How to Change Business Name in Illinois


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Change Business Name in Illinois

Changing a business name can give your company a new lease on life, but following the correct legal procedures is essential to ensure a smooth transition. The name is the first identity of your business. If you run it for a while and then decide to change, you must update the new name everywhere. In Illinois, popularly known as The Prairie State, the process of modifying your business name can be quite straightforward, provided you adhere to the necessary rules and regulations.

You must follow some steps and regulations while changing your business name. For example, if you start an LLC in Illinois, you must follow specific regulations the Illinois state government sets. The current population of the so-called The Prairie State is 12,807,072. Changing the name of your existing business in any city (especially in the capital, Springfield) might affect your business reputation and existing customers adversely. Hence, before you change the name of your business, make sure the decision is rightfully taken.

Technically, the process of changing your business name in Illinois involves three major steps. In this article, I have shared how to change a business name in Illinois. To learn everything about changing a business name, I recommend you read the whole article till the end.

Reasons to Change a Business Name in Illinois

  1. Rebranding: A business may want to change its name in Illinois to reflect the new brand identity, target a different market, or signify a shift in the company’s vision and goals.
  2. Merger or acquisition: If a business in Illinois merges with or is acquired by another company, a name change may be necessary to represent the combined entity accurately.
  3. Legal reasons: A business in Illinois may need to change its name due to trademark disputes, cease and desist letters, or other legal issues.
  4. Expanding to new markets: If a business in Illinois is looking to expand into new regions or countries, a name change may be needed to avoid confusion with existing businesses in those markets or to appeal to a broader audience.
  5. Negative associations: A business in Illinois may want to change its name if the current name has become associated with negative events, such as scandals or poor customer experiences.
  6. Simplifying the name: A business in Illinois may choose to change its name to a simpler or more memorable one, making it easier for customers to remember and find.
  7. Reflecting a change in ownership: If a business in Illinois changes ownership, the new owners might change the business name.

Things to Consider Before Changing Your Business Name in Illinois

There are a few things to consider before you change your existing business name. A business name change is a huge decision for any company. Changing the business name in Illinois frequently is neither easy nor desirable. If it is absolutely necessary to change the business name, you must consider the following points-

  1. Legal requirements: Ensure you follow the necessary legal steps to change your business name in Illinois.
  2. Name availability: Search the Illinois business registry to make sure your desired new name is available and does not infringe on any existing trademarks or business names.
  3. Impact on branding and marketing: Assess how a name change will affect your existing brand identity, marketing materials, and overall company image in Illinois.
  4. Customer perception and loyalty: Consider how your current customers in Illinois will react to a name change and whether it may cause confusion or negatively impact customer loyalty.
  5. Costs associated with the name change: Changing your business name in Illinois may involve costs such as new signage, website updates, and reprinting marketing materials. Be sure to budget for these expenses.
  6. Updating licenses and permits: You must update any licenses, permits, and registrations with the new business name in Illinois.
  7. Maintaining continuity: Consider maintaining continuity with your old name during the transition period and address any potential confusion among customers and clients in Illinois.
  8. Tax implications: Consult with a tax professional to understand any tax consequences or implications of changing your business name in Illinois.
  9. Reputation management: Be prepared to manage your online reputation during the transition, as customers may leave reviews or comments on social media related to the business name change.

How to Change a Business Name in Illinois

Changing your business name in Illinois is not difficult, as I mentioned. But, before we start with the steps, you must know that one must follow some LLC naming guidelines while naming their LLC. Based on the type of business structure, naming guidelines may vary. Following are some of the guidelines an LLC must follow while changing the business name-

  • The name should be available to use
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.
  • The name should not be confused with a government entity, such as banks, treasury, or any governmental organization.

Read Illinois LLC name search to learn about LLC naming if you form an LLC. Now, let’s dive into the steps to change the business name-

Step 1: Choose the New Name for Your Business

The first step is to choose a new name for your business. Many people file a DBA (Doing Business As) or a Fictitious Name before filing their business with the SOS. Later, they can change that name and get a new one when filing their business. When you decide to change the name of your business, you can search for the name to check if the new name is already taken or available for you to use.

To choose a new name, you must go through the same process you did when you first named your business. You go to the Illinois SOS, search for the name, check if the name is available to use if it is available, finalize it and proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Prepare Documents to File the Amendment

As soon as you are ready with the new business name, you must start preparing to file the Illinois Amendment. Along with the name change form, you must submit the following details,

  • Current business name
  • New business name
  • The entity number of the business – issued by Illinois state
  • Board of Directors’ approval statement (for corporations)
  • Information of shares (if applicable)
  • Signatures of members (LLC) or Shareholders (Corporation)
  • Illinois amendment filing fee

You must submit the above-mentioned list of details to the Illinois SOS while filing the new business name. Ensure the details you provide for the Amendment are consistent with the initial filing documents. Failing to do so might result in the cancellation of the registration.

