The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not recognize the limited liability company (LLC) as a separate type of business entity. LLCs were created by state laws, and the IRS simply fits them into its preexisting entity categories on a case-by-case basis. Thus, how you change the name of the LLC depends on what type of entity the IRS perceives your business to be. In addition, in some circumstances, it might be necessary to obtain a new employer identification number (EIN).
Identify the entity type recognized by the IRS. If you are the sole owner of an LLC, the IRS will treat the business as a sole proprietorship. If there are multiple owners, the IRS will see only a partnership. In either situation, however, it is possible to have the IRS treat your LLC as a C corporation by election for such treatment on Form 8832.
Send a letter for a sole proprietorship. If the IRS classifies your solely-owned LLC as a sole proprietorship, you can change the name of the busines with the tax agency by simply submitting a letter. The letter must be signed by the owner or authorized representative and mailed to the address where the business tax return is filed.
File Form 1065 for a partnership. You can change the name of your partnership LLC at the time of filing your normal 1065 tax return. To do so, simply mark the appropriate name change box on Line G, Box 3 of the form. If you have already submitted your tax return for the year, you can change the name by sending a letter as above.
File Form 1120 for a corporation. If you have elected to have your LLC taxed as a corporation, you can change the name of the LLC on your Form 1120 tax return. Mark the appropriate name change box on Line E, Box 3 of the form (Line H, Box 2 of Form 1020S). Alternatively, if you have already filed your return for the year, you can send a letter signed by a corporate officer explaining the name change.
Apply for new EIN (if necessary). Simply changing the name of an LLC does not necessitate a new EIN. However, it will be necessary to obtain a new EIN if the business entity changes (for example, if you incorporate or receive a new charter). If the business merges into another business, is acquired or dissolved to create a new business, then a new EIN is required. If you are a sole proprietorship LLC and have filed for bankruptcy, a new EIN is necessary.
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