Quick Start Guide to Naming Your Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Quick Start Guide to Naming Your Limited Liability Company (LLC).

As the global economy slowly recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs are getting inspiration to start their dream companies. In November 2023, the Census Bureau recorded approximately 464,838 business applications.

Entrepreneurs founding their own startups also see the critical benefits of the limited liability company (LLC) business structure. However, before you can reap these benefits, you must first complete your registration. This process begins with thinking of a unique name for your new business.

What you need to know when naming an LLC

There are guidelines you should remember when naming a new LLC. Typically, a business name should end with the words “LLC,” “corporation,” or “limited.” You can also use abbreviations like LLC or Co. Or Ltd.

The above terms are necessary to make it clear that the entity is an LLC and not a corporation or any other business type. The following examples are some of the ways you can name a limited liability company (LLC):

  • AAA Limited Liability Company
  • AAA Limited Liability Company

Avoid terms that may mislead your clients or customers. You should not add anything that falsely suggests that your business is a corporation, insurance company, bank, or other type of organization otherwise. This means that you cannot use words like “merged” or “corporate” because they may be misleading.

Furthermore, you may not use terms that imply that your company was formed for any reason other than the permitted use. If you want to include words like “lawyer” or “medical,” you may have to provide additional paperwork to prove that a licensed professional works under your business.

The government agency responsible for handling business applications in your location will have to approve the name you choose. In most states, the Secretary of State’s office grants approval. However, approval authority varies in some areas of the United States.

For example, in states like California and Texas, you must file your articles of organization with the Secretary of State’s office. Meanwhile, our step-by-step guide to forming a New Jersey LLC will tell you that you must file a public records file and certificate of formation with the Department of Revenue and Corporation Services.

How do you know if your business name has been taken?

You cannot choose a name for your LLC that is too similar or identical to the name of an existing corporation in your state. In some cases, you will not receive approval if the business name you choose already operates in other states or internationally.

To ensure approval, you must first ensure that the name you want is available. There are two simple ways to check if an LLC name is already in use in your state.

If you hire an attorney to form an LLC, he or she can help you verify the availability of the name before filing articles of organization.

Another way is to search for the name in the trade names database on the Secretary of State’s website. However, this method will only show you companies registered in your state, so it cannot guarantee that the LLC name is truly unique.

In some states, the secretary’s office can do the search for you for a fee before you can submit the relevant documents. This way, you’ll know if the name will be rejected before you submit your job application. This feature helps entrepreneurs avoid rejection and restart the overall application process.

To be safe, you should determine if the name you want is not in use, even outside your state. Type your desired business name into Google and see if anyone, anywhere, uses or duplicates it.

You can also use Thomas’s registry of products and services or SuperPages to see trade names and company names online. These pages allow you to see active business names without paying any fees.

Tips to remember when naming your business

In addition to meeting the basic legal requirements for LLC names, you must also consider other factors when choosing a name for your company.

For example, your domain name can be just as important as your business name. When founding your startup, you’ll likely need to set up a website with a domain name that represents or matches the name of your entity.

Before choosing a name, make sure the domain you want is not in use and find out how much it will cost to purchase it. There are various online resources with a directory of reliable registrars where you can find generic domain names.

Aside from that, you should also look to the future when choosing a name for your business. Choose words that continue to stand out even as your company grows.

For example, if you run the business independently, you can use your name for an LLC. However, once you decide to expand and hire new employees, a business name like “April Smith Coaching LLC” may confuse clients expecting to interact with you.

Likewise, if you are offering a product, avoid using that product name as your brand so that you don’t have to worry once you expand your product lines.

These are some things to consider when choosing a name for your new LLC. By keeping these pointers in mind, you can create a modern brand that can grow with your business.

Make your brand memorable with a unique business name

Choosing a name for your new company is just one of many critical business decisions you must make when starting a new venture. Taking the time to make sure your name fits your business and sets you apart from the competition will undoubtedly pay off in the future. If you are concerned about the legal implications of choosing a name for your LLC, you can always seek professional advice from expert lawyers.

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