Step 3: File the Illinois Amendment

Once everything is arranged and checked, you can file the Amendment. You must amend Illinois LLC Articles of Organization for LLC or amend Illinois Articles of Incorporation for the corporation. Remember, you must attach the name reservation form with the Amendment forms. You can file it online or by mail, whichever is available.

What Will Happen If I Change My Business Name in Illinois

You can change the name of your business in Illinois. You must file the Amendment for changing your name to the Illinois Secretary of State. The process of filing the amendment is the same for an LLC and a corporation. However, the forms are different. The forms are available on the official website of Illinois Secretary of State.

It is recommended to check if the name change is absolutely necessary. Because it can affect the whole business. In some cases, it is better to start a new Business than change the name of an existing one.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

Things to do After Filing the Illinois Amendment

As soon as you are done with the filing process, you must update the new business name in other areas as well. Following are some points to consider after you change your business name in Illinois-

  • Legal documents: Illinois statement of information, loan documents, active legal contracts, or any other legal documents must be amended with the changed name.
  • Informing stakeholders: Ensure that you communicate the name change effectively to all your stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and partners in Illinois.
  • City/local registration: Some cities/local authorities in Illinois might need business registration. If your city has the same rule, then you must register your new business name with the city by submitting appropriate documents.
  • Business License: The business licenses you obtained previously to run a business in Illinois have the current name of your business. Hence, you must update your new name with the proper department to obtain appropriate business licenses and permits.
  • Bank Accounts: It is obvious that all your business accounts in Illinois have a current business name. Once you change the name, file the amendment, and pay the fees, you must update the bank accounts to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): It is essential to update the IRS once you change your business name in Alabama. Neglecting to notify the IRS and other relevant entities may lead to confusion and disorganization within your business operations. It is absolutely necessary to amend with the IRS once you change the current business name in Illinois. Failing to amend with the IRS or any other places results in confusion and disorganization of the business.
  • Others: If you have employees, you must inform the employment development authority of the name change. Additionally, it is important to update various business permits and other legal documents as needed.
  • Website: Finally, if you have a domain, update the name there to avoid confusion. Signage, visiting cards, merchandise, and any other places where your business name is mentioned should be updated. Changing the domain name will not be a good idea as it can affect your SEO results.

