How to Change Trading Name for a Sole Trader

If you're a sole trader, you operate your business either under your own name or under a fictitious business name. The need to change the trading name for a sole trader may arise in such circumstances as changing a legal name due to marriage or divorce, or renaming a business. The process of changing a trading name for a sole trader is relatively simple and can often be accomplished within a week.

Steps

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    Determine what your new trading name as a sole trader will be. This can be your new legal name or a new fictitious business name.
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    Collect your official business license documentation, your ID, and any documentation pertaining to your legal personal name change, if applicable, and visit your local chamber of commerce or city department, depending on where you live. Ask them which forms you need to fill out to change the trading name for a sole trader.
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    Fill out all necessary paperwork to obtain a new business license with your new trading name. In most countries, you will have to pay a small administration fee.
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    Double check the paperwork and your new business license to see if your new trading name for a sole trader is listed correctly. If not, contact the appropriate department immediately to request rectification of the mistake.
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    Make a list of all business associates and contacts you need to inform of your business's name change.
    • You'll need to officially change your trading name with your bank and business creditors.
    • Send an email or letter to all of your business associates and clients informing them of your trading name change.
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    Order new business cards and company stationary with your new trading name. If you have any other promotional materials with your company's name on them, have them updated too.
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    Change your trading name on your website and in your email signatures.
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    Issue a press release about your company's name change so everybody in your field is aware of it.

Tips

  • Changing a trading name for a sole trader can be a timely opportunity to give your company a new look or new image. Consider whether to update your logo and website look to follow more modern trends.

Warnings

  • You can only change your trading name as a sole trader if you're remaining the sole proprietor of the company. If you're selling your company to a new owner or bringing in a business partner, you'll need to ask at your chamber of commerce or appropriate city department how to register this.

Things You'll Need

  • Business license documentation
  • Identification
  • Documentation pertaining to your legal personal name change
  • List of business associates and contacts

Article Info

Categories: Buying & Forming a Business