NAMING YOUR LLC
1. Naming Guidelines
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Arkansas naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.
Be sure to follow these naming guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
2. Is the Name Available in Arkansas?
Before filing your name reservation request, you can use Arkansas’ Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired name. To perform the most effective search, type in the name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC”, and leave all other boxes blank. This will return all entities using the same or similar names. If your business name is several words, you can even search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names. If you can't find the name in your search, that means the name has not been taken and is available for you to use.
Whether you file online or by mail, be sure to conduct a thorough search before completing your paperwork to avoid rejection.
3. Is the URL available?
Another important consideration to make when selecting a business name is whether or not your desired web domain name is available. Having a URL that clearly matches your business name is important. This seemingly small step can make a big difference in how prospective customers find your business.
The best way to determine if your desired URL is available is to search for it using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
4. Reserve Your Name
Arkansas’ Secretary of State Business and Commercial Services division handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business entities organized or admitted to do business in Arkansas are given exclusive rights to the use of its business name(s) at the time of filing with Arkansas’ Secretary of State, unless the name is the same as or too similar to one that is already in existence in the state. Business names may be reserved for 120 days prior to formation of the business entity and LLCs are able to renew this reservation once only.
More information can be found with Arkansas' online business services. Business names can be reserved online or by filing an application by mail. When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee.
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Arkansas’ only requirement for reserving a name for your LLC is that it is distinguishable from other registered business entities in the state. However, before filing your paperwork it is a good idea to do some additional research.
You’ll want to be sure your name or one very close to it is not being used by unregistered businesses such as sole proprietorships or partnerships, has not been trademarked by another business in your state or industry, and is otherwise available for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.
Conducting a trademark search of your business name and associated slogans or logos before registering can help prevent costly litigation in the future. Discovering that another entity has trademarked your business name does not automatically disqualify you from using it.
However, it is important to know who is using the name, what industry they operate in, and where they are located to be sure you do not inadvertently infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property rights.
To complete this step:
- Search Arkansas’ trademark records to see if your business name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business in your state.
- Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s electronic records to find any federally registered trademarks associated with your business name.
Social Media Search
Just as important, or more so, than finding a domain name that fits your business is ensuring that your business name is available for use across social media platforms. You can do this by simply searching your business name on each major site, or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.
Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using the Arkansas Business Entity Search, you'll want to secure your domain name so that your customers will be able to find your business online. Reserving your name with the Arkansas Secretary of State will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.