Selecting Name For Your LLC

Observe State Laws

States do not usually allow businesses to have the same name or have a strong likeness to an existing name.

For instance, ‘Harry’s Pizzas, LLC’ and ‘Harry’s Pizzas, Inc.’ would not be allowed even in different cities. Certain states have restrictive words and terms such as ‘bank’, ‘trust’, ‘insurance’, ‘federal’, etc.

You will need to check name availability before filing LLC paperwork. Most states provide an online search facility.

Avoid using the same name or a similar name to other businesses to prevent confusion and possible trademark infringement.

List of Generally Prohibited Words

Business Entity Identifiers – ‘corporation’, ‘Inc’, ‘LLC’ – must not be used by non-incorporated entities, but must be used as part of the name for incorporated entities.

Government Identifiers – Federal, United States, etc. – should not be applied to an LLC.

Misleading Names – business names which mislead the public regarding the provision of a product or service are to be avoided, for instance, ‘Molly’s Mops’ which sells computers not mops.

Professional Licensing – using a professional word/term such as CPA or Attorney without the correct licensing is prohibited.

Operational Licensing – using words or terms like ‘bank’, ‘trust’ and ‘insurance’ requires the legal authority to do so.

Profanity – words with any kind of profanity are not permitted.


Choosing the Right Name

It is important to find a name which creates brand awareness in the mind of the consumer, and stands out from any competitors. Any name should be clear and concise, making it obvious to any potential customer the product or service on offer.

Choose a unique, memorable name, which is easy to spell and pronounce, and states or suggests the product or service.

Short names tend to be easier to remember and are more effective for websites, social media and SEO.


Some companies trademark their name to protect them from trademark infringement. A trademark covers various types of intellectual property related to the business.

The trademark of business names occurs through the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

Reserving a Name

If you have chosen a name, but aren’t yet ready to file your LLC documents, you can reserve your name by filling out a form. Reservation fees, duration, and renewal terms are dependent on your state.

Note: In some states you can register your business name when filing your articles of incorporation, although in other states you must register your name first before forming your LLC.

Particular requirements for your state can be found on your secretary of state’s website.




LLC Guide

LLC Name
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