Way back when you first started your small business, did you pick a name that no longer seems to fit?
If so, you aren’t alone. A lot of people don’t realize the direction their business is going to take until it suddenly takes off — and, by then, the old name may no longer fit your brand’s needs.
If it’s time to make a name change to reflect your brand and business evolution, you want to make certain that you don’t overlook the following steps:
1. Your “Doing Business As” (DBA) registration
Make certain that you contact the government office where you registered your original DBA and cancel the old one. Then, file the appropriate paperwork under your new name, including the application for a vendor’s license in the new name (if that’s appropriate for your business). You may also need to reapply for a resale license under your new name.
2. Your bank accounts
Each bank has its own methods for handling this sort of procedure. You may be able to simply change the name on your accounts or you may be obligated to close out one account and open a new one.
3. Your contract forms
One of the most overlooked items is the contract forms that you may use. While changing the name of the business on your contracts is fairly easy, you don’t want to accidentally forget and create a legal nightmare for yourself down the line.
4. Your marketing materials
This is a catch-all term for just about everything else you have in the name of the old business. It includes:
- Your business cards
- Your letterheads
- Your domain name
- Your company handouts
- Your email
- Your electronic signature file
- Shipping labels
This is, obviously, not a totally exhaustive list and you may have other things that come to mind.
Ultimately, if you have any questions about your business name change, it may be wise to get some legal advice in the area of business formation and planning.