Good LLC names are distinctive, memorable, and appropriate for your business and industry. Because your company could have this name for a long time, it's a good idea to take your time thinking up an LLC name.

How to Choose an LLC Name

Choosing a name for your LLC is one of the most important things you'll do when starting a company.

A good business name should meet the following requirements:

  • Be distinctive
  • Give customers an idea of the products or services you sell
  • Be memorable
  • Meet your state's guidelines for business names

In most states, your LLC name has to include certain words but won't be allowed to use restricted ones. You'll usually have to include a designator in your business name, such as “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “Limited Liability.”

Avoid any restricted words when coming up with an LLC name. If you try to file your business paperwork with an unsuitable name, the state will reject your filing. Some words that LLCs are typically prohibited from using include “bank” and “insurance.”

Choose an LLC name that people can easily remember. A good name gives customers an idea of what your business is about. It's okay to have an unusual name. Remember: yours should be distinctive and unique from existing business names. However, avoid choosing names that could restrict your business to too specific of a product, location, or service.

In case you expand your business internationally, make sure your LLC name doesn't have a negative connotation in certain cultures.

Look online at some of the more well-known internet companies, which can show how much originality in a name helps. If your business is internet-based, a distinctive name can help you stand out from all of the online competition.

List some LLC names that you'd like to use, and then check which names are available for you to register. Typically, you won't be able to use a business name that's the same as an existing name or one that's confusingly similar to a registered name.

In most states, you can search an online database to see if your desired name is available. You might also search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office site for identical names.

Think about potential domain name ideas for each LLC name on your list. Consider usernames for social media outlets as well.

Choosing the right business name is very important because a good name does more than identify your business; it's a name you'll build your brand on.

Tips to Choose the Right LLC Name for Your Business

Don't place too much emphasis on trying to come up with a clever LLC name. You want a name that's easy for people to remember, so it's better to choose a name that reflects the product or service customers are looking for.

Avoid using legal designators where you don't have to. While the state requires you to add "LLC" at the end of your business name on paper, don't use it on your building door, for instance. Extra words just make your LLC name clunky. By eliminating these extra words, you'll make your business name easier for customers to remember and say.

Some helpful tips on selecting an LLC name include the following:

  • Choose a name that's easy to spell. When customers look for your business, it will be easier for them to find you.
  • Keep your name short whenever possible because shorter names are easier to remember. The more customers can remember you, the more they may refer your business to other people.
  • Select a name that has a positive connotation. When people think of your business, you want them to have a good feeling about it.

Although you may have one business name that seems perfect, there are legal considerations when naming your company. You'll have state guidelines to meet (each state may have slightly different naming requirements), and, depending on your business, you might have to make sure you're not infringing on a trademarked name.

Before you order any business cards, purchase a domain, or move any further in creating your company, choose a name you love and are happy with. Your business could have this name for decades, so take your time when going through this very important step.

If you need help with LLC names, 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.