A business name may change for many reasons such as restructuring, a new location or a change in product concentration. In Illinois, a business name change must be filed with the Secretary of State using a simple form. Filing for a business name change in Illinois is inexpensive and can be completed in about two months.
Locate Illinois Form BCA-4.15/4.20 if you are a corporation or form LLC-1.20 if you are a limited liability corporation. You can find the form on the Cyber Drive Illinois website (see Reference 1). Click on the type of business you have, corporation or LLC, and find the proper form on the list.
Gather the information necessary to complete the form. For either form, you will need: the current legal business name; state or country of incorporation or organization; date of incorporation, organization or the date the company was authorized to conduct business in Illinois; and the new business name.
Complete the form. Print and write the answers or type the answers in the form. Question five on form BCA-4.15/4.20 requires you to enter a date on which your right to use the assumed name will expire. The date is computed using “the first day of the corporation’s anniversary month in the next year evenly divisible by five.” For example, if the anniversary date is July 29 and the current year is 2009, the expiration date should be July 1, 2010. If you are completing form LLC-1.20, the filing is valid for five years. Print the form and have an authorized employee sign and date the form. An authorized employee is a person who has a position in the company whose title and responsibility authorizes the person to complete forms related to such issues as a business name change. Make a copy of the signed form for your record.
File the form along with payment, and file a public notice. As of 2010, the filing fee is $25 for a corporate name change, $100 for an LLC. Payment can be made using a check or money order.
Form BCA-4.15/4.20 with payment should be mailed to:
Secretary of State Department of Business Services Springfield, IL 62756
Form LLC-1.20 with payment should be mailed to:
Department of Business Services Limited Liability Division Room 351 Howlett Building 501 S. Second St. Springfield, IL 62756
File public notice after the form is filed with the Secretary of State. The public notice must be in a publicly circulated newspaper in the county in which the business is currently registered. The notice must state the business name change information. You can find a list of newspapers in Illinois on the News Link website (see Reference 3). Call the newspaper to inquire about cost, and place the public notice for publication.
The notice must be published once a week for three consecutive weeks, and must start within 15 days of the name-change filing. Proof of publication, in the form of a receipt from the newspaper, must be submitted to the same address you mailed your form to within 50 days of the form filing date.
If you are a sole proprietor, your name-change forms must be filed at the county clerks office where your business is registered.
Use certified mail to ensure receipt at the destination.