How to Change a Business Name in Alabama 2024: Ultimate Guide

How to Change a Business Name in Alabama

Welcome to our all-in-one guide on renaming your business in Alabama (also known as The Yellowhammer State)! We know that a name change can impact your operations, brand, and customers. We aim to make this transition as smooth as possible, offering expert advice and guidance throughout the process.

Get ready to dive in as we explore the necessary steps for a successful business name change in Alabama. We’ll cover everything from selecting a new name to updating crucial documents and registrations, ensuring your Alabama LLC remains compliant and thriving. At LLCBase, we’re here to support you every step of the way in this exciting journey towards a fresh business identity in Alabama!

What is a Business Name

A business name, or trade name, is the official and unique title under which a company conducts its operations and represents itself to the public. It is essential to a company’s identity in branding, marketing, and communications. A well-chosen business name distinguishes a business from its competitors and conveys its values, mission, and services or products offered to customers.

A business name represents your company’s identity and is crucial for all branding and marketing initiatives. However, entrepreneurs often feel the need to change their business’s name at some point.

Top Reasons for Changing a Business Name

  1. Rebranding: One of the most common reasons for changing a business name is rebranding. As businesses evolve over time, their initial name may no longer reflect the current products, services, or target audience. A new name can help create a refreshed identity and better communicate the business’s direction.
  2. Expansion: Another reason for changing a business name is geographical or market expansion. If your company name was initially tied to a specific location or target market, a change might be necessary to reflect the new areas you’re targeting.
  3. Mergers and Acquisitions: Adopting a new name representing both entities’ strengths may be beneficial if your business merges with or acquires another company.
  4. Legal Issues: Trademark disputes or potential infringement can also lead to a business name change. If you’re facing legal challenges over your company’s name, rebranding might be a wise choice to avoid further issues.
  5. Negative Associations: Suppose your business has faced negative press or unfavorable associations with its current name. In that case, a name change can help distance the company from past issues and signal a fresh start.

Change a Business Name: A 4-Step Guide

Let’s discuss the various steps and procedures involved in changing your business name effectively:

Step 1: Choose Your New Business Name

Selecting a new name is the first step in changing your business name in Alabama. Many business owners file a DBA (Doing Business As) or a Fictitious Name before registering their business with the Secretary of State (SOS). They can then change this name when filing their business. To choose a new name and file a DBA, follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the Alabama Secretary of State to access the Alabama Secretary of State Business Entity Search, where you can search for the desired name and confirm its availability. 
  2. Once you have found an available name, proceed with the DBA name filing in Alabama. The Alabama DBA filing method can be done through three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing., which may include For online filing, you need to visit the Alabama Secretary of State website, submit the online form along with the filing fees. or For offline filing, download the form and send it to State of Alabama Office of the Secretary of State, Trademarks Division, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103-5616 OR drop off the form in person to State of Alabama Office of the Secretary of State, Trademarks Division, 11 South Union St., Suite 224, Montgomery, AL 36130. options.
  3. Depending on the chosen filing method, you may need to submit a DBA application form and pay the associated $30. This fee may vary depending on your state and filing method.
  4. After successfully filing your DBA, keep track of the five years, as you may need to renew your DBA registration periodically, depending on your state’s requirements.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition in changing your business name in Alabama while maintaining compliance with state regulations. Remember to update all relevant documents, licenses, and registrations with your new business name to avoid confusion and maintain a consistent brand identity.

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Alabama Requirements to Change a Business Name

Before proceeding with the next step, it is crucial to know the naming guidelines when choosing a new name for your business. These guidelines may vary based on the type of business structure. For example, if you start a Alabama LLC, the following rules must be observed when changing the name:

  • The name should be available for use
  • The name should not be in use by another business
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company
  • The name should not be confused with a government entity
  • The name should be unique

Read the Alabama LLC name search article to learn more about LLC naming guidelines if you are forming an LLC.

Step 2: Prepare the Documents

Once you choose a new business name, prepare the necessary documents to file the Alabama Domestic LLC Amendment. Gathering all the required information and double-checking for accuracy before the submission is essential. Along with the name change form, submit the following details:

  • Current business name: Provide the existing name of your business as it appears on your registration documents.
  • New business name: Clearly state the new name you have chosen for your business, ensuring that it complies with your state’s naming guidelines.
  • The entity number of the business: Include the unique identification number issued by the Alabama for your business. This number is often called the Secretary of State File Number or the Business Identification Number.
  • Board of Directors’ approval statement (for corporations): If your business is a corporation, provide a statement indicating that the Board of Directors has approved the name change. This statement should include the date of the meeting during which the decision was made and the signatures of the authorized representatives.
  • Information on shares (if applicable): For corporations, provide details on the number of authorized shares, the various classes of shares, and any changes to the share structure resulting from the name change.
  • Signatures of members (LLC) or Shareholders (Corporation): Obtain and include the signatures of all required parties, such as LLC members or corporate shareholders, to confirm their agreement to the name change.
  • Alabama Domestic LLC Amendment filing fee: Include the appropriate filing fee of $100 in Alabama. This fee may vary depending on the state and the type of business entity.

