1. Introduction to LLC Business Names
2. Choosing an LLC Name

Choosing an LLC business name is one of the most important parts of forming your limited liability company (LLC). When naming your business, you will have to follow guidelines set by your state, including making sure the name you have chosen is distinct and could not be confused with another business's name.

Introduction to LLC Business Names

After making the decision to start a new LLC, there are several tasks that you will need to complete, including picking a name for your business.

You should be sure to pick your LLC name before you begin the registration process. Choosing a name for your LLC is extremely important, as your business name is both a vital marketing tool and will also identify your business for years to come. If you get tired of your LLC name, or it no longer fits your business, it's possible to change your business name. However, this often involves a great deal of paperwork and could harm your brand recognition if you've been using your LLC name for many years.

Many people are surprised to learn that finding a suitable LLC name can be very difficult. There are countless legal rules for naming LLCs that you need to understand, and you need to be certain that no other company in your state is using the name that you've chosen.

Choosing an LLC Name

If you want to pick a good name for your LLC, there are several requirements that you must be sure to meet.

Pick a Legal Name

When selecting a name for your LLC, it's vital that you pick a name that can be legally used. Laws for naming LLCs can differ depending on the state in which you're forming your company. However, some of the most common rules are including certain words in your LLC name and avoiding restricted or banned words.

You will also usually be required to include a designator in your business name that will let people know your company is an LLC. Some of the most common designators include:

  • Limited
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co
  • LLC

Outside of meeting legal requirements, using one of these designators provides several benefits. First, it provides your company legitimacy by letting your customers know that you have taken the effort necessary to form an LLC. Second, an LLC designator serves as proof that you and your business are separate legal entities. This means that clients will not be doing business with you personally when working with your company.

This can be important when a relationship goes sour and a client tries to sue you, as they likely won't be able to pursue your personal assets during the lawsuit. The only instance where you might not want to use a designator is if it interferes with how you plan to brand your business. You should make sure to use your designator whenever you sign a contract or legal agreement.

Many states have restricted words that cannot be used when naming an LLC. Some of these words include insurance or bank. The reason these words cannot be used in your LLC name is that that may cause confusion to the public. If you must use a restricted word in your business name, you should check your state's rules for using a restricted word. Some states allow you to use these words if one of your LLC members is a licensed professional in the field of the word you wish to use.

Pick a Memorable Name

Choosing a name that people can easily remember is also important when naming your LLC. Whether you choose to use rhyming or a turn of phrase in your LLC name, picking a memorable name will make it much easier for people to identify your company.

When a customer is searching for the service or product that your company provides, they're more likely to give you their business if you've chosen a memorable name.

Focus on Meaning

Your LLC name should also be meaningful. It should let your customers know exactly what it is that your company does. A fun-sounding name might initially engage customers, but if it doesn't tell them what you do, they're likely to move on to another, more transparent company. Choosing a meaningful LLC name can also be helpful when you are developing your marketing strategy.

If you need help choosing an LLC business name, you can post your legal needs 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.