NAMING YOUR DELAWARE LLC
1. Delaware Naming Guidelines
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your Delaware LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Delaware naming requirements and that potential clients can search for easily.
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 Delaware 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 Delaware LLC.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
2. Do a Delaware LLC Search
Before filing your name reservation request, you can use the Delaware Secretary of State Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired entity 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.
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 online 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 Entity Name
The Delaware Department of State's Division of Corporations handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 120 days.
To reserve a business name, you must file an application online or by mail. When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the "Secretary of State."
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While reserving the name for your LLC is straightforward, there are some other things you should think about when choosing the best name for your business. You may want to do a Trademark and Social Media search for your name to see if it's 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:
- Do a Delaware trademark search 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. To do this, search for your business name on each major site, using 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 Delaware LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred entity name using the Delaware Secretary of State 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 entity name with a Delaware Name Reservation Form will help you stand out from the competition. With your entity name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.