How to Pick an LLC Name

By Salvatore Jackson

The laws of every state allow for the creation of business associations. A popular choice of business association among small business owners is the limited liability corporation, or LLC. An LLC provides the protections of limited liability for investors and pass-through taxation, and the annual filing requirements are not as difficult to comply with as those for a corporation. All states require you to choose a name for your LLC. However, each state has different rules governing what name you can give to your LLC.

Step 1

Determine what language you need in your LLC’s name. The LLC laws of every state require the name of an LLC to contain some indication that the business is an LLC. Typically, a state will require an LLC to include the phrase “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or “Ltd. Co.” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in its name. Conversely, the LLC laws of all states generally prohibit an LLC from including in its name a phrase or abbreviation typically associated with another form of business association. These prohibited names and phrases typically include “corporation,” “association,” “incorporated” and “partnership.” The website of your state’s agency that regulates the registration of LLCs, typically the secretary of state, will list the language required and prohibited in an LLC.

Step 2

Determine what language you require permission to use in your LLC’s name. Some states have very strict regulations that prevent an LLC from using certain words in its name without the permission of the relevant government agency. For instance, the Texas Department of Banking must approve the use of “Bank,” “Banking,” “Banc” or "trust" in the name of a Texas LLC. In Utah, the Division of Consumer Protection must approve of the use of “university,” “college” or “institution” in the name of a Utah LLC. Federal and state laws generally require the permission of the United States Olympic Committee to use the words “Olympic,” “Olympian" or “Olympiad” in the name of an LLC. The website of the state agency that registers LLCs in your state will typically list the phrases that require government permission and the agencies that can provide permission.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

Step 3

Check to see whether your desired LLC name is available. State LLC laws prohibit you from choosing a name for your LLC that is either identical to or easily confused with the name of a business association already registered or reserved in that state. The website of the state agency that registers business associations typically maintains an online database of all businesses registered in that state, which can be helpful in creating a unique name for your LLC. Additionally, some state agencies allow you to call and ask for a preliminary determination as to the availability of an LLC name.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
How to Register a DBA Name So No One Else Can Use It



Related articles

Rules on Naming Your Business in Tennessee

When you want to start a business, one of the first things you must do is pick a name. The Tennessee Secretary of State Division of Business Services handles the registration of business names and sets the rules for whether your desired name is available or even allowable. Even if you're doing business as a sole proprietorship and not required to register your name, it's a good idea because registration creates a public record of the use of your name and can avoid legal battles later.

How do I Register an LLC for Multiple Members?

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a “hybrid” business organization that combines the limited liability benefits of a corporation with the pass-through federal taxation and easier filing requirements of a partnership. The owners of an LLC are called members. State laws uniformly permit the creation of LLC’s with multiple members. Creating an LLC with multiple members requires filing a document, called the articles of organization, with the state agency responsible for registering business organizations.

How to Name a C Corp

What you name your business is important because a name helps define its identity. If chosen correctly, a name will be easily remembered by potential clients and partners and promote your goods and services. A C corporation is a legal business entity that is distinct from its shareholders, protecting the shareholders from being personally liable for the business’s debts and obligations. A C corporation is the most popular form for companies that want to go public. So the right name can not only help your bottom line, but your eventual stock price as well.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help LLCs

Related articles

Do I Have to Use LLC in the Business Name?

The limited liability company, or LLC, is a creature of state law. As such, it is subject to the laws of the states in ...

How do I Convert a DBA to LLC?

If you are conducting business using a DBA, which is short for "doing business as" and sometimes called a fictitious ...

How to Trademark a Phrase

Obtaining a trademark for a unique phrase that you intend to use to market the goods or services you sell in a business ...

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 ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED