An Arizona LLC search is an important step in starting your own business. There are many requirements for naming your business in the state, but you need to have an approved name before you move forward with things like purchasing a website, marketing your business, and buying business cards and similar office materials. The steps for searching for a name and requirements and tips for giving your LLC a unique name are covered below.

Search through the Arizona Secretary of State webpage to check whether any organizations already have your desired LLC name. In addition to a name search, you'll need to return to this portal to complete some administrative tasks for your LLC.

If you want to form an LLC, the first step is to confirm that the name you want is available. The name requirements and search steps are covered below, but you can also find help by contacting the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Arizona LLC Name Requirements

Your name must be different from all other businesses registered in the state. Adding a designator like “LLC,” changing punctuation, and making similar minor adjustments does not create distinguishability. You can only use words like “bank” and “trust company” if your LLC will engage in those industries or provide applicable services.

Add “LLC” or “L.L.C.” to the end of your desired business name. Your name can't include words like “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations.

Arizona Name Distinguishability

Your LLC name must be unique from the names of the following organizations and entities:

  • Other Arizona LLCs
  • Foreign LLCs authorized to do business in the state
  • Businesses incorporated in Arizona
  • Foreign corporations authorized to do business in Arizona
  • Non-profit corporations incorporated in Arizona
  • Foreign non-profits authorized to operate in Arizona
  • Partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships registered in the state
  • Foreign limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships authorized to operate in Arizona
  • Names reserved or adopted by these companies
  • Trade names registered in compliance with Arizona law

Arizona doesn't explicitly state what makes a name unique. For guidance on what counts as a distinguishable name for your LLC, refer to Arizona's Secretary of State and Arizona's Corporation Commission guidelines. Moreover, the approval of your name doesn't mean it hasn't infringed on a registered name or mark. Even if your name is distinguishable, consider factors such as the “likelihood of confusion” and whether names are “deceptively similar” to avoid legal issues down the road.

Here are a few of Arizona's Corporation Commission guidelines on what can make a name distinguishable:

  • Adding prepositions and conjunctions
  • Changing the word order in a name
  • Spelling words differently or creatively
  • Using symbols such as %, $, +, =, and @ in the name
  • Using Roman numerals rather than numbers
  • Adding “Arizona” to a name
  • Changing a word from singular to plural

Note that abbreviations do not create distinguishability. Moreover, some of these names may create distinguishability but cause problems with laws governing the likelihood of confusion and deceptively similar names. You can use foreign language words as long as the characters used are from the Roman alphabet.

Search by Name Availability

To check your LLC's name availability, perform these steps:

  • Create a name. In doing so, be sure to follow the state's naming guidelines.
  • Perform a name search. Search for your LLC name from the Arizona Business Entity Search Page. Go to “Entity” and type your LLC name in the “Search For” box without an LLC designator or any punctuation. Click “Search” to see any Arizona businesses that have a similar name.
  • Check for websites using your name. If you plan on building a website in the future, considering purchasing the URL now so that no one else will claim it. This will also ensure that you can create an email address associated with your business name (i.e., “[email protected]”).

Your LLC name is unique and available for use if it does not appear in the search results or if no results are similar to yours. If you see a business with the same name or something deceptively similar, try a creative variation or start from scratch.

You can also file your paperwork with the state to see if your LLC name is distinguishable. They will reject the filing and return it to you if there are any problems. You can then change the name and reapply. This is time-consuming and can be frustrating, however, many people invest the time to research their LLC name against Arizona's database first.

If you need help with an Arizona LLC search, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.