What Steps Do I Need to Take When Changing a Business Name?
Changing your business name can be a daunting task, but our panel of experts, including founders, CEOs, and marketing professionals, are here to help. In this article, we’ve compiled 13 essential steps to follow when rebranding, from creating and promoting a new logo to updating insurance information. Don’t miss these valuable insights from industry leaders!
- Create and Promote New Logo
- Secure Domain Name Availability
- Announce Change on Social Media
- Ensure Legal Compliance
- Communicate Effectively with Stakeholders
- Consult Younger People for Feedback
- Involve Customers in Decision-Making
- Develop a Customer Notification Plan
- Inform Existing Business Connections
- Keep Up With Government Documents
- Select a Unique Business Name
- Register With Government Agencies
- Update Insurance Information
Create and Promote New Logo
A business should consider two related actions when changing its name: create a brand-new logo and promote the heck out of it. If you don’t have anyone in-house with design talent, hire a professional to create a new logo for you. Then use it in all of your communications, including those with your own staff.
Place your new logo on corporate shirts and incentive items for employees. The new logo can be printed on giveaways to hand out at local events such as fairs, community festivals, and sporting events. This is the perfect way to familiarize your audience with your new name, establish brand recognition, and boost public relations.
Writer, Totally Promotional
Secure Domain Name Availability
One of the most important things to do when changing a business name is to make sure the logical domain name for your website is available. You need to own the .com address even if you will market your .ai or .io address. If the domain you want isn’t available or you can’t buy it for a good price, it’s simply not worth changing to that name.
Co-founder, Lindenwood Marketing
Announce Change on Social Media
When changing a business name, one of the most important things to do is to inform your audience beforehand on social media. I learned this from personal experience when I rebranded my business.
By announcing the change on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I could reach out to my existing customers, followers, and potential clients. Not only did it create awareness about my rebranding, but it also helped me to maintain the trust and loyalty of my audience by keeping them in the loop.
It allowed me to receive feedback and suggestions from my customers, which helped me to fine-tune my brand and messaging. Informing your audience beforehand is crucial when changing your business name as it helps you to maintain transparency, engage with your audience, and receive valuable feedback.
Marketing and Outreach Manager, ePassportPhoto
Ensure Legal Compliance
Changing your business name only works out when you go about the transition legally and complete the process in compliance with prevalent rules and regulations.
Besides the primary paperwork that helps the name change, you also ensure that all relevant state and federal organizations with which your business is associated are informed of this change by following due procedure.
An option you can choose as an alternative is registering a DBA (doing business as) name instead. This way, you won’t have to undergo this tedious process of changing your business name, but can also use this alternative name legally.
Managing Attorney, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Communicate Effectively With Stakeholders
When changing a business name, it’s crucial to communicate the change effectively to all stakeholders. This includes informing customers, suppliers, partners, and employees about the new name and the reasoning behind the change. A well-structured announcement plan can help maintain trust and ensure a smooth transition.
Craft an interesting narrative that shares the motivation behind the name change, emphasizing the benefits it brings to stakeholders. Leverage multiple channels, such as email newsletters, social media, blog posts, and press releases, to reach your audience effectively.
Update all branded assets, including logos, marketing materials, and legal documents, to maintain consistency and reinforce the new identity. By executing these steps diligently, you can seamlessly transition to the new name while preserving your brand’s value and reputation.
Consult Younger People for Feedback
It might seem like a bit of a silly tip, but I highly recommend you do this. I’m not exactly ancient myself, so I’ve definitely noticed one or two businesses in my area that could have benefited from this advice as they ended up naming it something that’s become very slangy. You can always pay for a study or two on this, but honestly, you’ll want to run it past some younger folks first to ensure you’re not missing anything.
Involve Customers in Decision-Making
Your business name is the center of your brand identity; hence, changing it is a process in which all stakeholders must be involved, especially the customers. The wisest thing to do in this process is to collect feedback on proposed changes and prioritize what your customers feel is the proper name change or decision. This initiative makes your brand inclusive and allows you to proceed with an option that keeps the target audience satisfied and connected to the brand.
Co-founder and CMO, ParcelPanel
Develop a Customer Notification Plan
Business owners that change their name will often spend an enormous amount of time going through the paperwork and legal details but will spend little effort notifying their customers, and therefore it is critical to map out a notification plan.
Simply sending out an email or making an announcement on a single social media platform will not suffice, and will end up confusing your customers and losing business.
Therefore, creating a plan that notifies your customers at every point of engagement, including social media, newsletters, blogs, emails, and even SMS, will ensure they are aware of the change. In addition, it allows you to start the rebranding process.
By creating a comprehensive notification plan, you will make certain your customers are aware of your name change and create a seamless transition into the next phase of your business.
Founder and CEO, Betterly
Inform Existing Business Connections
Your existing customers, clients, and vendors should be the first to know about your move to change your business name. In a B2B business environment, your timely notification will help clients and vendors update their database and systems to reflect this change so that any future business can be conducted smoothly.
Whether it is future payments or communication, this will help all parties make a seamless transition. If required, you may have to follow up with reminders to ensure these changes are started promptly.
With customers, you’ll have to put in even more effort because you do not want to lose any existing customers because of the confusion between your old brand name and the new one.
VP of Marketing and Sales, Proprep
Keep Up With Government Documents
The vast majority of commercial enterprises own licenses and permissions from a variety of governmental authorities. To find out how to change your name on those documents, you will need to get in touch with each of the offices that are linked with those permits. It is likely that there will be a charge.
Managing Director, The Fitness Circle
Select a Unique Business Name
Although it’s difficult to always come up with a unique business name, it’s in your best interest to do some preliminary research to ensure the name you choose isn’t already associated with a company that is like yours.
This will make it easier with the business aspect and make it easier for your customers to find you and not another company. Also, try to come up with a unique twist or play on words to increase the chances that you are the only business with that name or variation of it.
Senior Manager, Digital Marketing and Partnerships, StickerYou
Register With Government Agencies
The most important step to take while changing a business name is to register the new name with government agencies. This will vary depending on the state where your business is located but typically involves filing Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State’s office or a similar agency and notifying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by applying for a new Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Do not forget to notify the name change to other government agencies like state tax agencies and local business licensing departments. It is also better to notify your bank(s), credit card companies, and other financial institutions you are associated with.
In a nutshell, it is most important to file appropriate papers with all the required government agencies for which it is best to appoint a tax attorney with good experience in all the formalities to be completed so that you may not face any glitches while doing business in a new name nor get involved in any tax problems later.
Content Manager, Swapnil Pate SEO
Update Insurance Information
In order for insurance providers to adjust their records and make sure your policy is current, they will need to be informed of any modifications to your company name. Your insurance coverage might no longer be valid if it hasn’t been updated in their system. Whenever you need to make a claim, this could cause issues, and if you couldn’t use the policy, it could cause expensive fees.
Company Director, ICMP
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