What Does LLC Mean on the End of a Company Name?

By Lauren Miller

LLC is the abbreviation for limited liability company. LLCs are relatively new business structures that combine the features of a corporation and a partnership, specifically the tax benefits of partnerships and the liability protections of a corporation. State governments regulate LLCs, and restrictions on LLC names and abbreviations vary from state to state.


Business structures similar to LLCs have been in use in Europe since the nineteenth century. However, LLCs in the United States did not appear until the late 1970s. The state of Wyoming enacted the first LLC law in 1977, providing the first legal definition of the structure. Other states were slow to create LLC laws as they waited for the Internal Revenue Service to decide on how to treat LLCs for tax purposes. LLCs can now choose to be taxed as sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations.

Limited Liability

The "limited liability" in LLCs refers to the fact that owners, called members, are protected from personal liability for the business actions of the company. Consequently, if the LLC is sued or runs up debt, the personal assets of members cannot, in most cases, be used to satisfy claims from plaintiffs or creditors. This is a feature that LLC members have in common with the shareholders of corporations. However, liability is "limited" because members are not immune to suits involving civil wrongdoing, also known as a tort.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

Abbreviations and Variations

Each state has rules regarding how the words “limited liability company” can be represented in a company name. These rules are generally explained in the “Name” sections of a state's LLC law. Generally, business owners can use the words "limited liability company" or “limited company” after the LLC's unique name. Some states allow “limited” to be abbreviated at “Ltd.” Commonly allowed abbreviations include “L.L.C,” “L.C.,” “LC” and “LLC”


States have restrictions on what type of companies may be defined as an LLC, including banks, trusts, credit unions and insurance companies. Consequently, LLCs are prohibited from using words in the company name that imply the firm is conducting business as a restricted type. Depending on the state, restrictions may also include LLCs that provide professional services such as doctors, therapists and acupuncturists.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
Oregon Limited Liability Company Act


Related articles

Can an LLC Use an Inc. Designation?

The designation “LLC” stands for “limited liability company,” which is a form of business entity that is similar in some ways to a corporation, but is separate and distinct from a corporation. The designation “Inc.” stands for “incorporated” and is used solely to identify a corporation. Every state has laws regarding the formation of an LLC, and these laws include specific requirements regarding the words and designations that can legally be included as part of the name for a LLC. No state allows an LLC to use the designation "Inc."

When Do You Need to Register a DBA for an S-Corp?

Under ordinary circumstances, registering a "doing business as" name, or DBA, for your S corporation is optional. State laws require a corporation to transact business under its legal name, but allow it to use a registered business alias for any legitimate business purpose. Your S corporation may be required to use a DBA, also known as a trade name or fictitious business name, if its name duplicates another business name that is already in use in a state.

Do You Need a DBA with an LLC?

A limited liability company is a legal structure that blends some of the elements of a corporation with those of a partnership. State law controls the formation of LLCs, including naming issues. States require businesses to operate under distinct names within state lines as a way of creating clarity in the marketplace for consumers, creditors and others. Depending on your circumstances, you may or may not need a DBA.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help LLCs

Related articles

Benefits of a Limited Liability Company

Limited liability companies (LLCs) offer several benefits because they share characteristics with several types of ...

LLC Name Requirements

A company’s name sets it apart from competition and helps define the business’s identity. Coming up with a name for a ...

How to Set Up an LLC in Illinois

In Illinois, forming a limited liability company (LLC) requires submitting forms to the secretary of state's Department ...

LLC Explained

A limited liability company (LLC) is a type of company that exhibits characteristics of both partnerships and ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED