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Name change - how and what next?

Provided by:  Jennifer Kirschenbaum, Esq.

August 15, 2017

 

Question:


Hi Jennifer,

Hope all things are well. Just wanted to run something by you.

As the practice is growing and we are hiring more doctors and Nurse practitioner, we would like to consider changing the name of the practice so that new Dr’s feel they are part of group. Wanted to know from you what are things we need to consider to do this? Do we need to update some sort of company registry? Trademarks search? Partnership agreement? Is there a simple way to do this?

Please let us know your thoughts.

Best
E

Answer: 

Glad to hear you are looking to expand!  The first step is to file for a DBA from the entity name – which is a basic filing with the Department of State.  Then you will be legally linked to the new name.  In the alternative, we can change the corporate name (also a standard form we file with Department of State), but not a necessity.  The DBA filing tells the State you are operating under the new name and you can use on future documents, marketing/advertising materials, etc.  If you prefer to go with the full change, there is no need to change corporate documents going forward - but you should notify your accountant, bank, relationships, etc. that the name has changed.  You will receive a filing receipt from the State showing the changed name you can provide as proof of the change after the filing has happened.  

Related to trademark - if you have trademarked a logo or practice name, and now you have a new logo or practice name you want protected from others' use, we will have to file a new trademark.  

If you go with the DBA option, you can still use the original name because it still exists, and you can use the DBA name because you have properly notified the State.  The complete name change is a bit more involved.  

Happy to discuss offline if more clarification is desired. 


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