How to LLC a name? Getting a name for an LLC is done by reserving a name with the office of the Secretary of State and then filing the Articles of Organization. Your LLC's name should be distinguishable from the names of other entities in the state and should contain an LLC descriptor. The name should ideally be unique and descriptive of the goods or services your company offers.

How to Come Up with Your LLC's Name

You should consider a number of factors when brainstorming a name for your company. You could compare a number of potential names before zeroing in on one name. An ideal name for an LLC should have the following qualities:

  • Unique
    Your clients or customers should be able to distinguish your company from other companies. LLC owners should, therefore, make an effort to get a name which is distinguishable. Getting a unique name is a trend for modern online businesses. The name should also be memorable so that first-time customers can easily remember it and bring business in in the future.
  • Descriptive
    A name that describes the services you offer can reduce the amount of effort you need to put into Public Relations and advertising. People would, for example, easily identify “Smith Ice Cream LLC” as an ice cream business compared to when it is called “Smith Services LLC.”
  • Online availability
    Your business needs an online presence to thrive. The corresponding website domain and social media handles of a name should ideally be available for a company to reduce its PR and advertising efforts. Registering a name that is available online can minimize the chances of confusion and save the company fees from buying a domain that is already in use.

How to Register an LLC Name

LLC names are normally registered with the Secretary of State of the state where the company intends to do business. Name registration is normally a two-step process and it involves the following procedures:

  • Name reservation
    Name reservation is not a requirement in some states but it recommended for LLCs that want to register. The reservation is normally done with the division of corporations in the office of the Secretary of State. Most states allow potential business owners to reserve a name for 30-90 days. This can help the LLC to avoid scenarios where the business files the Articles of Organization with a name that is already in use. Many states have an online database where potential LLCs can look up names to see if they are available. Name reservation normally costs $10-$100. Foreign companies are usually charged slightly more for name reservation.
  • Filing the Articles of Organization
    To be formally registered, LLCs must file a one-page document called the Articles of Organization. This document is normally submitted to the office of the Secretary of State. A fee of $40-$500 accompanies this filing and the filing confirms the name of your LLC.

Naming Requirements

States have guidelines for naming an LLC. Typical requirements for an LLC name include the following:

  • Inclusion of a company descriptor
    The name must contain an LLC descriptor. The descriptor might be in the form of the phrase “LLC, “Limited Liability Company”, or “L.L.C.”
  • Distinguishability
    LLC's names are required to be different and distinguishable from the names of other entities in the state. Potential LLC owners can compare the name they want to register with names of already-registered entities to see if they are distinguishable. Many states do not allow new LLCs to register a name whose only difference with an existing name is a two-letter prefix or suffix.
  • Restricted names
    Some words are restricted to businesses whose purposes mirror the word. Words like “bank” and “Insurance” are restricted and need the approval of the office of the Secretary of State.
  • Prohibited names
    To avoid confusion with other bodies, certain words cannot be used as a part of an LLC name. Such words include words that are similar to the names of federal and state agencies.
  • Trademark requirements
    The chosen name should not infringe on the trademark of any US entity. You can check out trademarked names on the online database of the US Patents and Trademark Office.

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