PA business name change is the process of changing the name of a business to make it unique as a brand. If you want to change the name of your Pennsylvania business, you have to follow certain rules and regulations.

Why Is a Business Name Important?

If you own a Pennsylvania LLC, it's important to have a unique name that shows your employees, suppliers, and customers the goals and mission of your business.

What Are the Rules on Naming Your LLC?

The following are some of the rules and regulations about the name you can call your new business:

  • You must choose a unique name which has not been used by another business entity conducting its operations in Pennsylvania.
  • The name of a Pennsylvania LLC must be written with the English alphabet, Roman numerals, or regular numerals.
  • The name of your Pennsylvania business must end with "LLC," 'L.L.C." or "Limited Liability Company."
  • You can abbreviate "Limited" and "Company" to "Ltd" and "Co," respectively.

How Do You Ensure You Have a Unique Business Name?

It's essential that you call your business a name which cannot be mistaken for another business operating in Pennsylvania. You can't use the following words to claim the name of your Pennsylvania business is different from that of another business entity: Corporation, Incorporated, Company, Corp, Limited, Ltd, Inc., Co, Professional Corporation, PC, L.P., Limited Partnership, LP, LLLP, L.L.L.P, or Limited Liability Limited Partnership.

For example, Blue Iris, Incorporated, Blue-Iris Co., Blue Iris LLC, or Blue-Iris-Company cannot be said to be different business entities.

You can't use the following terms to claim your business name is unique to another business name:

  • Definite articles such as “A," "And," "An," "&," "The," and others.
  • Suffixes such as Incorporation, Incorporated, Company, Corporation, LLC, Inc., Ltd, Limited, Corp, etc.
  • Punctuation and symbols.
  • The singular, plural, or possessive form of a word.
  • Abbreviations.
  • Different fonts, typefaces, subscript, superscript, and others.

What Are the Words That You Can't Use in Your Business Name?

The name of your Pennsylvania business cannot suggest links to any entity or agency of the federal or state government.

The following are specifically prohibited words with restrictions on how they can be used in naming your Pennsylvania business. They include words like "bank," ‘‘banking," ‘‘banker," ‘‘trust," ‘‘college," ‘‘university," ‘‘seminary," ‘‘certified public accountant," ‘‘public accountant," ‘‘architect," ‘‘architecture," ‘‘engineer," "engineering," ‘‘surveyor," ‘‘surveying," ‘‘pharmacist," ‘‘druggist," ‘‘apothecary," ‘‘drug store," ‘‘pharmacy," ‘‘drugs," ‘‘medicine store," ‘‘medicines," ‘‘drug shop," ‘‘pharmaceutical," ‘‘homeopathic," ‘‘homeopathy," “‘annuity," ‘‘assurance," ‘‘beneficial," ‘‘bond," ‘‘casualty," ‘‘endowment," ‘‘fidelity," ‘‘fraternal," ‘‘guaranty," ‘‘indemnity," ‘‘insurance," ‘‘insurer," ‘‘reassurance," ‘‘reinsurance," ‘‘surety," ‘‘title" ‘‘mutual," and “electricity or gas utilities.”

To use certain restricted words in your business name, you require additional documentation. Such names include names affiliated with institutions like a credit union or bank, and words with links to specialized professions such as architects, engineers, lawyers, or doctors.

Your Pennsylvania business can also operate under a different "doing business as" name, otherwise called "Fictitious Names," but you have to register the name with the Department of State.

Do You Need to Reserve Your Business Name?

You do not need to reserve a name for your new Pennsylvania LLC as your business name is reserved for your business by default when you register the LLC. However, you can reserve a business name through a PDF form if you intend to start the business in the future.

Additionally, filing a name registration does not necessarily mean your business will get the name. Don't use the name for any deals until after finalizing all the legal requirements for forming your business.

What Are the Rules on Infringing Service Marks?

It's important to check whether your Pennsylvania business name is not infringing on the service mark or trademark of another Pennsylvania LLC. For example, calling your business entity Google Business Analytics Services might be constituting an infringement on the Google trademark. Conduct a trademark search to determine whether your proposed LLC name infringes on another business' trademark.

What Are the Things to Consider When Choosing a Name for Your LLC?

When choosing a name for your business, go for a business name that:

  • Describes what you do.
  • Captivates your target market.
  • Makes finding your business simple and easy.
  • Is unique.
  • Doesn't restrict you to a specific type of product, service, or location, in case you want to expand in the future.

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