When forming an LLC, choosing your name will be one of the most important steps. The name you choose will need to be distinctive and descriptive — representing what you have to offer. Your name should embody your brand values and any characteristics that set you apart. The key is choosing a name that will last, as it will become an important part of your brand and company's overall reputation. 

How to Name Your LLC

Choosing an LLC name can be stressful, but it doesn't need to be. However, if you are trying to select a name for success, there are some things you need to be aware of. When going through the process of selecting a name for your LLC, keep these tips in mind:

  • Your name should be short and easy to spell. This will ensure that customers and clients can find you with ease. 
  • The name you choose should also be memorable — leaving your audience with a positive association. 
  • Keep it simple, yet meaningful. You shouldn't need to elaborate on your name in order for it to make sense. 
  • Avoid the use of puns and most importantly, do not be a copycat. 

Choosing an LLC Name 

To begin, make a list of your LLC name ideas. Write all the names that come to mind and then begin narrowing them down based on the tips above. When choosing a name, begin with a list that includes at least 5-6 potential names. That way, if your first choice is already registered, you have options to play around with. 

While crafting this initial list, do so without judgment or hesitation. You will be surprised what you can come up with when you allow your creativity to soar. Narrow down this list until you have decided on a name that feels right and is representative of who you are as a business. 

Although you will want to select a name that is unique, the most important thing is to make sure that your chosen name is legal. In some states, you must include certain words in your name, such as "limited liability company." You must also omit specific words, such as "bank" or "government."

If you are going to be an internet-based LLC, then you have a little more freedom in terms of the originality of your name. In this case, originality is more important than the meaning. Look at some of the most famous web-based companies, and you'll see how important originality is when selecting a name. 

Once you have narrowed down your options, you will need to conduct a name search. Work your way through the list you have crafted to ensure that you are not infringing on any other business. Most states will not allow you to register any name that is similar to another name. Basically, if your name is likely to be confused with another registered name, you may be held legally responsible. 

Also, be mindful of social media usernames. Whether you will focus your attention on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, you should check if there is some variation of your proposed name. This will be important for marketing objectives and overall brand identity. The same is true in regards to a potential domain name. When selecting a possible domain name, think about your long-term goals. Do not choose a domain based on trends or trending keywords. 

Naming Your Business: Trademarks 

To add an extra layer of protection in terms of due diligence, you should conduct a trademark search. To do so, you will need to search on the US Patent and Trademark Office's trademark database. You will then want to remove any names from your list that are similar or identical to those found during your search. 

Please know that you do not require a trademark when operating a business out of the United States, England, or Canada. However, if you plan on offering your products/services on a national basis, investing a few thousand dollars into your brand may be well worth the money. 

Although you will automatically obtain trademark rights based on the use of your trademark, you're limited in terms of protecting your brand on a nationwide scale. 

If you need help choosing an LLC name, 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.