Naming Your LLC: Everything You Need to Know
When naming your LLC, there are multiple things that you will need to consider to prevent your name from being rejected by your state's LLC office.3 min read
When naming your LLC, there are multiple things that you will need to consider to prevent your name from being rejected by your state's LLC office. For many business owners, choosing a business name is one of the most important steps in forming an LLC.
You will not only have to make sure that your business name meets all the legal requirements but you will also want to make sure that it suits your business and will resonate well with your customers. One of the best ways to get started in the naming of your LLC is by having a brainstorm session. During your brainstorming session, it is important not to judge or weigh in on any specific name, just create a list to start with from all the ideas you can think of.
How to Make Sure You Choose the Best LLC Name
To make sure your LLC name is the best choice for your particular business there are important things to consider.
Is it Legal?
Since your LLC name is on all of your company's legal documentation, it is essential that the name follows legal standards. Your LLC name must:
- Be the same legal name filed on your Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization
- Include Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, LLC, or Ltd. Liability Co. at the end of the name
- Not include restricted words such as bank, insurance, corporation, or incorporated
- Be the only legal name it operates under at the time
Is it Memorable?
One of the most important things when naming your LLC is to make sure the name is something that clients will remember. There are certain ways that you can create your business name to make it more memorable in customers' minds. You can:
- Use alliteration
- Make it a play on words
- Ensure it is easy to pronounce
- Keep it simple
- Make it shorter
- Ensure it has a positive connotation
Is it Meaningful?
You will want your business name to represent the products or services that your company is selling. You may also want to consider linking it to your company ideals or specific ties to quality such as the name Best Buy.
Is it Original?
While being distinguishable from other businesses in the state is a prerequisite for choosing the name, making it truly original will also help it stand out. Tech and software companies find originality in their name selection extremely important as they need to stand out in a large sea of competitors.
Similarity of Names
One of the main requirements when choosing the name of your LLC is that it be completely distinguishable from any other business name authorized to do business in the state, To meet this requirement it is important to determine what exactly constitutes a similarity in names.
To make sure your name does not infringe on another LLC's name you can perform a search of your state's business entity database which will flag names that come up similar to the owner you are trying to use. If you find that your LLC is available, it is important to realize that until you file your Articles of Organization and they're accepted, someone else can choose the same name in less you file to reserve the name with the state.
Most states will allow name reservation for a specified amount of time to allow you to get your LLC formed. The range varies from state to state but is often between 60 and 120 days. If you plan on expanding your LLC to different states, you may also want to consider reserving your name in those states as well.
Disallowed names occur when searching the database for being too close to another company, But only if differences between your name and theirs are:
- The designator ending LLC, Corp, Inc, etc
- The use of an article such as a, an, the
- The use of a conjunction word or symbol such as and, or, or &
- The use of punctuation such as hyphens, slashes, and dashes
If you need help with naming your LLC, 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.