Just like the first process of starting a business in Alabama, ensure that the details in the  Domestic LLC Amendment are consistent with the initial filing documents. Inconsistencies may result in the cancellation of your registration or delays in processing the name change. By carefully preparing and reviewing your amendment documents, you can help ensure a smooth transition to your new business name in Alabama.

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Step 3: File the Alabama Domestic LLC Amendment

After thoroughly preparing and reviewing all the necessary documents, proceed to file the Alabama Domestic LLC Amendment for your Alabama LLC or an Amendment of Certificate of Incorporation for corporations. Keep in mind the following steps to ensure a successful filing:

  1. Attach the name reservation form: Remember to include the name reservation form with the Amendment forms. This form typically confirms that you have reserved and have the right to use the new business name.
  2. Choose the appropriate filing method: You can file the Domestic LLC Amendment online or by mail, depending on your state’s available options. Each method may have specific requirements or fees, so research your state’s guidelines to determine the best option for your business.
  3. Submit the  Domestic LLC Amendment forms and fees: Complete the required amendments, providing accurate information and including all necessary signatures. Include the appropriate Alabama Domestic LLC Amendment filing fee of  $100, which may vary depending on your state and business entity type.
  4. Keep track of processing times: Depending on your state and filing method, the processing time for your Amendment may vary. Monitor your filing status and be prepared to address any questions or concerns from the state agency.
  5. Obtain a confirmation or updated registration documents: Once your  Domestic LLC Amendment has been processed and approved, you should receive a confirmation or updated registration documents reflecting the new business name. Keep these documents for your records and update any other relevant materials.

By diligently following these steps and adhering to your state’s requirements, you can successfully file the Alabama Domestic LLC Amendment and transition to your new business name. Remember to update all related licenses, permits, and registrations to maintain compliance and prevent confusion.

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Step 4: Update the New Business Name

Once you have successfully filed the Alabama Domestic LLC Amendment, updating the new business name in various areas is crucial to maintain compliance, prevent confusion, and ensure a seamless transition.

We’ve also compiled a list of the best business attorneys in Alabama to support you in changing and updating your business name. Please take a moment to explore their services!

But if you decided to update the new business name yourself, consider the following updates that you need to do:

  • Legal documents: Update the Alabama statement of information, loan documents, active legal contracts, lease agreements, and any other relevant legal documents with your new business name.
  • City/local registration: If your city or local authorities require business registration, update your new business name with the appropriate departments, such as the Alabama Department of Revenue, by submitting the necessary forms and fees.
  • Business Licenses: Contact the relevant departments to update your new name and obtain the necessary Alabama business licenses and permits for operating in Alabama.
  • Bank Accounts: Visit your bank or financial institution to update your business accounts, credit cards, and checks to reflect the new name, ensuring a smooth financial transition.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Amend your business name with the IRS by obtaining your EIN records or filing an updated Certificate of Exemption to maintain compliance and prevent confusion.
  • Other updates: If you have employees, amend your records with the Alabama Department of Labor and the employment development authority. Update any additional business permits, insurance policies, and legal documents as needed.
  • Marketing materials: Update your website, signage, business cards, merchandise, social media profiles, email signatures, and other places where your business name is displayed to maintain a consistent brand identity.

Updating your business name across all relevant areas ensures a smooth transition and minimizes any potential issues arising from the name change. This comprehensive approach will help maintain your business’s credibility and reputation while adapting to the new name in Alabama.

Considerations When Changing a Business Name

  1. Customer Recognition: When changing your business name, it’s essential to consider its impact on your existing customers’ recognition of your brand. Ideally, the new name should maintain some connection to the old one to retain customer loyalty and familiarity.
  2. Trademarks and Domain Name Availability: Before settling on a new name, ensure it is available for trademark registration and a corresponding domain name is available for your online presence.
  3. Costs and Time Investment: Changing a business name involves various costs, such as legal fees and marketing expenses. The process can be time-consuming, from notifying customers and suppliers to updating documentation and signage.
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Impact: Changing your business name can impact your website’s SEO rankings. Building a strong online presence using your new name and updating all online content and backlinks will require extensive work.
  5. Notify Relevant Authorities: When changing your company’s name, ensure you notify the relevant local, state, and federal authorities, update your tax information, and obtain new business licenses and permits.


