How to Change Corporate Names in California

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California requires you to file corporate name changes with the secretary of state in Sacramento.
California requires you to file corporate name changes with the secretary of state in Sacramento. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Selecting a new corporate name may be advisable for marketing or promotional purposes. The selection should convey the company's mission, vision and values. In California, a corporate name change requires the submission of several forms and fees to the office of the secretary of state in Sacramento, the state capital.

Go to the website of the California secretary of state's office and download the "Name Availability Inquiry Letter." The letter requests that the department check the availability of the proposed new corporate name. You should propose at least two new names just in case your first choice is unavailable. Submit the form to the secretary of state's office together with a $4 fee (as of January 2011) for each name searched

Complete and submit the "Statement of Information" form, if required, which provides information about the corporation to the secretary of state. You cannot amend the corporation's name until the document is on file.

Complete the "Certificate of Amendment" form if you wish to change the name, and have the president or secretary of your corporation sign the document after you receive correspondence regarding the name check. Submit the form along with the filing fee to the secretary of state's office. As of January 2011, the fee to file an amendment is $30.

Safeguard the certified copies of your name application, which you should receive from the secretary of state's office after processing. Your amendment is not complete until you receive the certified copies.

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