Can I change the name of my LLC in Washington state?
Absolutely! You can easily change your Washington LLC name.
The first step is to file a form called the Amended Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State and wait for it to be approved. This is how you officially change your LLC name in Washington.
The filing fee for an Amended Certificate of Formation in Washington 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 Washington?
- Check if your new LLC name is available
- File the Amendment form (and wait for approval)
- Update the IRS
- Update the Washington State Department of Revenue
- Update financial institutions (credit card companies, banks)
- Get a new business license
- Update other places (branding materials, business accounts, etc.)
How much does it cost to change an LLC name in Washington?
It costs $30 to change your LLC name in Washington state. This is the filing fee for the Amended Certificate of Formation form.
The fee is the same whether you file the form online or by mail.
And it costs $90 to get a new Washington State Business License for your new LLC name. You may also need a new business license from your city or town.
How do I change my Washington LLC name?
In order to change your LLC name, you must file an Amended Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State. This officially updates your legal entity (your Limited Liability Company) on the state records.
Note: The Washington Secretary of State is responsible for LLC formation and administration, including name changes.
We provide step-by-step instructions on how to file the Amended Certificate of Formation online. (Technically, you can also file by mail. However, it’s slower and the state prefers online filings.)
Can I change my LLC name myself?
You can file the Amended Certificate of Formation yourself or you can hire a company to do this for you.
Because the Amendment filing in Washington can be confusing and time consuming, many people choose to hire a company for help.
Step 1: Make sure your new Washington LLC name is available
Before filing your Washington amendment form (the Amended Certificate of Formation), you should check that your new LLC name is available in Washington.
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 Washington LLC name ahead of time using the state’s business entity search.
Check name availability: Our Washington LLC Name page has information about how to use the business entity search tool. It also explains details about name rules in Washington.
Step 2: File the Washington LLC name change form
The Washington LLC name change form is called the Amended Certificate of Formation.
(It’s called this because you’re amending your Washington Certificate of Formation.)
How to file an Amended Certificate of Formation in Washington
Go to the Corporations Online Filing System.
Login, or create an account if you don’t have one.
Under the heading Business Maintenance Filings, click Business Amendment.
First, you’ll look up your LLC’s business record. Click the button to choose search by Business Name. Enter the first word or two of your LLC’s name in the box and click Search Business.
Find your LLC in the search results. Click the button on the left to select your LLC. Click Continue to proceed.
There’s nothing to do in this section. It simply displays your LLC’s current business record information.
Do you have a prepared amendment to upload?
Most people select No.
This upload is optional. You don’t have to upload any documents to file an LLC name change in Washington.
But if you (or your business attorney) have prepared a formal Amendment document, you can upload it here.
Are you changing your business type?
If you’re only changing your LLC’s name, click No.
It’s very uncommon to change your LLC’s type.
Are you changing your business’s name?
Most people click “I do not have a Business Name reserved“.
You don’t have to reserve your name ahead of time in Washington.
If you did reserve a name, you can click the first option, “I already have a Business Name reserved” and enter the reservation information.
Submit a name for review
If you didn’t reserve a name, enter the desired new LLC name here. Make sure to include an allowable designator (ending).
In Washington, you can use these designators:
- LLC (most common)
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
Click Look Up to check your new LLC name’s availability.
The system will show you any business names that are similar to the one you entered. Your new name should say “Available” next to it. That means your new name is distinguishable (not the same or too similar to other names already in use).
If you’re only changing your LLC’s name, click No.
If you need to change your Registered Agent, click Yes and update the information.
It’s very unusual to change your LLC’s duration. Most LLCs have a perpetual duration, meaning they exist forever until you choose to shut down the company.
Choose Date of Filing or Specify a Date.
If you choose “Date of Filing” your LLC name change will be effective when it’s approved by the Secretary of State.
If you want your LLC name change to go into effect on a specific date, choose “Specify a Date”. Then enter a date up to 90 days in the future.
If you’re only changing your LLC’s name, you can skip this section.
If you need to change your LLC’s address and contact information, you can update it here.
Return Address for this Filing
Enter an email address and/or mailing address.
This is how the Secretary of State will return your approved Amendment filing.
Upload Additional Documents
You don’t have to upload any documents to file the LLC name change in Washington.
Check this box if you’d like to have all communications from the Washington Secretary of State come by email instead of mail.
Authorized Person (Signature)
Click the box stating that you’re an authorized person (that you’re authorized to file on the LLC’s behalf).
Enter your Name to electronically sign the filing.
Enter your Title:
- If you’re an LLC Member (owner), enter Member
- If you’re an LLC Manager and the LLC is Manager-managed, enter Manager
- If you’re not a Member (owner) or Manager, but have been authorized to file on the LLC’s behalf, enter Authorized Agent
Click the box to agree to the terms.
Then click Continue to proceed.
Business Amendment Review
Check the information you’ve entered for typos or other issues. Click Back to make any changes, if needed.
