An address change in the life of your limited liability company (LLC) may not seem like a major event. But it could lead to one if you don’t update your business location on your governing documents and with other agencies and parties. Failure to change your business address can lead to your LLC losing its operating license.
Do I always have to change my business address?
Not always. If you’re opening a new office but will still operate from your existing location, most likely, you will not have to change your LLC address. If, however, you don’t plan on being physically present at the existing location, plan to work from home, or will now have a virtual office address, you’ll need to update your address with the appropriate agencies and parties.
Whom do I notify about my LLC address change?
The four big places to notify about your new business address are the U.S. Post Office (USPS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), your state taxing agencies, and any other relevant licensing agencies.
Here’s how to go about notifying them about an LLC address change:
U.S. Postal Service
The post office makes it very easy to change your address. Just go online to USPS.com/move and follow the prompts to fill in your old information and new business address. (If you're moving your home address, you'll need to fill out a separate change of address form with your new contact info.)
Go to the IRS.gov website to search and find Form 8822-B. You’ll use this form to change your registered business mailing address, business location, or the identity of your responsible party. The form is fairly straightforward and takes care of updating your Employer Identification Number (EIN) information.
Once you’ve downloaded and filled out the form, you’ll need to mail the original physical copy to the IRS. Unlike Form SS-4, which you used to obtain your EIN, the IRS doesn’t permit online submissions of Form 8822-B. Make sure to keep a copy of the completed document for your records.
State taxation agencies
Each state is different, so you’ll need to check with your state’s tax collector’s office to determine the notification requirements. You’ll need to notify all states in which your company does business.
Some states, like Texas and Florida, make it very easy to change your address. Just go online and enter your information on the amendment form, and there’s no fee attached. Other states, like Pennsylvania, have a minimal ($5) processing fee to change your registered office mailing address.
Relevant licensing agencies
Depending on the state in which your LLC is located and your industry, you most likely have to notify those entities of your correct address. You’ll want to update these agencies so you continue to receive important certifications and license renewal information at the correct LLC address. You also might need to cancel local or state licenses from your old location.
If your registered agent is a separate entity, i.e., not an employee or member of your LLC, you won’t need to update your address with the government agencies because the registered office address is that of the registered agent. You will, however, need to notify the agent of your new physical location so any original documents get to you in a timely manner.
Whom else should I notify?
Government agencies, corporations, and registered agents aren't the only entities with an interest in knowing how to find you once you've moved.
Financial institutions, lenders, vendors, and customers
Add banks and vendors whose statements and correspondence you don’t want to miss to the list of entities to notify. If lenders helped your LLC get started, you probably have as a condition that you must inform them of a change of address. All your customers should also be notified of address changes because some may send payments to the old address after your post office forwarding notice ends. Most likely, you’ll be able to notify these parties about your new location through an online portal, a form letter, or an email to your contact list.
When you created your LLC, you had to designate a registered agent to keep track of the business’ important legal and tax document deliveries. They must know about business address changes.
Website and social media profiles
You can notify the public of your new address by updating the address on your website and social media accounts. This is a simple process, but if you have any trouble, your web developer can help or do it.
Just to cover all your bases, it would be a good idea to place a sign at your old location to let any in-person visitors know about your new location. Without the signage, you may lose customers who will assume you’re closed for good.
What forms should I update about business location?
Articles of organization
When you created your LLC, you filed articles of organization (sometimes called “certificate of formation” or something similar) with your secretary of state or a similar agency. You’ll need to revisit that office’s website or call to learn the specific regulations, required forms, filing fees, and local licenses (if any) that are necessary to update the LLC articles of organization with your new business address. Once you know which forms to complete, fill them out and submit them to the secretary of state in your jurisdiction and pay the corresponding filing fee.
You need to ensure your business and other insurance coverage remains valid. Since your physical location may affect the type of insurance you need and the premiums you’ll pay, you need to inform them about your LLC address change.
What if I’m moving my LLC address to a new state?
If you’re moving your headquarters to a new state but want to continue doing business in your old state, you have some options. (You still need to notify everyone mentioned above.)
Register a foreign LLC
The best option for doing business in your old city or state once you’ve moved is to register as a foreign LLC. When you register as a foreign LLC, you’re simply stating that your business' headquarters is in a state other than the one in which you’re doing business. For example, if your business has a Michigan headquarters registration, but you’re also doing business in Indiana, you need to register a foreign LLC in Indiana.
After you register your foreign LLC, you must then comply with the laws in all the states in which you’ve registered. For example, if the states have different annual filing fees and requirements, you must follow all of them. That can get complicated and expensive, but that’s the only way for your LLC to conduct business in multiple states.
If you no longer want to do business in your home state, you have other options to transfer your LLC to a new state.
Dissolve your existing LLC
If you do plan to transfer everything to your new state and completely stop doing business in your previous state, dissolving your existing LLC and forming a new one in your new state may be the best way to go about it.
The process to dissolve your existing LLC varies by state. If you’re a single-member LLC with no debts, the process is fairly simple. Your articles of organization or operating agreement will detail rules for how to dissolve your LLC.
Dissolution generally requires a vote of the members. If you’re the only member, there’s no problem. If you have multiple members, you may need everyone’s approval. Whether your LLC is a single-member or multi-member, you’ll need to wrap up all the business of the LLC to dissolve it, which means paying off all debts and distributing all the assets.
Gains will be taxable if the value of cash or securities distributed to members is greater than their original contribution. (Appreciation on real estate or personal property assets is not taxable.)
Only once you dissolve your old LLC according to the laws of that state can you then form a new LLC in your new state.
Domesticate your LLC
The other option is to domesticate your LLC. You can change the state of registration for your LLC. Once you complete the process, the laws of the original state cease to apply, and the new state laws come into effect.
There are several benefits to domesticating your LLC:
- There’s no interruption in business
- You can continue to use your same bank accounts
- You can continue to use the same EIN
- Dissolution is not necessary
The domestication process itself differs by state, and you need to follow the laws of both states. In general, however, the domestication process is:
1. Draft conversion plan. This step, which outlines the steps of domestication, is best done by an attorney.
2. Approve conversion plan. Members approve the plan.
3. Complete documents for each state.
4. File. Submit conversion forms and pay fees.
5. Fully form the new domesticated LLC. Complete the new state’s documents required by law.
Conflicting laws between states make domestication complicated. There may also be tax considerations at the state level, such as unpaid franchise taxes, that may become due.
Make a change business address checklist
Whenever you move your business, you’ll have so much more to do than just change your LLC address. But changing your address is not something you can forget because not doing so could shut down your business and hurt your business name.
So many parties have an interest in your work, so they'll need to know your new business address, especially government entities such as the Internal Revenue Service. The best way to ensure you complete this crucial step is to make yourself a checklist of everything to do to move your business—and put changing your address right at the top.
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