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

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How to Change a Business Name in Minnesota

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

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 Minnesota. 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 Minnesota Secretary of State to access the Minnesota Secretary of State Business Filings Online, 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 Minnesota. The Minnesota DBA filing method can be done through three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing., which may include For online filing, check the Minnesoota Secreatry of State. There, look for the “Assumed Names” section. You will get the registration form. or For filing offline, you must send the downloaded PDF form or drop it off in person at the Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services, Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building, 60 Empire Drive, Suite 100, St Paul, MN 55103 options.
  3. Depending on the chosen filing method, you may need to submit a DBA application form and pay the associated $50 for online filing and $30 for offline filing. This fee may vary depending on your state and filing method.
  4. After successfully filing your DBA, keep track of the one year, 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota to assist you with changing your business name. Feel free to browse their offerings!

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Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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.
  • Minnesota Articles of Amendment filing fee: Include the appropriate filing fee of $35.00 in Minnesota. This fee may vary depending on the state and the type of business entity.

Just like the first process of starting a business in Minnesota, 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 Minnesota.

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Step 3: File the Minnesota Articles of Amendment

After thoroughly preparing and reviewing all the necessary documents, proceed to file the Minnesota Articles of Amendment for your Minnesota 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 Minnesota Articles of Amendment filing fee of  $35.00, 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 Minnesota 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.

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Step 4: Update the New Business Name

Once you have successfully filed the Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 Minnesota business licenses and permits for operating in Minnesota.
  • 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 Form ST3-Certificate of Exemption to maintain compliance and prevent confusion.
  • Other updates: If you have employees, amend your records with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic 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 Minnesota.

