Restrictions on a Name Change

Restrictions on a Name Change

Below are a few of the restrictions placed on new names:

  • Names of Famous People

    Choosing the same name as a famous person can be difficult. You may choose the name of someone famous so long as you are not adopting the name for fraudulent purposes. However, from a practical perspective, the court examines these applications very closely. For example, if you want to use the name "Britney Spears," you will have to convince the court that you do not look, act or sing like Britney and that you are not changing your name to take advantage of her fame.

  • Trademarked Names

    Company names and product names are usually protected by copyrights and trademarks. You should receive consent from whoever owns the fictitious name beforehand. For instance, if you wish to change your name to "Bose Audio" you should first receive consent from the company.

  • Initials, Numbers, and One-word Names

    Initials, numbers, and one-word names can all be used as legal names. For instance, Malcolm X was a legal name. Many of us have heard of the musician Prince changing his legal name to a simple sign (and then changing it back to Prince again). Nonetheless, one-word names and signs are typically more difficult to get approved.

  • Racial Slurs and Forbidden Words

    Profane words and racial slurs will not be accepted by courts. It is best to stay away from attempting to change your name to a racial slur or profane word.

 
  • Introduction to Changing Your Name
    LegalZoom's education center provides you with the information and resources you need when considering a name change. The Name Change Guide provides general information about changing your name, and the FAQs answer some of the most common questions people ask. This information allows you to make...
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  • Usage vs. Order of Name Change
    In most states, you may change your name by usage. This is accomplished by consistently using the new name in all aspects of your personal, social, and business life, to the point where it in fact becomes the name you are known by when dealing with others. This is legally valid and does not involve...
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  • Reasons for a Name Change
    There are various reasons for requesting a name change. It may be based on events such as divorce, or it may simply be based on dissatisfaction with the name. Some other fairly common reasons include:
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  • Types of Name Change Applications
    There are three types of name change petitions:<.p> Adult This is a name change filed by an adult individual. Minor This is a name change filed by individuals seeking to change the name of a minor. Usually, the petition is filed by the parents or guardian of the child. Family This name change...
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  • Legal Requirements for a Name Change
    The general legal requirements for changing your name are: Residency You must live in the county and state where the name change petition will be filed. In some states, you must have lived in the county and state for a certain time (often at least six months) prior to filing. Legal grounds for a...
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  • Restrictions on a Name Change
    Below are a few of the restrictions placed on new names:
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