Illinois LLC Name Search

Whether you're already in the process of launching a business or simply wish to check the status of an existing entity name, doing a quick Illinois LLC search through the Secretary of State's webpage can get you the information you need. This guide is designed to walk you through the technical steps involved in choosing and registering your Illinois LLC name.

This article contains the following sections:

  1. Naming Your Illinois LLC
  2. Other Considerations
  3. Bottom Line

NAMING YOUR ILLINOIS LLC

1. Illinois 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 Illinois naming requirements and that clients can easily search for.

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 Illinois 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 Illinois LLC.

For a complete list of naming rules in Illinois, you can read the Illinois LLC naming guidelines.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.

2. Do an Illinois Business Name Search

Before filing your name reservation request, you can use the Illinois Business Name 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.” 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 using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.

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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

Illinois’s Secretary of State handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for up to 90 days.

To reserve a business name, you must file an application by mail. Be sure to conduct a thorough search before completing your application to avoid rejection. When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the “Secretary of State.”

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Illinois Application to Reserve a Name

Fee: $25 + $50 for expedited services (optional)

Mail to:

Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S. Second St. Rm. 351
Springfield, IL 62756

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OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

While reserving your entity name 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 entity name to see if it's available for use online. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.

Trademark Search

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 an Illinois 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.

BOTTOM LINE

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 Illinois's 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 an Illinois Name Reservation Form 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.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

What's Next?

Now that you have your name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in Illinois, where we can guide you every step of the way.

Form an LLC

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