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

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How to Change a Business Name in Indiana

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

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 Indiana. 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 Indiana Secretary of State to access the Indiana Secretary of State INBiz, 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 Indiana. The Indiana 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 Marion County Recorder’s Office, 200 E. Washington Street, Suite T-741, Indianapolis, IN 46204 options.
  3. Depending on the chosen filing method, you may need to submit a DBA application form and pay the associated $35. 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 Indiana 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 Indiana to assist you with changing your business name. Feel free to browse their offerings!

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Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana Certificate 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 Indiana 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.
  • Indiana Certificate of Amendment filing fee: Include the appropriate filing fee of $30.00 in Indiana. This fee may vary depending on the state and the type of business entity.

Just like the first process of starting a business in Indiana, ensure that the details in the  Certificate 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 Indiana.

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Step 3: File the Indiana Certificate of Amendment

After thoroughly preparing and reviewing all the necessary documents, proceed to file the Indiana Certificate of Amendment for your Indiana 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 Certificate 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  Certificate of Amendment forms and fees: Complete the required amendments, providing accurate information and including all necessary signatures. Include the appropriate Indiana Certificate of Amendment filing fee of  $30.00, 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  Certificate 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 Indiana Certificate 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 Certificate 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 Indiana Certificate 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana business licenses and permits for operating in Indiana.
  • 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 NT-20A – Application for Sales Tax Exemption to maintain compliance and prevent confusion.
  • Other updates: If you have employees, amend your records with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development 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 Indiana.

