How Businesses Can Easily Change Their Names with the IRS

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Understanding the Process of Changing a Business Name with the IRS

For many businesses, a change in name can signify a rebranding strategy, a major corporate restructuring, or an alignment with a broader market reach. Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial for business owners to understand the proper procedures involved when changing their company’s name, especially how to report this change to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Accurate reporting ensures compliance with tax obligations and helps in maintaining clear legal status.

Step 1: Check Local and State Requirements

Before notifying the IRS, businesses must follow local and state business name change procedures. This typically involves amending your business registration details with the state entity that registers businesses, such as the Secretary of State. It is important to obtain approval from your state first, as this will affect all other legal documents and registrations.

Step 2: Notify the IRS

Once the name change is legalized at the state level, the next step is notifying the IRS. The method of notification depends on the type of business entity you operate.

For Sole Proprietors

If you operate as a sole proprietor, the process of notifying the IRS about a business name change is relatively simple. You should report this change when you file your annual individual income tax return, IRS Form 1040. Clearly indicate the name change on the top of Form 1040 and check the appropriate box on the form that asks if you have changed your business name.

For Partnerships

For partnerships, the process is similar but involves a different form. Report the change on IRS Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income. Include a statement with the return indicating the old business name and the new business name.

For Corporations and LLCs

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) must indicate their name change differently, depending on whether they operate as an S corporation or a C corporation. This can be done by checking the name change box on IRS Form 1120S for S corporations or on IRS Form 1120 for C corporations. It’s also recommended to attach a copy of the filed amendment with your state that reflects the name change approval.

Step 3: Update Your EIN Information

If your business operates under an Employer Identification Number (EIN), it’s crucial to update your EIN records with the IRS after a name change. While the EIN itself does not change, you must ensure that the IRS has on record the correct name associated with your EIN. This is done by filing IRS Form 8822-B, Change of Address or Responsible Party — Business, and checking the box for a name change.

Step 4: Communicate with Other Agencies

In addition to notifying the IRS, don’t forget to update other relevant federal and state agencies. This includes your state tax agency, the Social Security Administration (for employee tax reporting purposes), and any licensing and permitting agencies. Consistency across all government records prevents any potential legal or operational issues.


Changing your business name involves more than just a new logo or a sign on your door. It requires careful coordination with state and federal authorities to ensure all legal and administrative records are updated accordingly. By following the steps outlined above, businesses can efficiently manage their name change process with the IRS, maintaining compliance and ensuring ongoing operations are not disrupted. Always consult with a legal or tax professional if you encounter complex issues during this transition.

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