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 of changing a business name in Minnesota?
To change a business name in Minnesota, you need to file a new name registration with the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Can a business change its name to anything it wants?
No, the new name needs to be available in Minnesota and not already in use by another company in the state.
What is the cost of changing a business name in Minnesota?
The cost of changing a business name in Minnesota is $50.
Can I change the name of my LLC or corporation without changing its entity type?
Yes, you can change the name of your LLC or corporation without changing its entity type.
Do I need to file any documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State?
Yes, you need to file a name registration with the Minnesota Secretary of State.
What alternatives do I have if the name I want is already in use?
You will need to choose a different name that is available for use in Minnesota.
Can I change my business name to an already existing corporation name in Minnesota?
No, you cannot change your business name to an already existing corporation name in Minnesota.
How do I check to see if my desired business name is available in Minnesota?
You can check the Minnesota Secretary of State website to see if your desired business name is available.
Do I have to worry about trademark issues when changing my business name in Minnesota?
Yes, you should conduct a trademark search to ensure that your new business name is not infringing on someone else’s protected trademark.
After changing my business name in Minnesota, do I need to obtain a new EIN?
No, you do not need to obtain a new EIN unless you have changed your business entity type as well.
What is the turnaround time for the Minnesota Secretary of State to approve a new business name?
The Secretary of State generally approves a new business name within a week.
Can I use a fictitious name instead of changing my business name?
Yes, you may use a fictitious name instead of changing your business name.
Do I need to advertise the name change in a newspaper?
No, you do not need to advertise the name change in a newspaper in Minnesota.
How soon can I start using my new business name?
You can start using your new business name once you have received approval from the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Can I change my business name if I have filed for bankruptcy?
Yes, you can change your business name if you have filed for bankruptcy.
Do I need to update my business banking information when changing my business name in Minnesota?
Yes, you will need to update your business banking information when changing your business name in Minnesota.
What happens if I do not change my business name with the Minnesota Secretary of State?
If you do not change your business name with the Minnesota Secretary of State, you could face legal repercussions.
Will changing my business name affect my business license in Minnesota?
No, changing your business name will not affect your business license in Minnesota.
How do I update relevant agencies with my new business name, such as the IRS and Minnesota Department of Revenue?
You will need to file updated paperwork with the relevant agencies, such as an amended tax return, with your new business name and information.
Can I change the spelling of my business name during the name change process in Minnesota?
Yes, you can change the spelling of your business name during the name change process in Minnesota.
After I change my business name, do I need to re-register my business with the local or state government in Minnesota?
No, you do not need to re-register your business with the local or state government in Minnesota.
Can I make my business name shorter during the name change process in Minnesota?
Yes, you can make your business name shorter during the name change process in Minnesota.
Is there a fee to cancel my Minnesota assumed name?
No, there is no fee to cancel a Minnesota assumed name.
Can a Minnesota business name change be denied?
Yes, a Minnesota business name change can be denied if the new name is already in use by another company in Minnesota.
Will changing my business name affect my MN unemployment account?
No, changing your business name will not affect your MN unemployment account.
How do I notify my customers and vendors of my new business name in Minnesota?
You will need to send a letter or email to your customers and vendors notifying them of your new business name.
Can someone else file a name registration using my old business name in Minnesota?
Yes, someone else can file a name registration using your old business name in Minnesota.
Do I need to change my business name on existing legal documents, such as contracts or leases?
Yes, you will need to change your business name on existing legal documents, such as contracts or leases, to reflect your new name.
What is the turnaround time for the Minnesota Department of Revenue to update my business name?
The turnaround time for the Minnesota Department of Revenue to update your business name varies, but most changes are processed within a week.
What is the process to change a business name in Minnesota?
To change a business name in Minnesota, you need to file new paperwork with the Minnesota Secretary of State.
What forms do I need to fill out to change my business name?
You will need to file an application for amendment of articles of incorporation or an application for amendment of certificate of authority.
What information do I need to provide when submitting the amendment paperwork?
You will need to provide your current name, your new name, and your official registered office.
How does changing a business name affect my LLC?
Changing your business name may affect your LLC in many ways, including changing your tax ID number.
Do I need to notify my customers and employees of the name change?
Yes, you need to inform your customers and employees of the name change.
What is the cost to change a business name in Minnesota?
The cost to change your business name is a $30 filing fee.
How long does it take to change a business name in Minnesota?
The processing time for a name change in Minnesota is typically within one to three days.
Can I change my business name to anything?
Your new business name must be available and not already in use in Minnesota.
What rules do I need to follow to change my business name in Minnesota?
You need to follow the guidelines of Minnesota state law to change your business name successfully.
Can I change my business name online?
Yes, you can file the amendment online through the Minnesota Secretary of State website.
What happens to my business’s liability when I change my business name?
Changing your business name should not affect the liability attached to your business.
Do I need to draft a new operating agreement when I change my business name?
Changing your business name does not mandate drafting and signing a new operating agreement as an amendment can clear everything.
Could I change the name of my LLC without changing the legal business entity?
Yes, a name change updates the business name with its legal identity remaining the same.
What is the difference between DBA and business name?
In Minnesota, you can file “Doing Business As “and its synonyms to use an assumed name, a name that isn’t the … fictitious name where as the business name named at the time of the articles’ incorporation.
How long should I wait after opening a business to change the name?
It’s spoken of a personal preference where after an extensive amount of consideration, a business owner may choose to re-brand or choose a new identity.
Are there any penalties for changing your business name in Minnesota?
There is no stated fine or charge for changing the name of a small business or corporation in Minnesota other than the $30 feds files.
Does my new business name require approval to file taxes or other business operations?
A new business name does not affect business operations such as filing state tax returns or finalizing public filings.
Can I reserve a business name before I officially file?
Yes, filing a name registration provides assurance of the of non-competitive naming and exclusive use when the business is planning to begin as official with you getting 60 days to create and file formal documents within Minnesota.
Do I need background check or application fee paid for name change with Minnesota corporations and LLC?
There’s no background for application ticket filing needed, the user required to pay the $30 amendment fee.
How do I protect my new business name from competitors?
Confusability test keeps the previously registered name holders to opposing misleading amongst consumers or the risk of wrongful marking trademarks.
Can I still use my old business name online after changing it?
Yes, using the old business name while legally conforming to the new name for minimal transactions before having all the paperwork complete.
How long does my new name need to be?
The Minnesota business name doesn’t have a great restriction but carrying special characters banned in English are permitted.
Do I need a domain associated with my new business name?
Rabbilingual right where necessary to shape business progression linked with eligibility owners free to duty to wind-search for health inquiries doing “doing business as.”
Can I start operating the business under my new name before the paperwork is processed?
No, your new business name should not be in effect until the paperwork is processed by Minnesota’s Government.
What do I do if I want to change my sole proprietorship’s name?
In Minnesota, one must register or file papers to operating under their Own Legal Name or under another business name commonly known Starting a DBA.
Is a business name change subject to judicial review?
Name change subject to judicial relations contains due notice of persons concerned in the creation’s life issues.
What if a conflicting name is identified while filing a business name change in Minnesota?
Sustaining eligibility certificates from pre-conventionals deals with situating reliable working domains previously marked; clarification avoid confusion.
Can my registered agent or somewhere else sign my business name change paperwork for me?
Business/company officer is authorized; an agent of the company owner where the company sends official mail can authorize absentees makin the trip less essential.
What if The Business name change is part of the change to the Type of Business entity?
Recast statutes or documents combination within all types of dealings reducing go-betweens during the processing evolution applies.
Can I go back to my old business name?
Renaming again by an import status assignment from precedent names going back provides no issue with present issues like when renewing trademarks.

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Conclusion

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

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