FAQs

What is the process for changing a business name in Illinois?
To change your business name in Illinois, you must first file an Application for Fictitious Name with the Illinois Secretary of State. Once the application is approved, you will receive a Certificate of Fictitious Name which serves as your legal authority to conduct business under the new name.
What are the fees associated with changing a business name in Illinois?
The cost for filing an Application for Fictitious Name in Illinois is $150. In addition, a $50 filing fee must be paid to the Secretary of State for each additional Certificate of Fictitious Name.
Can I designate a different name for my business in Illinois than the one I use in other states?
Yes, you may designate a different name for your business in Illinois than the one you use in other states.
Do I need to register my business name with the Illinois Secretary of State?
Yes, in Illinois you must register your business name with the Secretary of State.
Do I need to file any documents with the local county Clerk’s office if I am changing my business name in Illinois?
Yes, if you are changing your business name in Illinois, you must also file a Certificate of Fictitious Name with the local county clerk’s office.
Do I need to register my new business name with the IRS?
No, you do not need to register your new business name with the IRS. However, you may need to update your EIN and other tax information with the IRS.
What information do I need to provide when filing an application for Fictitious Name in Illinois?
When filing an application for Fictitious Name in Illinois, you will need to provide information such as your business name, the type of business entity, the purpose of the business, the name and address of the owner, and any other required information.
How long does it take to have my business name changed in Illinois?
The processing time for changing a business name in Illinois is usually between one and two weeks.
Do I need to notify the Illinois Department of Revenue when changing the name of my business?
Yes, when you change the name of your business in Illinois, you must also notify the Illinois Department of Revenue.
What forms do I need to file when changing my business name in Illinois?
When changing your business name in Illinois, you must file an Application for Fictitious Name with the Secretary of State, as well as a Certificate of Fictitious Name with the local County Clerk’s office.
Can I use a trade name for my business in Illinois?
Yes, you can use a trade name for your business in Illinois. However, you must still register the trade name with the Secretary of State.
Does the business name I choose for my business in Illinois need to be unique?
Yes, the business name you choose for your business in Illinois must be unique and cannot be the same as another registered business name in the state.
Does the name I choose for my business in Illinois need to be approved by the Secretary of State?
Yes, the name you choose for your business in Illinois must be approved by the Secretary of State.
How do I know if the name I choose for my business in Illinois is available?
You can check the availability of the name you have chosen by searching the Secretary of State’s online database.
Do I need to publish a notice of the name change in a newspaper if I am changing the name of my business in Illinois?
Yes, if you are changing the name of your business in Illinois, you must publish a notice in a newspaper in the county where your business is located.
How long do I need to keep a copy of the Certificate of Fictitious Name on file?
You must keep a copy of the Certificate of Fictitious Name on file for five years from the date of issuance.
Can I change the name of my business more than once?
Yes, you can change the name of your business more than once. However, you must file a new application for Fictitious Name and register the new name with the Secretary of State each time.
Is a name change required if I move my business to a different location in Illinois?
No, a name change is not required if you move your business to a different location in Illinois.
Do I need to submit a new application for Fictitious Name if I am changing the ownership of my business in Illinois?
Yes, if you are changing the ownership of your business in Illinois, you must submit a new Application for Fictitious Name to the Secretary of State.
How do I know when my application for Fictitious Name has been approved?
You will receive a Certificate of Fictitious Name from the Secretary of State once your application for Fictitious Name has been approved.
Do I need to file a new application for Fictitious Name if I am changing the purpose of my business in Illinois?
Yes, if you are changing the purpose of your business in Illinois, you must submit a new Application for Fictitious Name to the Secretary of State.
Do I need to file an application for Fictitious Name if I am changing the name of my business from an LLC to a Corporation?
Yes, if you are changing the name of your business from an LLC to a Corporation in Illinois, you must submit an application for Fictitious Name to the Secretary of State.
Do I need to file a separate application for Fictitious Name for each location of my business in Illinois?
Yes, if you have multiple locations for your business in Illinois, you must file a separate application for Fictitious Name for each location.
How do I update my business name with the Illinois Department of Revenue?
To update your business name with the Illinois Department of Revenue, you must complete the Business Name Change Form and submit it to the Department.
If I am changing my business name, do I need to update my business licenses and permits?
Yes, if you are changing your business name, you must update any business licenses and permits that you have with the appropriate state and local agencies.
Do I need to notify my customers and vendors if I am changing my business name in Illinois?
Yes, you should notify your customers and vendors if you are changing your business name in Illinois.
How long does it take for the new name to become effective once I have filed the application for Fictitious Name with the Secretary of State?
The new name will become effective immediately upon filing your application for Fictitious Name with the Secretary of State.
What is required to change a business name in Illinois?
In order to change a business name in Illinois, you must first file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Illinois Secretary of State.
Is there a fee associated with changing a business name in Illinois?
Yes, there is a $150 filing fee associated with changing a business name in Illinois.
How long does it take to change a business name in Illinois?
The process of changing a business name in Illinois typically takes 2-3 weeks.
What paperwork is required to change a business name in Illinois?
You must submit a Certificate of Assumed Name form to the Illinois Secretary of State. This form includes the current business name and the new business name, as well as the address of the business.
Do I need to notify other government agencies of the business name change in Illinois?
Yes, you should notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Illinois Department of Revenue, and your local tax authorities of the name change.
Do I need to update my marketing materials after changing my business name in Illinois?
Yes, you should update any marketing materials, such as business cards and websites, to reflect the new business name.
What is the best way to inform my customers of the business name change in Illinois?
You should send an email to your customers informing them of the name change and provide a link to your website or other online location with more information. You may also want to include a printed flyer with the new business name in any shipments or invoices sent out to customers.

Also Read

Why Illinois Change Business Name is So Important

A business’s name is often its first point of contact with customers. It serves as an identifier, representing the values, mission, and reputation of the brand. With Illinois Change’s decision to change its name, it signals a significant shift in the company’s identity and direction. This new name will not only represent a fresh start for the business but also set the tone for its future endeavors.

Furthermore, changing a business name can also have a positive impact on customer perception and brand loyalty. In today’s competitive market, customers are increasingly drawn to brands that are innovative, forward-thinking, and adaptable. By rebranding as Illinois Change, the company is demonstrating its commitment to adapt to the changing market trends and consumer preferences. This can help attract new customers, retain existing ones, and elevate the company’s reputation in the industry.

Moreover, a name change can also help to differentiate the business from its competitors. In a sea of similar-sounding names and brands, a unique and memorable name can help the company stand out and make a lasting impression on consumers. Illinois Change’s decision to change its name sets it apart from other businesses in the region and gives it a competitive edge in the market.

Another key reason why Illinois Change’s name change is so important is the potential impact it can have on employee morale and engagement. A company’s name is often a source of pride for its employees, representing the values and identity they hold dear. By changing its name, Illinois Change is not only signaling a new chapter for the business but also creating a sense of excitement and renewed energy among its staff. This can lead to increased motivation, productivity, and a stronger sense of belonging within the organization.

Overall, the decision of Illinois Change to change its name is not just a mere rebranding exercise but a strategic move that embodies its commitment to growth, innovation, and adaptability. By choosing a new name that reflects its values and vision for the future, the company is positioning itself for long-term success in the dynamic business landscape. As consumers, employees, and stakeholders witness this transformation, they will undoubtedly be inspired by the company’s bold step towards change and eagerly anticipate what the future holds for Illinois Change.

Conclusion

It is not desirable to change business names frequently. But if it is required, you must change it. Whether you are rebranding or restructuring your company, this guide walks you through the essential steps to change your business name in Illinois efficiently and effectively. The process of changing the name and filing the amendment form in Illinois is not so difficult. However, a list of details is needed to submit. Make sure they all are accurate and consistent with the previous filing documents.

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