steps for changing an LLC name in California?

  1. Check if your new LLC name is available
  2. File the Amendment form (and wait for approval)
  3. Update the IRS
  4. Update the Franchise Tax Board and California Department of Tax and Fee Administration
  5. Update financial institutions (credit card companies, banks)
  6. Update business licenses
  7. Update other places (branding materials, business accounts, etc.)

How much does it cost to change an LLC name in California?

It costs $30 to change your LLC name in California. This is the filing fee for the Amendment to Articles of Organization form.

The fee is the same whether you file the form online or by mail.

If you want a Certified Copy of the Amendment, it costs $5 extra. A Certified Copy is not necessary, but some people like to have the official state seal on their documents.

How do I change my California LLC name?

In order to change your LLC name, you must file an Amendment to Articles of Organization with the California Secretary of State. This officially updates your legal entity (your Limited Liability Company) on the state records.

The California Secretary of State is responsible for LLC formation and administration, including name changes.

We provide step-by-step instructions on how to file the Amendment to Articles of Organization online. (Technically, you can also file by mail. However, it’s slower and the state prefers online filings.)

Note: This is the process to change your LLC’s legal name. The process for changing a fictitious business name or amending a fictitious business name statement is different.

Can I change my LLC name myself?

You can file the Amendment to Articles of Organization yourself or you can hire a company to do this for you.

Because the Amendment filing in California can be confusing and time consuming, many people choose to hire a company for help.

Need to save time? We recommend hiring MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) to file your LLC name change.

Step 1: Make sure your new California LLC name is available

Before filing your amendment form (the Amendment to Articles of Organization), you should check that your new LLC name is available in California.

This is important because two businesses in the state can’t have the same name, or be too similar. This is called LLC name distinguishability.

If you file an amendment for a name that’s already taken, the state will reject your filing. And if that happens, you’ll need to re-file with a different name.

To avoid that, look up your desired California LLC name ahead of time using the state’s business entity search.

Check name availability: Our California LLC Name page has information about how to use the business entity search tool. It also explains details about name rules in California.

Step 2: File the California LLC name change form

The California LLC name change form is called the Amendment of Articles of Organization of a California Limited Liability Company. (You might also see it called the California LLC Certificate of Amendment.)

It’s called this because you’re amending your California LLC Articles of Organization.

How to file an Amendment of Articles of Organization in California

First, go to the bizFile Online website.

Login, or create an account if you don’t have one.

Find your LLC

After logging in, click the Search tab. Enter the first few words of your LLC’s current name in the box and search.

Click on your LLC’s name in the results. When the business details appear on the right side of the screen, click File Amendment.

In the popup that appears, click the first option: Amendment of Articles of Organization – CA LLC.

Privacy Warning/Terms and Conditions of Use

This page contains required warnings about public record information, and the terms of using the California business online filing system.

Scroll to the bottom and click the box to agree.

Click Next Step to continue.

Submitter Information

This page is optional. You can just click Next Step to continue.

Or, you can enter your name, email address and/or phone number.
If you enter contact information here, the ​​Secretary of State will use it to contact you with questions about the filing. The information won’t go on public record.

Limited Liability Company Information

There’s nothing to do on this page.

It’s simply confirming the LLC you’re filing the Amendment for so you don’t mistakenly file for the wrong company.

Click Next Step to continue.

Amendment Details

Note: Our instructions only explain how to file a Name Change Amendment. You can make other changes using this business filings system, but we keep it simple by focusing on the name change process.

Limited Liability Company Name

Are you amending the LLC name?
Click Yes.

A previously filed reserved name will be used for this filing:
Most people click No. (Because most people don’t reserve a name ahead of time. You don’t have to reserve a name in California.)

If you did reserve a name, click Yes and enter the name reservation number.

New Limited Liability Company Name
Enter your new proposed LLC name, including the designator (ending). Then enter it again to confirm.

Management Structure

Are you changing your management structure?
If you’re only changing the name of your LLC, click No.

Click Next Step to continue.

File Date

Select a filing date option:
Most people select Current Date, so their name change is effective as soon as it’s approved by the Secretary of State.

You can also choose to date your filing up to 90 days in the future.

Click Next Step to continue.

Additional Attachment(s)

You don’t need to do anything on this page. There are no required attachments for an LLC name change filing in California.

Simply click Next Step to continue.

Review and Signature

Review the information you entered. Go back to make any changes, if needed.

Electronic Signature

Select whether you will have One Signature or Multiple Signatures on this filing.

Most people just select One Signature. Even if your LLC has multiple Members or multiple Managers, you don’t need to have everyone sign this filing. Only one authorized signature is required.

Click the box to agree to the terms.
Then click Add to add your signature information.

Type your name in the Manager/Member Signature field, and enter the date.

Click Save to close the popup.

Click Next Step to continue.

Processing Fee Information

This page describes the fees you’ll pay to file the Amendment.

You can add other services here as well.

If you want a Certified Copy, it costs $5 extra.

Tip: You don’t need to do this. The approved Amendment filing is all you’ll need to update your LLC name at the bank and other businesses. But some people like to have the extra “official” looking version with the state seal.

You can expedite your filing if you want the name change approved faster. If you don’t want to expedite the filing, just click Standard.

California’s expedited fees are pretty expensive, and their filing times are usually pretty reasonable (1-2 weeks) so most people don’t expedite their filings.

Click Next Step to continue.

File Online

After you click File Online on this page, you’ll be taken to the payment processing page. Enter your billing information and credit card information to submit your filing to the state.

