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

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How to Change a Business Name in Georgia

Welcome to our all-in-one guide on renaming your business in Georgia (also known as The Peach 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 Georgia. We’ll cover everything from selecting a new name to updating crucial documents and registrations, ensuring your Georgia 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 Georgia!

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 Georgia. 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 Georgia Secretary of State to access the Georgia Corporations Division, 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 Georgia. The Georgia DBA filing method can be done through two methods, by mail and in person, which may include There is no online filing available or For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the Clerk of Superior Court, Attention: Recording Division, 136 Pryor St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 options.
  3. Depending on the chosen filing method, you may need to submit a DBA application form and pay the associated $172. This fee may vary depending on your state and filing method.
  4. After successfully filing your DBA, keep track of the Indefinite, 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 Georgia 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.

We have curated a list of the best LLC services in Georgia to assist you with changing your business name. Feel free to browse their offerings!

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Georgia 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 Georgia 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 Georgia 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 Georgia Articles of 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 Georgia 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.
  • Georgia Articles of Amendment filing fee: Include the appropriate filing fee of $20.00 in Georgia. This fee may vary depending on the state and the type of business entity.

Just like the first process of starting a business in Georgia, ensure that the details in the  Articles of 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 Georgia.

Recommended: Ensure hassle-free Articles of Amendment filing in Georgia – hire an LLC Formation Service for precise document preparation. Foster your business stability today! We recommend –

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Step 3: File the Georgia Articles of Amendment

After thoroughly preparing and reviewing all the necessary documents, proceed to file the Georgia Articles of Amendment for your Georgia LLC or an Amendment of Articles 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 Articles of 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  Articles of Amendment forms and fees: Complete the required amendments, providing accurate information and including all necessary signatures. Include the appropriate Georgia Articles of Amendment filing fee of  $20.00, 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  Articles of 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 Georgia Articles of Amendment and transition to your new business name. Remember to update all related licenses, permits, and registrations to maintain compliance and prevent confusion.

Recommended: Time to make a change to your LLC? Opt for the help of an LLC Formation Service to take care of your Articles of Amendment with ease. Their experienced team ensures a fast and accurate process, allowing you to focus on what truly matters – your business. We recommend –

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Step 4: Update the New Business Name

Once you have successfully filed the Georgia Articles of 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 Georgia 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 Georgia 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 Georgia Secretary of State, by submitting the necessary forms and fees.
  • Business Licenses: Contact the relevant departments to update your new name and obtain the necessary Georgia business licenses and permits for operating in Georgia.
  • 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 ST-5 Certificate of Exemption to maintain compliance and prevent confusion.
  • Other updates: If you have employees, amend your records with the Georgia 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 Georgia.

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.

