The Louisiana LLC search is an important tool for business owners. If you are thinking of starting up a business, the first thing you should do is figure out how you want to structure that business. There are a number of different business structures, including:

One of the more common business structures is the limited liability company, or “LLC.” An LLC is desirable because it gives the owners protection from the business’s liability. Thus, if the LLC is involved in a legal action or owes any debts, the owners are shielded from its liability and their personal assets will almost always be protected.

If you choose to structure your business as an LLC in Louisiana, you should first run a Louisiana LLC search to see if the name you want for your business is available.

State Requirements for the Name of a Limited Liability Company

In Louisiana, there are certain requirements that a business must follow when choosing a name. First and foremost, your business name cannot be the same as an already registered business name. This would be confusing to the public and would violate the existing business’s naming rights. Minor differences such as “A” vs. “An” vs. “The” or “three” vs. “3” are so similar that they will also be in violation of those rights. For example, these two business names would not be distinguishable from each other:

  • Night & Day, LLC vs. Night and Day, LLC
  • Three Little Sisters, LLC vs. 3 Little Sisters, LLC

Every business structured as an LLC must include certain abbreviations or words that identify it as a limited liability company. This usually means the end of a business name will include “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited.” An LLC’s name cannot include the word “corporation” or “incorporated” because it is not that type of business structure and would be misleading to the public.

When you are ready to begin researching existing LLC names, there are a couple of steps you should follow:

  • Find the Louisiana Business Filings Search page.
  • Type in the name you want for your business and click search. It is advised that you do not type in “LLC” or even the whole business name, as this will limit your search to the exact phrasing, which might be too narrow. Instead, if you are checking to see if “Three Little Sisters, LLC” is available, type in “three little” and see what comes up. This will ensure a more thorough and comprehensive search.
  • The page will then bring up a list of any business names that match your search parameters.
  • Browse the Results. If your business name is taken or is similar enough to an existing business, the database should bring up results.
  • If there are no results, that means your business name is unique and available.
  • If there are results but the existing names are not too similar to your desired name, then it may be available for use.

It’s important to note, if you are unsure whether your desired business name is too similar to an already existing business, file the paperwork with the state anyway and let them make the decision. If the state decides that the name is too similar, it will reject your paperwork and request that you choose a different name. If this happens, you will need to come up with an alternative name to make your business distinguishable. If the state believes your desired business name is distinguishable, then it will grant your business name.

The importance of conducting a prior Louisiana LLC search is to save you time and money in the long run. For instance, if you start marketing your business name and investing in growing your business without first doing an initial search to see if there is a similar business name already in use, all of that time and money will be wasted. You will not be able to continue using that business name if it is too similar to one already in existence.

If you need help searching for a limited liability company name in Louisiana, 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.