Wait for approval

After submitting your Amendment to Articles of Organization to the state, please wait for approval.

Approval times vary, but on average, it takes 8 business days for an LLC name change in California to be approved.

When you file online, you’ll receive your name change approval by email. And you can view the approved document and download it via the bizfile Online Business Entity Search.

Reminder: Changing your LLC name with the Secretary of State still leaves your old LLC name in place everywhere else. Essentially, you’ve only changed your LLC name with one part of the state government, and you need to update it everywhere else.

Step 3: Change your California LLC name with the IRS

After your new LLC name is approved, the next step is to update your California LLC name with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This updates the name connected to your LLC’s EIN number.

We have step-by-step instructions here:
How to change LLC name with IRS

Step 4: Update your LLC’s Account with the Franchise Tax Board and Department of Tax

After your new LLC name is approved, you need to update your business’s account with the state’s tax department.

In California there are two different departments to update with your new LLC name.

First, you’ll need to update the Franchise Tax Board, which handles mandatory registration of businesses.

Then, you’ll also need to update the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, which handles business tax filings.

Typically, a business owner can update their LLC name in one of three ways:

  • online
  • by mail
  • by phone

But it differs from state to state, so we recommend you call the Franchise Tax Board and Department of Tax and Fee Administration. You can ask about the process to update your business name.

Step 5: Update financial institutions with your new LLC name

Besides updating your California LLC name with the IRS and Department of Revenue business tax department, you’ll also want to contact the following places and let them know about the name change.

Financial institutions:

Matt Horwitz, founder of LLC University®
Pro Tip: You don’t have to rush to update these the same day or even the same week. Your existing checks and credit cards will still work, but it’s important to eventually get everything updated to your new LLC name.

Step 6: Update or Get a New Business License

If you have a state business license or a local business permit, you’ll need to change the name on that license.

Sometimes that means applying for a new license and canceling the old one. Or sometimes you can just change the name on your existing license.

California doesn’t have a general state business license requirement. But your LLC might have an industry- or occupation-specific license.

If that’s the case, contact your state licensing agency or licensing board for information on how to update the state business license: California State Professional Licensure Guide.

And contact your local government (like a city clerk or county clerk) for the process to update any local business permits. You can find your county clerk on the California State Association of Counties website, and you’ll need to look up your town or city, too.

Step 7: Update marketing materials and other places with your new LLC name

Tip: We recommend making a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. Enter the place you are changing your LLC name, their contact information, and maybe a notes section. Here’s an LLC name change checklist that you can use: Google Docs | Excel

Below are some examples of places to update with your new LLC name.

Branding and online presence:

  • online stores (like eBay, Shopify, Amazon)
  • website, domain registrar, hosting company
  • letterhead, logos, invoices, contracts, and important documents
  • social media accounts

Professional services:

Other government agencies:

  • local tax office (ex: city, county, township)
  • business licenses and permits
  • sales tax permit
  • utility companies
  • Department of Labor (if you have employees)

Stay calm: Don’t stress out thinking you have to change your LLC name everywhere right away. That’s not the case. Take your time and do the important ones first. Give yourself a few days or a few weeks to get them all done. Technically, your old business name will still work for quite some time.

Update your California LLC Operating Agreement

It’s a good idea to update the name on your LLC’s Operating Agreement. Don’t worry, this is a simple process. You can either:

  • You can make a new version of the Operating Agreement you already have. Update the document with your new LLC name, and have the LLC Member(s) sign.
  • Or, you can use our free template on California LLC Operating Agreement to create a new Operating Agreement with the new LLC name.

Tip: This is a good opportunity to review the other sections in your Operating Agreement and make any needed updates there, too. Have the LLC Member(s) sign, and distribute copies like you did with your initial LLC Operating Agreement.

Change LLC Name in California FAQs

How much does an LLC name change cost in California?

An LLC name change in California costs $30.

This is the filing fee for the Amendment of Articles of Organization, the official form used to change your California LLC name.

If you’d like to learn about all the California LLC costs, please see California LLC Costs.

Can I file my California LLC name change by mail?

Yes, you can file the Amendment to Articles of Organization by mail to change your California LLC name.

Download and complete the Amendment of Articles of Organization form and mail to the Secretary of State.

How many times can I change my California LLC name?

You can change the name of your California LLC as many times as you want. The state doesn’t care, as long as you pay the filing fee.

You’re allowed to change the name of your Limited Liability Company for any reason. The Amendment form doesn’t ask you why you want to change the name. No California law limits when you can file an Amendment to change the name of a company.

Who can change the California LLC name?

Generally speaking, the LLC Members (owners) can change the LLC’s name.

So, as long as all the LLC Members agree, you can go ahead and file the Amendment.

Technically, the LLC Members should vote to agree on the new name. However, a vote can be something informal, like an email or phone call.

Do I need a new EIN if I change the name of my California LLC?

No, you don’t need a new EIN number.

Getting a new EIN Number will actually cause confusion at the IRS, and that can create issues for your business.

So don’t get a new EIN number for your LLC.

Instead, you will simply change your California LLC name with the IRS (see above for instructions).

Do I need a lawyer to change the California LLC legal name?

No, you don’t need to hire a lawyer. You can file the Amendment to Articles of Organization yourself or you can hire a company to do it for you.

If you want to hire a company, we recommend MyCompanyWorks.

Need to save time? We recommend hiring MyCompanyWorks ($99 + state fee) to file your LLC name change.

How do I change my LLC name in another state?

You can change an LLC name in any state. Click the link below to learn how to change your LLC’s name in that state.

 
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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