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 the process for changing a business name in Indiana?
To change a business name in Indiana, you must file the appropriate paperwork with the Secretary of State.
What is the fee for changing a business name in Indiana?
The fee for changing a business name in Indiana is $30.
Do I need to file any additional paperwork to change my business name with the state of Indiana?
No, you only need to file the Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State to change your business name in Indiana.
Can I reserve a new business name before changing my current business name?
Yes, you can reserve a new business name in Indiana for up to 120 days before changing your current business name.
Is there a waiting period before I can change my business name in Indiana?
No, there is no waiting period before you can change your business name in Indiana.
How long does it take to process a business name change in Indiana?
Typically, it takes the Secretary of State 3-5 business days to process a business name change in Indiana.
Can I change the name of my LLC in Indiana?
Yes, you can change the name of your LLC in Indiana by filing Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State.
What are the advantages of changing my business name in Indiana?
Changing your business name in Indiana can help to rebrand and refocus your business, attract new customers, and distinguish your business from competitors.
Will changing my business name affect my tax status in Indiana?
No, changing your business name will not affect your tax status in Indiana.
Do I need to notify the IRS of my business name change in Indiana?
No, you do not need to notify the IRS of your business name change in Indiana.
Can I change my business name if I have already registered for a trademark in Indiana?
Yes, you can change your business name if you have already registered for a trademark in Indiana, but you will need to update your trademark registration as well.
Do I need to update my business name with the Indiana Secretary of State if I have already notified my clients and vendors of the name change?
Yes, you must still file Articles of Amendment with the Indiana Secretary of State even if you have already notified your clients and vendors of the name change.
Can I change my business name on my existing Indiana business license?
Yes, you can change your business name on your existing Indiana business license by contacting the department that issued the license.
Do I need to update my business name on my Indiana state tax ID?
Yes, you need to update your business name on your Indiana state tax ID by contacting the Indiana Department of Revenue.
Can I change only a part of my business name in Indiana?
Yes, you can change only a part of your business name in Indiana, as long as the new name is not already in use by another business.
What do I need to include in my Articles of Amendment when changing my business name in Indiana?
You will need to include your current business name, your new business name, and the date on which the change will take effect.
Can I change my business name again in the future?
Yes, there is no limit to the number of times you can change your business name in Indiana.
Is a business name change complicated?
No, changing your business name in Indiana is a straightforward process that can usually be completed quickly and easily.
Will my business name change affect the validity of existing contracts and agreements in Indiana?
No, your business name change will not affect the validity of existing contracts or agreements in Indiana.
Do I need to notify the public of my business name change in Indiana?
No, there is no requirement to notify the public of your business name change in Indiana, but it is often a good idea to do so.
Can I change my business name for any reason in Indiana?
Yes, you can change your business name for any reason in Indiana, as long as the new name is not already in use by another business.
Will changing my business name affect my EIN in Indiana?
No, changing your business name will not affect your EIN in Indiana.
Can I change the spelling of my business name in Indiana?
Yes, you can change the spelling of your business name in Indiana, as long as the new name is not already in use by another business.
Can I change my business structure when changing my business name in Indiana?
Yes, you can change your business structure when changing your business name in Indiana, but you will need to file additional paperwork with the Secretary of State.
Can a business name change affect my credit rating in Indiana?
No, changing your business name will not affect your credit rating in Indiana.
How can I find out if my desired business name is already in use in Indiana?
You can search the Indiana Secretary of State’s business database to find out if your desired business name is already in use in Indiana.
Can I use a name that is already in use in another state but not in Indiana?
No, you cannot use a name that is already in use in another state but not in Indiana, unless you have permission from the other business.
Can I change my business name in Indiana without informing my employees?
Yes, you can change your business name in Indiana without informing your employees, although it is often a good idea to keep them informed.
Will changing my business name affect my annual report filing requirements in Indiana?
No, changing your business name will not affect your annual report filing requirements in Indiana.
What information is required when filing Articles of Amendment for a business name change in Indiana?
The new business name, the old business name, and the identification number assigned by the Indiana Secretary of State are required.
Is there a fee for filing Articles of Amendment to change a business name in Indiana?
Yes, there is a fee. The cost varies depending on the business entity type.
How long does it take for the Secretary of State to process a name change for a business in Indiana?
It can take up to 10 business days for approval once the documents are delivered.
Can a business name change be expedited in Indiana?
Yes, for an additional fee.
Can a business choose any name they want during a name change in Indiana?
No, the new name must be available and compliant with Indiana state law.
Is a business required to file a new DBA or business registration after changing their name in Indiana?
Yes, a new Business Registration Application must be filed reflecting the new name.
Does changing a business name in Indiana affect any existing contracts or agreements?
Not necessarily but businesses should review any contracts as some require signatory approval.
Can a business change its name during its Annual Report filing in Indiana?
No, it must be a separate filing with Administrative Details Section of the Secretary of State.
What is the maximum amount of time allowed for a business to implement a name change in Indiana?
A business must implement the name change immediately after receiving state approval.
Can a business file for Articles of Amendment electronically in Indiana?
Yes, Indiana allows online filings.
What happens if a business doesn’t update their name with the Indiana Secretary of State after a name change?
If the business does not update its BAnnual Report filing, the company itself would have not changed.
Is a business name search required prior to filing Articles of Amendment with the Indiana Secretary of State?
Yes, a business name search should be done for any conflicts.
Are there specific naming restrictions for businesses in Indiana?
Yes, all Names must be distinct;compliant with the Department of Revenue’s naming rules.
Can just applying a Doing Business As (DBA) suffice instead of a required name change in Indiana?
No, apply foring a DBA is an optional, secondary choice.
If a business operates multiple branches across Indiana, does it need to file a separate name change application for each branch?
Yes, individual name change forms must be filed.
How frequently can a business change its name in Indiana?
A business may only change its official name four times per year.
What happens if a business name change application is rejected in Indiana?
The business will receive an explanation why the application was rejected to make proper changes.
Who should register the name change in Indiana if a third-party service is assisting with the application?
The organization third-writing and depositing the Articles of Amendment must be either a shareholder, member, officer of the corporation or qualified and registered agent for it.
Is it possible for a business name change to get rejected by INDoc Srv, despite the business fulfilling all filing requirements?
Yes, It can happen due not fulfilling all state imposed regulations & requirements.
Does Indiana require any legal notices/advertisements in case of a name change?
No
Is the updated business information with the County Clerk Office REQUIRED/Optional in Indiana?
Optional, but must be completed in order to lawfully operate without interruption.
Does a business have to obtain a new tax ID/EIN number after a name change in Indiana?
No, use the same number by updating IRS and INTax registration treatments.
Is publication of the new business name necessary in Indiana?
No.
Can a foreign business also change its name or is this only an Indiana option?
Only Indiana-based entities may apply to change names with Secretary of State.
If a name change application is rejected by the Secretary of State can a business reapply in Indiana?
Yes; if after satisfying the initial reason(s) that got the application failed.
Can businesses change just a portion of their name in Indiana, or must it reflect the complete name?
Yes, but name changes, even minor changes, still must apply for an amendment.
Who should businesses contact for further information on changing company name in Indiana?
The Indiana Secretary of State’s Corporations Division is standing to handle all business entity related filings.

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Conclusion

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

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