trademarks

Changing Your Company Name

Before you change the name of your entity, there are some things to keep in mind. Not only can it be costly, but it can also disrupt your business activity. For example:

How long has your business been established?

The longer a business has been established, the more disruptive a name change can be. For example, former and existing customers will have to be notified and update their records. Employee email addresses would need to be changed. Printed materials, bank accounts, web sites, etc. would also need to be modified.

Is the name Trademarked?

Using a name that is trademarked by someone else can cost you an enormous amount in legal fees. It’s always a good idea to do an internet search to look for other companies that may have the name trademarked. The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has a helpful tool for searches. https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/

Is the domain name available?

You’ll want to make sure the domain isn’t already taken as well as search for variations.  For example, it may be available with “.com” at the end, but there may be a company with the same domain but “.net”. This can cause confusion for people searching out your company on the internet.

Is there negative publicity for a company that has the same or very similar name?

Even if a name isn’t trademarked, you’ll want to look for complaints. You don’t want potential customers to think these are about your company.

If you do decide to go through with a name change, here are some additional steps that should be tended to:

  • Have a formal meeting to discuss, vote and approve the name change.
  • Prepare Minutes and Resolutions
  • File an Amendment with the Secretary of State (home state and foreign where registered)
  • Notify your bank
  • Notify the IRS https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Business-Name-Change
  • Notify City, State and County revenue offices
  • Notify clients and vendors
  • Revise licenses and permits
  • File new “DBA”, if/when necessary
  • Update business documents (loan, lease, other contracts, etc.)
  • Obtain a replacement Record Book with new stock certificates & corporate seal
  • Reissue stock certificates under new business name

Amendments to Articles

Contributed by Deanna Kelly, Office Manager

Before you file an Amendment to the Articles with the Secretary of State you have a couple things to consider:

• You will need signed Special Meeting Minutes and a Resolution in your book reflecting that the Board met and voted in favor of the Amendment.

• If you are changing the name of your corporation you will need to then update your corporate record book. You will need the new name on the book, the stock certificates & corporate seal.

You will also need to notify your bank, vendors and customers of the new name.

• If you are changing the amount or par value of the corporations stock you will need to replace and reissue stock certificates reflecting the current amount of stock/par value.

As always, record keeping is the life of your corporation. Any changes in the corporation need to be documented with a meeting, vote, minutes and a resolution. All need to be signed and placed in your corporate book behind the “Minutes” tab along with all your Annual Minutes in chronological order.

Should you need assistance with filing an Amendment or obtaining replacement stock certificates, etc. give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.

Other recommended reading

IRS Audits and Record Keeping
https://elitebookkeepingtaxservices.blogspot.com/2013/05/irs-audits-and-record-keeping.html

Find out more about American Corporate Enterprises by visiting our website at https://americancorpenterprises.com. At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775) 884-9380 today.

At American Corporate Enterprises, Inc., we have the expertise to handle all your incorporation needs! Contact us

Toll free (888) 274-1130 or (775)884-9380 today and visit our website at www.americancorpenterprises.com.