1. LLC Name Ideas
2. Naming Rules for Businesses
3. Business Names Distinguishability
4. Searching Your State's Database
5. LLC Name Requirements and Restrictions
6. Real Estate Company Name Ideas & Tips

LLC Name Ideas

It's important to consider what makes a good name when considering LLC name ideas. Fortunately, many people can rely on their intuition when naming a business.

The first step in forming your LLC name is to brainstorm a list of ideas. Come up with a list of possibilities and consider the pros and cons of each, then narrow the list down to a few good ones. Once you have your list, perform an LLC name search to see which ones have already been taken. At this stage, you should also search the US Patent and Trademark Office's database to narrow down the list even further. If there are any similar names in either database, check each one's status to see if they're still “live.”

Naming Rules for Businesses

When naming your LLC, choose something memorable. You want a name people can easily remember. Other characteristics to focus on when choosing a name include:

  • Approachability – the name should be easy to pronounce.
  • Meaning – a meaningful name will tell customers what you're offering.
  • Vividness – the best name will evoke images of your brand.
  • Boldness – don't be afraid to take risks and choose something unusual.
  • Expansiveness – choose a name that doesn't limit the LLC to one location, service, or product.
  • Lasting power – your LLC name should sound just as good decades from now as it does when you open the business.

The best business name will be social-media friendly. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms, you'll need to select a company username. Before finalizing your decision, see if your preferred name is currently available as usernames on these sites.

Something else to keep in mind is the length of your business name. Longer names are often more memorable and finding an available domain name is easier. On the other hand, shorter names can be more effective when it comes to word-of-mouth referrals. Just avoid acronyms.

Another great tip is to try out the name on an elementary-school-aged kid. If they can't pronounce it, you might want to come up with something else. No matter what, your LLC name should have a positive connotation and leave people feeling good about the business whenever they hear it.

Business Names Distinguishability

Differences in designations such as Acme LLC and Acme, Inc. are not distinct. If you find an incorporated business with your preferred LLC name, consider it not available. The same goes for singular, plural, and possessive word forms like Acme LLC and Acme's LLC.

Other items that do not count toward distinguishability include:

  • Punctuation (hyphens, periods, slashes, commas, etc.).
  • Written vs. numerical numbers (“4” vs. “Four”).
  • Articles (“a,” “the,” “an,” etc.).
  • Conjunctions (“and,” “&,” “or,” etc.).

Searching Your State's Database

When you are ready to search your state's database, enter your LLC name as many ways as you can think of. Remember that every state has its own database, so be sure to select your state when performing the search. You can then search the name against existing companies within your state to see if it's already taken.

There are obvious reasons for choosing a business name that isn't already taken. These include:

  • Avoiding right infringement.
  • Differentiating your name from other businesses.
  • Ensuring the name is available before filing legal documents.

LLC Name Requirements and Restrictions

Every LLC business name must end with the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (“LLC” or “L.L.C.”).

Your LLC name cannot imply that your business is a corporation, so you cannot use “incorporated,” “corporation,” “inc.,” or “corp.” anywhere in the name.

Real Estate Company Name Ideas & Tips

To highlight the process of naming a business, let's consider a real estate company just starting out. One of the best formulas for naming a real estate business is to include a location term like a neighborhood or city as well as common real estate expression such as “Brokerage,” “Homes,” or “Realty.”

When naming a real estate company, come up with a list of keywords that reflect the nature of the business. Generic terms may not seem creative, but they are simple and memorable. Try using a geographic search term that people are likely to enter into Google when searching for a service. This can be a region, city, county, lake, or popular landmark. Try not to be too specific or overly descriptive since prospective customers may mistake your business as being more limited than it actually is. Use the Keyword Planner from Google AdWords for additional help.

Are you ready to make your LLC name official? Post your legal need on UpCounsel's job market.