Once everything looks good, click Add to Cart to proceed.
Select the Amended Certificate of Formation filing and click Check Out.
Enter your billing information and credit card details. Then submit your payment to the state.
Wait for approval from the Secretary of State
After submitting your completed Amended Certificate of Formation to the state, please wait for approval.
Approval times vary, but on average, it takes 12-14 business days for your Washington business name change to be approved. (You can request expedited service, but there is an extra fee on top of the amendment cost.)
When you file online, you’ll receive your name change approval by email.
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 Washington LLC name with the IRS
After your new LLC name is approved, the next step is to update your Washington state 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 Washington Department of Revenue
After your new LLC name is approved, you need to update your business’s account with the state’s tax department (the Department of Revenue).
Note: In most states, it’s called the Department of Revenue or Department of Taxation. In Washington it’s called the Washington State Department of Revenue, and this is who you’ll update with your new LLC name.
Typically, you can update your LLC name in one of three ways:
- by mail
- by phone
But it differs from state to state, so we recommend you call the Department of Revenue. You can ask about the process to update your business name.
Step 5: Update financial institutions with your new LLC name
Besides updating your Washington LLC name with the IRS and Washington State Department of Revenue business tax department, you’ll also want to contact the following places and let them know about the name change.
- LLC business bank account
- business checks
- business debit card
- business credit cards
- Paypal or other online banking solutions
- business loans or lines of credit
- brokerage accounts
- bookkeeping software, like Quickbooks
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: Get a New Business License
Every LLC in Washington state must have an Washington LLC Business License. So after changing your LLC’s name, you must update that state Business License. This license is administered by the Department of Revenue.
And if your LLC also has an occupation- or industry-specific license or a local business permit, you’ll need to change the name on that license too. Your business activities determine what license you need.
New Washington Business License
You must obtain a new Washington LLC Business License for the new business name. (You can’t just update an existing license if the name of the business has changed.)
How to get a new Washington Business License
Go to the Department of Revenue and follow the steps to apply for a new business license. Make sure to add any required professional licenses (called “Specialty Endorsements” in Washington) to your business license application.
The base fee for a new Washington State Business License is $90.
Update Local Permits
You’ll need to contact your local government (the county, city or town clerk) for the process to update any local business permits.
Step 7: Update marketing materials and other places with your new LLC name
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
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 Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington FAQs
How much does an LLC name change cost in Washington?
An LLC name change in Washington costs $30.
This is the filing fee for the Amended Certificate of Formation, the official form used to change your Washington LLC name.
If you’d like to learn about all the Washington LLC costs, please see Washington LLC Costs.
Can I file my Washington LLC name change by mail?
Yes, you can file the Amended Certificate of Formation by mail to change your Washington LLC name.
Download and complete the Amended Certificate of Formation form and mail to the Secretary of State.
How many times can I change my Washington LLC name?
You can change the name of your Washington 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 Washington law limits when you can file an Amendment to change the name of a company.
Who can change the Washington 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 Washington 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 Washington LLC name with the IRS (see above for instructions).
Do I need a lawyer to change the Washington LLC legal name?
No, you don’t need to hire a lawyer. You can file the Amended Certificate of Formation yourself or you can hire a company to do it for you.
If you want to hire a company, we recommend MyCompanyWorks.
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.
Alabama LLC Name Change
Alaska LLC Name Change
Arizona LLC Name Change
Arkansas LLC Name Change
California LLC Name Change
Colorado LLC Name Change
Connecticut LLC Name Change
Delaware LLC Name Change
DC LLC Name Change
Florida LLC Name Change
Georgia LLC Name Change
Hawaii LLC Name Change
Idaho LLC Name Change
Illinois LLC Name Change
Indiana LLC Name Change
Iowa LLC Name Change
Kansas LLC Name Change
Kentucky LLC Name Change
Louisiana LLC Name Change
Maine LLC Name Change
Maryland LLC Name Change
Massachusetts LLC Name Change
Michigan LLC Name Change
Minnesota LLC Name Change
Mississippi LLC Name Change
Missouri LLC Name Change
Montana LLC Name Change
Nebraska LLC Name Change
Nevada LLC Name Change
New Hampshire LLC Name Change
New Jersey LLC Name Change
New Mexico LLC Name Change
New York LLC Name Change
North Carolina LLC Name Change
North Dakota LLC Name Change
Ohio LLC Name Change
Oklahoma LLC Name Change
Oregon LLC Name Change
Pennsylvania LLC Name Change
Rhode Island LLC Name Change
South Carolina LLC Name Change
South Dakota LLC Name Change
Tennessee LLC Name Change
Texas LLC Name Change
Utah LLC Name Change
Vermont LLC Name Change
Virginia LLC Name Change
Washington LLC Name Change
West Virginia LLC Name Change
Wisconsin LLC Name Change
Wyoming LLC Name Change
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.