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

LLCBase is your go-to place for everything about LLCs, and it's led by Brian Cohan, who's an expert in the field. Brian and our team are here to give you clear and helpful advice on how to set up and manage an LLC. We've been through the process and know the ins and outs. Our articles and guides are based on real experiences, making them practical for you. We're committed to helping you make smart choices for your business. With LLCBase, you're in good hands as you navigate the world of LLCs.

How to Change a Business Name in Ohio

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

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 Ohio. 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 Ohio Secretary of State to access the Ohio Secretary of State Business 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 Ohio. The Ohio 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 accomplished DBA filing form to the Ohio Secretary of State, P.O. Box 670, Columbus, OH 43216 or drop it off in person at 180 E. Broad St., 4th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215. options.
  3. Depending on the chosen filing method, you may need to submit a DBA application form and pay the associated Varies by county. 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 Ohio 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 Ohio to assist you with changing your business name. Feel free to browse their offerings!

LLC Services

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Editor's Choice

$0 + State Filing Fee

  • Free LLC Formation

  • Various Legal Services

  • Attorney Advice

$299 + State Filing Fee

  • Single Package

  • Flat Pricing

  • Legal Services

Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio 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.
  • Ohio Articles of Amendment filing fee: Include the appropriate filing fee of $50.00 in Ohio. This fee may vary depending on the state and the type of business entity.

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

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

Our #1 Pick: LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

Step 3: File the Ohio Articles of Amendment

After thoroughly preparing and reviewing all the necessary documents, proceed to file the Ohio Articles of Amendment for your Ohio 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 Ohio Articles of Amendment filing fee of  $50.00, 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 Ohio 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 –

Our #1 Pick: LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

Step 4: Update the New Business Name

Once you have successfully filed the Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio 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 North Dakota 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 Ohio business licenses and permits for operating in Ohio.
  • 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 Tax Unit Exemption Certificate to maintain compliance and prevent confusion.
  • Other updates: If you have employees, amend your records with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services 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 Ohio.

