I’m going through a rebranding process. I’m considering changing my LLC name (a simple form with the state) or keeping the name and just doing a DBA (filing with county register of deeds). What would you do? If you have knowledge or experience with either, what are the pros/cons?
I’m not saying you are doing this, but there is a construction guy in my area that changes his business name every so often. Apparently he received legal advice and does this so he can get out of legal trouble (people saying he did poor work). Once again I am not saying this is you, just be aware of the optics of name changes, as it can cause suspicion with commercial people (businessmen/businesswomen) who are savvy to the legal caveats. Playing devils advocate, lawyers give out this advice because it works and I can see a legitimate need to do this.
I don’t know the proper term for this, but if you are a s corp, couldn’t you create a subsidiary of your corp and go that route. I thought about separating painting and paint prep from cleaning due to my state laws regarding sales taxes.
After my first year i rebranded. I changed my name from Dj’s Pressure Washing Services to Summit Wash Pros.
New Logos, Website, Signs, business cards, the whole look.
On the admin side, i had to change my name on EVERYTHING. My insurance, my lisencing witht the state and county, all my social medias, BBB, My accounts with other businesses with wrong email and name, my bank accounts, my email changed as well so i had to go to all my vendors and give them the correct information, My ads had to change, my spending cards had to be updated, the checkbook. It’s a long process. And im just a sole proprietor!
Pros: Rebranded the business to fit the direction i was going. New and improved look, Implemented keywords into my brand which helps with online visability in my area and marketing. Really thats it. It helped that i started early on as im still in the development stages of growing the business.
Cons: The stressors of having to do everything, Somewhat pricy, When it came time for property taxes, state was confused on the two names so I had to talk to them and resolve it, people still email your old email so i couldnt delete it for a while. Keeping up with current clients while you go through the change and changing contract information with them or updating those.
Infact, thats a key point, if you have a website and email named for the business like Bob@Pressurewashing.com or Bobswashing.com, something like that, make sure you keep those for atleast a year. Helps customers transition to your new points of contact. I ended up having my domain from my old website simply redirect to my new one, so when old customers with old business cards look up my old website it redirects to the new one. Email i still check here and there but its finally starting to die down so ill soon delete it. Already updated everything i mentioned above.
I might of went off topic a bit but, those were the things i went through when i was rebranding. Atleast just some off the top of my head.
I’ve rebranded, and Im about to rebrand again. First time was new name as I went from sole prop to llc. Now I’m rebranding because I’m going to do alot of adwords and other advertising and only window cleaning was in my name. I didnt want that driving customers away when now I really want to push the pressure washing. @Dirtyboy is right, it can look bad as I’ve had some people wonder why. Make sure you have an easy, non suspicious reason for people to understand and it shouldn’t have too much of an issue.
Thanks. I’m not worried about the optics. My company has a great reputation, the rebrand is to focus on and grow upon our core competencies. My biggest holdup is deciding between changing the actual business name or just keeping it (to save from the headache Dustin mentioned) and just creating a DBA
Only real difference I see is: do you want the ‘LLC’ at the end of it? If you do, then the proper way would be to change your entity name with your state and everyone else. But if you don’t care about that, then just register a dba under your company. Cheaper that way, I’m guessing.