What is the process for changing a business name in Alabama?
The process for changing a business name in Alabama involves filing various forms with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
Is there a fee for changing a business name in Alabama?
Yes, there is a fee for changing a business name in Alabama. The fee varies depending on the the type of business and the method of filing.
Can you change the name of any type of business entity in Alabama?
Yes, any type of business entity in Alabama can have its name changed.
What forms do I need to file to change a business name in Alabama?
You need to file a Certificate of Name Change with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
Can I change my business name with just the state of Alabama, or do I need to change it federally as well?
If your business operates across state lines, you’ll need to change your business name on the federal level as well as with Alabama.
What is the difference between a legal name and the trade name in Alabama?
Your company’s legal name is the official name of the entity, while a trade name is also known as a “doing business as” (DBA) name used in conducting business transactions.
Do I need to register a trade name in Alabama?
Yes, if you are doing business under a name that is not your own name or the exact legal name of your business entity, you need to register a trade name with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
How long does it take to change a business name in Alabama?
Once the appropriate documents are filed and processed, it may take between 3 to 4 weeks to receive a new certificate of formation.
Can I change my business name without changing my LLC’s filing with Alabama?
No, if you change the name of your LLC, you must file a Certificate of Name Change with Alabama’s Secretary of State.
What are the repercussions for not changing my business name on time in Alabama?
If you do not change your business name by the cost of changing your name, your business may be penalized by Alabama’s Secretary of State, amongst other legal infractions.
Can I change my business name and its legal structure at the same time in Alabama?
No. You will have to change legal structure first and then the business name according to the legal structure.
Will I need a new Tax ID number when I change a business name in Alabama?
No, your business retains its same Tax ID number regardless of whether you change its name or filing structure.
Can I remove a word or add words to my business name in Alabama?
Yes, this can be done according the the filing legislation in Alabama.
Do I need to publish a notice of the name change?
Publication of notice may be required w.r.t the business requirements and can occur in a local business publication or newspaper according to Alabama trade name regulations.
Can I complete the name change process via mail?
Yes, but some regional limitations may apply as require authentication a services tasked with notarizations of forms.
How do I register a new trade name in Alabama?
You can register a new trade name by completing a Trade Name Registration with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
Can I reserve a new business name before filing a name change in Alabama?
Yes, Alabama provides the option to reserve a business name while the name change process takes place.
Can I change the name of my sole proprietorship in Alabama?
Yes, you can change the name of your sole proprietorship by following normal process requirements.
Can a new business file a name change in Alabama?
New companies do not necessarily file name changes as they register generally under a preferred name, but this option is too rare.
Do I need to renew the new name license of my business annually in Alabama?
No, businesses don’t need to claim new name renewal options in Alabama.
What happens when two companies have similar names in Alabama?
two similar named businesses may cause inefficient communication periods, meaning the process or transactions may need to be performed more than once simply due to similarity or merely another indebicision period caused due to similar the same business titles.
Can I choose any business name when changing my business name in Alabama?
Certainwords considered offensive by established legislation or laws in your location cannot be used. Your name must be unique for easy startup differentiation and identification..
Will I get a new business identification number when I change my business name in Alabama?
No, you keep the same EIN number is changed when a change in legal structure occurs.
How do I obtain certified documents of a name change on might company?
certified documents of a name change in Alabama can be collected via the same suggested government facility.
Can I fold my old business name legally after a successful name change?
Yes, after a successful business name change, by legal obligation AL liable has us run alongside submitting information and supplements or ordering supplementary forms if deemed necessary.
Can I still use my old name when changing the business name in Alabama?
No, it is better to abandon the old name entirely so payment identification doesn’t seem ambiguous , pending infraction and adherence mishaps occur.
Can I change my business name myself or do I need an Alabama registered agent?
LLC owner’s are permitted to change business names themselves whilst placing their sole proprietorship on legal deed.
What are some tips for creating a new business name in Alabama?
Through comprehensive research and brainstorming, summarize the sole nature of your establishment through keywords and syllables. Consistenece and Differrenciation is and innovation is important,aiming for centralized affirmation.
How do I check if my preferred business name is available in Alabama?
The Secretary of State’s website provide an availability and registry check (in some level) the verification of free usage trademark resources on your catures renaming option.
Can I keep my old web domain after the company name change is made?
anyone ,selling products must consider associated transactions being remolded for online based change, If a domain is supplied before filing, adjustments should be made to avoid overwhelming traffic suring the business session.

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Changing your business name in Alabama is a significant decision that requires careful planning and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide and diligently updating your business name across all relevant areas, you can ensure a seamless transition while maintaining compliance with state regulations and preserving your brand’s reputation.

We invite you to visit LLCBase for more helpful resources and guidance on navigating the complexities of running a successful business in Alabama. Let’s make your business an enduring success story in Alabama!

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