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 Ohio?
The process involves filing paperwork with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office and making any necessary updates to legal documents.
Is it possible to change a business name without going through the legal process?
No, it is not legally recognized as the name of the business until you have completed the necessary paperwork to update any legal documents.
How long does it typically take to change a business name in Ohio?
The process usually takes a couple of weeks to process, though it can take up to 10 business days for the new name to be officially recognized.
What fees are associated with changing a business name in Ohio?
The filing fee for a Name Reservation is $39, and the fee to file an Amendment to your Articles of Organization is $99.
What documents do I need to file to change my business name in Ohio?
You will need to file a Name Reservation form and an Amendment to your Articles of Organization.
Is it necessary to reserve the new business name before filing the Amendment to your Articles of Organization?
It is not required, but highly recommended to ensure that no other businesses have reserved or are using a similar name.
Can I file for a name reservation online?
Yes, you can apply for a Name Reservation by using the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.
Can I amend my Articles of Organization online?
Yes, you can electronically file your Amendment to your Articles of Organization online.
Is it necessary to notify customers, vendors, and employees of the name change?
Depending on the type of business you operate, it may be necessary to notify these parties of the name change through written communication such as an email or letter.
Will I need to file for a new employer identification number (EIN)?
No, but the IRS requires a notification of name change if you have assigned a new name to the business.
Can I change the name of a sole proprietorship in Ohio?
Yes, you can change the name of a sole proprietorship by registering the new name with the local county office.
Can a business change its name without filing updates to its legal documents?
No, the legal documents must reflect the new business name in order to be recognized by legal entities.
Do partnerships have to file differently than corporations to change names?
No, both partnerships and corporations must file the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office in order to register their new business name.
Are there any requirements for the new business name?
The new name must be available for use and cannot be identical to or too similar to any other current businesses’ name recognized in Ohio.
Will the website address need to be changed along with the name?
You may need to update the website depending upon what name it is registered under.
Is a notarized signature required on any of the paperwork?
No, notarization of the signature is not recognized by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
Will I need to update bank accounts and credit cards with the new business name?
Yes, along with any current business contracts, and leases.
Can the name change be requested before or after the articles of incorporation are approved?
A name change can only be requested after the Articles of Incorporation are approved.
Can the name change be made so the name now contains a backslash?
The change can be made, but certain character exceptions are prohibited under Ohio law and would be rejected.
Can I delay the effective date of a filed amendment?
If the original filing of an amendment has not yet been processed and issued, you may file a request for the effective date to be delayed.
What happens if the Secretary of State declines my Name Reservation application?
If the requested business name is not available, the applicant will need to reserve another business name before proceeding with changing the name of the business.
Is a new trade license needed to change the name of a business in Ohio?
Depending upon the industry type, you may need to apply a separate license change.
Can you change a business name while it’s in the middle of a lawsuit?
You may have to request permission from a judge in order to change the name, depending upon the circumstances of the situation.
What happens if businesses change their name without filing the necessary paperwork?
Businesses that operate under an unregistered business name could face fines and disciplinary action taken by Ohio government.
Can I change the name of a corporation that has already dissolved?
Once a corporation completes the dissolution process under Ohio law, it is no longer authorized to conduct business. Going through the name change process is no longer a legal option.
Does a a DBA require a business name change application?
A DBA (“doing business as”) is registered with the County Clerk, rather than the Sectary of State, does not effect on the LLC members and does not require the same name change application process.
What happens to trademark rights when a business changes its name?
Trademark rights remain with the individual or business regardless of the name change.
Does the change require approval from shareholders or board directors for a corporation?
Depending upon the articles of organization regulations, shareholders may require notification but not necessarily approval to make a name change.
What happens to the current lease agreement when changing the business name?
Usually, the lease agreement will remain unchanged, applying to only to the legal right to inhabit the particular space.
What’s the procedure to change the business name in Ohio?
You need to file Articles of Amendment with the Ohio Secretary of State.
Which documents should I file to change my business name in Ohio?
You need to file Articles of Amendment with the Ohio Secretary of State.
What’s the cost to change the business name in Ohio?
It depends on the type of business entity you have, the method you use, and the type of change you want. The cost can range from $50 to $450.
Can I change the name of my Ohio business myself?
Yes, you can file the Articles of Amendment yourself or hire a lawyer to do it for you.
Can I reserve a new business name in Ohio before I file Articles of Amendment?
Yes, you can reserve the name for 180 days by filling out a Name Reservation Application of Ohio.
Can someone else use the same name as your changed business name in Ohio?
If your new business name distinguishes your business from others or is unique, no one else can use it.
Do I need to notify any state agencies about my changing business name in Ohio?
You need to update your business name with the Ohio Secretary of State, Ohio Department of Taxation, and Ohio Department of Job and Family Service.
Do I need to inform the IRS about my Ohio business name change?
Yes, you need to inform the IRS separately by filing the Form 8822-B (Change of Address or Responsible Party – Business).
Can an Ohio Corporation change its name with the Ohio Secretary of State?
Yes, an Ohio Corporation can change its name by filing Articles of Amendment.
Can an Ohio limited liability company (LLC) change its name with the Ohio Secretary of State?
Yes, an Ohio LLC can change its name by filing Articles of Amendment.
Can an Ohio partnership change its name with the Ohio Secretary of State?
Yes, an Ohio partnership can change its name by filing a partnership amendment form.
Can a nonprofit corporation change its name in Ohio?
Yes, you can change your business name by filing specific documents with the Ohio Secretary of State.
Will I lose any legal rights by changing the name of my Ohio business?
No, your business structure, ownership, and any licenses you hold will not change.
Can a foreign business corporation change its name in Ohio?
Yes, a foreign corporation that does business in Ohio can change its name by filing Articles of Amendment.
How long does it take to change my Ohio business name?
It depends on the method used. You can change the name instantly online or can take up to three weeks if filing via mail.
Do I need to file a DBA to change my business name in Ohio?
No, you don’t need to file a DBA to change your business name in Ohio.
Can I change my Ohio County-based LLC name to a state-spanning name?
Yes, you can change your Ohio County-based LLC name to a state-spanning name by filing Articles of Amendment.
Do I need to give my official new name to everyone separately?
No, just updating your documents with the Ohio Secretary of State will secure your new name.
Can my Ohio business name change be rejected or denied?
Yes, if Ohio’s business code rules have broken, an Ohio business name change can be rejected or denied.
When is a dissolving Ohio LLC automatically resulted?
Depending on the Dissolution provisions (if any) in the current LLC document — In case, through the dissolution process manual checkbox clause is CROSSED to dissolve the business LLC automatically after the Ohio business official entity registers its complete Dissolution Application/process.
Can the Secretary of State’s office recommend a tax clearance to a business that plans to change its name in Ohio?
Yes, the Ohio Department of Taxation will suggest the businesses pursue required tax clearances as a formality associated with the Different name Move.
How long will it take me to change my Ohio business name if no alterations or directions require tax clearance?
All Formal Professional LLC online submissions are accepted on business days till 12:15 p.m. Eastern Normal Currently time, and will be announced the same day night, unless another date is mentioned.
Must Ohio business LLCs proclaim County in their names?
Yes and no. If all members or sole proprietors are Ohio residents, Usually true. However, Ohio County-based materials filing Ohio Form-5124 or 5751 do not apply to business state tax refunds.
Can you leave out words like “liability” in my LLC’s official new name?
No, limited liability enterprise phraseology must retain things like membership and/or additionally limelighter nomenclatures many Ohio enterprise nomenclatures demand by same Code.
Who can make modifications such as transferring beneficiaries of their Ohio-powered enterprises?
All Overseers, Shareholders (proportion of a number allowed by the incorporated document), or supervisors of an Ohio business corporation might redefine beneficial container outlines.
How do I deal with a case in which two different business entities have the same name in Ohio?
We recommend selecting a new name if one of the companies refuses to relinquish the name; otherwise, attempt taking more specific nomenclature so that Ohio business seekers differentiate any user experience.
What documents will you assume completed for businesses going by their DBA alias, or assumed business name, Ohio?
Essentially it is recommended to file an updated Certificate of Name of DBA including certificates of registration related licensure filings for all involved state and other agencies updating all information required.
Can divisions of an Ohio association redirect towards the other concept despite being one business group or conglomerate ?
One Ohio Business Industry sector of a bundled together conglomerate (not reported inversely than a Joint joint recognition on functioning agreements and articles of integration) can identify diverse brand names when marketing despite holding recognized sites where-in Ohio.
Must Ohio recognized LLC names begin before certain achievements instead of following?
No, Not necessarily—the Secretary of State now grants Ohio approved LLC more flexibility to title limitless suggested name options, whether or not corporations and LLC’s are generally distinct of those OSO entities.
If the Ohio Director of Commerce affirms significant misuse, how long does it take to alter Ohio Company Standard Titles?
While recognizing administrative improvements, the Ohio Managing Director suggests concluding identity agreement conditions, using Ohio Secretary of State amended article choices reflecting existing trademarks were similar their understanding for full enforcement.

Also Read

Conclusion

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

Leave a Comment