Giving your LLC a name is an exciting part of the startup experience. Selecting a unique business name will distinguish you from other companies, so naming your LLC is an important step that requires careful consideration. Naming requirements vary by state, but all states require that your business name indicates that you are registered as a Limited Liability Company. There are additional requirements if you want to form a Professional Limited Liability Company or PLLC. You’ll also need to search your state’s business database for name availability. We recommend doing a national search also, especially if you’re running an online or nationwide/international business. The following names and abbreviations are commonly accepted by each state.
Limited Liability Company
Limited Liability Co. (Company abbreviated)
Ltd. (Limited abbreviated)
NOTE: All LLC Business Packages include name searches and reservations.
All Limited Liability Companies are required to name their businesses according to the services or products being offered. Many entrepreneurs will reserve DBAs or Trade Names to operate multiple companies under one LLC, but the company name must still tell the public what kind of business you perform. Your business name must be distinguishable from other businesses, at least in the state where you operate.
The name of a Limited Liability Company cannot include words that are in a municipality or other government agency names, such as FBI, Treasury, State Department, village, etc. Generally speaking, words and phrases related to banking, finance, and insurance are off-limits without permission from the state authority that oversees those industries. Professional Limited Liability Companies are required to produce licensing to register their businesses. This applies if you operate in a specialized field, like medicine, law, or accountancy.
Some states will allow you to register an LLC name that’s already in use under certain circumstances. But if you want to prevent being mixed up in tax and legal problems with other companies, we recommend choosing a unique LLC name. The more your business name stands out from others, the easier it will be to develop a unique identity.
All 50 states require that your LLC’s business name not mislead the public in any way. An example would be replacing or rearranging words in your business name to make a name that is similar to another successful business. This is considered a deceptive practice and is expressly prohibited in the United States.
Generally accepted ethical practices are respected when it comes to naming businesses. LLC names that include words that might be offensive, divisive, or derogatory are immediately rejected.
The above guidelines apply to all 50 states, but each state may have additional requirements or restrictions. LLC name requirements by State are listed below.
TIP: Windows users can press Ctrl + F and Mac users can press Cmd + F, then type in your state name and hit enter to find your state LLC name requirements quickly.
Regardless of where you do business, it’s both exciting and important to choose a unique name that fairly represents your business and distinguishes you from other companies. Our helpful guide on business identity is a great resource to help you choose a suitable name and brand for your business. This free LLC name generator is also a good tool to give you ideas for the perfect company name.