FAQs

What is an assumed name in Georgia?
An assumed name in Georgia is the name that a business chooses to conduct its affairs under, that is different from its legal name.
Can I change my business name after I have already registered it in Georgia?
Yes, you can change your business name in Georgia after you have already registered it.
Is there a fee to change my business name in Georgia?
Yes, there is a fee to change your business name in Georgia.
What is the process for changing my business name in Georgia?
The process for changing your business name in Georgia involves filling out a form and paying a fee.
What form do I need to fill out to change my business name in Georgia?
The form you need to fill out to change your business name in Georgia is called the Application for Business Entity Name Change.
Can I change the name of my sole proprietorship in Georgia?
Yes, you can change the name of your sole proprietorship in Georgia by filing for an assumed name.
How long will it take for my business name change to be approved in Georgia?
It usually takes 3-4 weeks for your business name change to be approved in Georgia.
What happens after my request to change my business name is approved in Georgia?
After your request to change your business name is approved in Georgia, a new Certificate of Authority with the new name will be issued to you.
Can my registered agent file for my business entity name change?
Yes, your registered agent can file for your business entity name change in Georgia.
Can I reserve a new business name before I change my existing business name in Georgia?
Yes, you can reserve a new business name before you change your existing business name in Georgia.
Do I need to get a new EIN after I change my Georgia business name?
No, you don’t need to get a new EIN after you change your Georgia business name.
Do I need to file for a new business license after changing my Georgia business name?
You may need to file for a new business license after changing your Georgia business name depending on the requirements of the city and county where your business is located.
Do I need to update my Georgia business name on my bank account?
Yes, you need to update your Georgia business name on your bank account after changing it.
Can I change my registered agent at the same time as changing my business name in Georgia?
Yes, you can change your registered agent at the same time as changing your business name in Georgia.
Will I need to register my new business name with the Georgia Secretary of State?
No, you will not need to register your new business name separately with the Georgia Secretary of State if you have already changed your legal name.
Do I need to publish my business name change in a legal newspaper in Georgia?
No, you do not need to publish your business name change in a legal newspaper in Georgia.
How can I check if my new business name is available in Georgia?
You can check whether your new business name is available in Georgia through the Georgia Secretary of State’s Corporations Division website.
Can I use a PO Box as my business address when changing my legal name in Georgia?
No, you cannot use a PO Box as your business address when changing your legal name in Georgia.
Will my business entity type change when I change my Georgia business name?
No, your business entity type will not change when you change your Georgia business name.
Can I change my business name again in the future if I want to?
Yes, you can change your business name again in the future if you want to.
Can I change the spelling or punctuation in my Georgia business name?
Yes, you can change the spelling or punctuation in your Georgia business name.
How do I make sure that my clients and customers are aware of my business name change in Georgia?
You can make sure that your clients and customers are aware of your business name change in Georgia by sending out a formal announcement.
Can I make my new business name my own name in Georgia?
Yes, you can make your new business name your own name in Georgia.
What documents will I need to submit to change my business name in Georgia?
You will need to submit the Application for Business Entity Name Change and a filing fee when changing your business name in Georgia.
Can I change just a part of my Georgia business name?
Yes, you can change just a part of your Georgia business name if you want to.
Is there a deadline for changing my business name in Georgia?
No, there is no deadline for changing your business name in Georgia.
Can I change my business name online in Georgia?
Yes, you can change your business name online in Georgia through the Secretary of State’s website.
Do I need a new business license as a DBA when changing my Georgia business name?
Yes, you may need a new business license as a DBA when changing your Georgia business name.
Will my business name change affect my tax status in Georgia?
No, your business name change will not affect your tax status in Georgia.
What steps do I need to take to change my business name in Georgia?
You will need to file Articles of Amendment with the Georgia Secretary of State.
Can I change the name of my business anytime?
Yes, you can change the name of your business anytime.
How much does it cost to change a business name in Georgia?
The fee for filing an Articles of Amendment is $20.
Do I need to reserve a new name before filing for an Articles of Amendment?
No, there is no need to reserve a new name before filing for an Articles of Amendment.
How long does it take to change a business name in Georgia?
The processing time varies, but it usually takes 3 to 5 business days.
Can I maintain my EIN after changing my business name in Georgia?
Yes, you can maintain your EIN after changing your business name in Georgia.
Is a new business license needed after a business name change in Georgia?
You may need to file for a new business license, depending on your local jurisdiction.
Do I need to change my business name with the Georgia Department of Revenue?
Yes, you need to update your business name with the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Will the change of business name be reflected on my Georgia tax ID number?
Yes, the Georgia tax ID number will reflect the change of business name.
Do I need to file a new DBA after changing my business name in Georgia?
Yes, you need to file for a new DBA under the new business name.
How do I notify my customers and partners about the change of business name in Georgia?
Communicate through your website, social media, email, and/or direct mail.
Can I change the URL of my website after changing my business name in Georgia?
Yes, but you need to redirect the old URL to the new one.
Can I modify only my business’s legal name without changing the DBA name?
No, the legal name is the name on record with the state.
Can a Georgia business change its name during bankruptcy proceedings?
Yes, but the name change must be approved by the bankruptcy court.
Can a Georgia LLC change its name to a completely new name?
Yes, a Georgia LLC can change its name to a completely new name.
Can I change the name of my sole proprietorship without registering a new legal entity in Georgia?
Yes, you can change the name of your sole proprietorship without registering a new legal entity.
Can a foreign company doing business in Georgia change its name without registering a new legal entity?
No, foreign companies doing business in Georgia must follow Georgia regulations for name changes.
Can a Georgia nonprofit organization change its name?
Yes, a Georgia nonprofit can change its name by filing the appropriate paperwork.
Will changing my business name in Georgia affect liability protection?
No, changing the name does not affect liability protection.
Is there a penalty for not informing the state of a change in business name in Georgia?
Failure to update the state can result in fines.
Can I change my business name to something that is already in use in Georgia?
No, the name must be available and distinguishable from existing names.
What documents do I need to submit to change my business name in Georgia?
You will need to submit Articles of Amendment to the Georgia Secretary of State.
What information needs to be included in the Articles of Amendment?
The new name needs to be listed, along with relevant business information.
Do I need to update my business bank account after changing my business name in Georgia?
Yes, you need to update your account to reflect the new name.
What happens to any open contracts, leases or loans after a business name change in Georgia?
Existing contracts and loans will remain in effect but will likely require amendments.
Can I change my business name to a name that is trademarked in Georgia?
No, the name must not infringe on any existing trademarks.
Do I need to provide a reason for changing my business name in Georgia?
No, there is no need to provide a reason for changing your business name.
Is there a limit on how many times I can change my business name in Georgia?
There is no limit on how many times you can change your business name in Georgia.

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Conclusion

Changing your business name in Georgia 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 Georgia. Let’s make your business an enduring success story in Georgia!

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