Last Updated: June 3, 2024, 9:26 am by TRUiC Team

Illinois LLC Name Search

Before starting an Illinois LLC, you'll need to do an Illinois LLC name search to ensure the name is available.

We'll help you check LLC name availability for your new business.

Recommended: Secure your website name with GoDaddy to protect your brand name.

Learn how to perform an Illinois LLC search

Check LLC Name Availability in Illinois

1. Do an Illinois Business Name Search

First, visit the Illinois Business Name Search state website.

Next, enter your desired business name into the search field. Avoid including identifiers like "LLC" for the most effective search. This search will display all entities with the same or similar names.

Now determine from the search results if your name is available or not. If it is available, you can move forward with registering or reserving the name.

Note, if your desired name comprises several words, consider searching for a partial word or just the first word or two to encompass all potential similar names.

When you're choosing the name for your business, it's important to ensure your desired web domain name is available.

We highly recommend securing your domain name prior to reserving your Illinois business entity name. This prevents any potential conflicts and ensures your brand identity is consistent across platforms.

To check your preferred URL's availability, use an online domain registry like GoDaddy.

Find a Domain Now

3. Follow Illinois Naming Guidelines

It is important to understand the Illinois naming guidelines before assuming that your desired business entity name is available. Here are the requirements you must follow to ensure the company name is available for your entity type:

The Name Must be Unique

Under the Illinois Limited Liability Company Act, the name you choose for your LLC must be unique. This means it can't be the same as any existing LLC, corporation, or reserved/registered names on the records of the Illinois Secretary of State.

What to remember:

  • The name of your LLC must be different from other businesses.
  • The acceptance of a name doesn't consider names of sole proprietorships or trade names.
  • If you're not sure about your rights or if you might have trouble because of the name you've picked, ask a lawyer before using the name.

Naming Rules for Your LLC

The name you choose will be the name your LLC uses to do business in Illinois. Your LLC's name has to include "Limited Liability Company", "L.L.C.", or "LLC". However, there are some words you can't use in your LLC name:

  • "Corporation", "Corp.", "Incorporated", "Inc.", "Ltd.", "Co.", "Limited Partnership", or "LP".
  • Words like "insurance", "assurance" or "banking" can't be used because they might make people think your LLC does these things.
  • Words like "trust", "trustee", or "fiduciary" can only be used if your LLC is actually a trust company.
  • Other words you can't use include "bank", "banker", and "banking".
  • Your LLC's name can't have words that might upset people.
  • LLC names must use English letters, Arabic or Roman numbers, or symbols that can be copied by the Department of Business Services.

Checking If Your LLC's Name is Available

Before you set up your LLC, you can check if the name you've chosen is available and not in use by other limited liability companies by contacting the Department of Business Services or checking the Illinois name database. You can call them at 217-524-8008 or check their website at


  • Be ready with one or two backup names in case your first choice isn't available.
  • If an Illinois LLC has been closed, its name can't be used by a new LLC for three years.


Just because a name seems to be available when you check doesn't mean it will still be available when you file your paperwork. The final decision about whether a name can be used will be made when you file your Name Reservation, Articles of Organization, or Assumed Name Application.

Reserving Your LLC's Name

You can reserve an LLC name for 90 days by paying a $25 fee and filling out Form LLC-1.15. Doing this won't create your LLC, and the $25 fee doesn't count towards the cost of filing your Articles of Organization.

How Your LLC's Name Will Appear in Official Records

When your LLC's name is put into the official records of the Department of Business Services, it will be in capital letters, no matter how you wrote it when you set up your LLC.

Taking Ownership of Your New Name

Once you’ve selected a name you have two options to take possession of the name and claim it for your business. The first option is to register your LLC with the state of Illinois. Once registered the name is officially yours.

If you’re not ready to form an LLC just yet, you have the second option of reserving the name.

How to Register Your LLC

To register an LLC in Illinois, follow these steps:

  1. Name Your LLC: Conduct an Illinois Business Name Search on the Secretary of State's database to ensure your desired name is unique and follows Illinois' naming guidelines.
  2. Choose a Registered Agent: Appoint a registered agent who is authorized to receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC. This can be an individual residing in Illinois or a business entity authorized to do business in Illinois.
  3. File Articles of Organization: File your Articles of Organization with the Illinois Secretary of State. This document includes your LLC's name, address, the name and address of your registered agent, and the purpose of your LLC.
  4. Create an Operating Agreement: Although not legally required in Illinois, it's recommended to create an Operating Agreement that outlines the ownership structure and operating procedures of your LLC.
  5. Obtain an EIN: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This is required for tax purposes and for getting a business bank account.
  6. Register for State Taxes: If applicable, register for State Taxes with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Remember, each step is crucial to ensure your LLC is legally registered and compliant with Illinois laws.

For this reason, we recommend using a reputable LLC formation service like Northwest ($29 + State Fees). They’ll keep you complaint and ensure everything is done correctly.

How to Reserve Your Illinois Business Name

The Illinois Secretary of State oversees all LLC name reservations and inquiries. In Illinois, you can reserve your desired business entity name for up to 90 days.

To initiate the reservation process, submit an application via mail. Make sure you've conducted a comprehensive Illinois Business Entity Search through the Secretary of State’s office prior to completing your application to circumvent any potential rejections.

Note that a filing fee will be required for the reservation. Please ensure your checks are payable to the "Secretary of State."

Here is more detailed information and helpful Illinois business resources: 

Illinois Application to Reserve a Name

File by Mail with the Illinois Secretary of State

Download Form

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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Federal Trademarks, Social Media, and Branding

In the process of naming your business, it is advisable to conduct a trademark search for existing federal trademarks and to claim your relevant social media handles. As your business develops, you might explore the use of a 'Doing Business As' (DBA) for supplementary branding.

Trademarking Your Business Name

As a small business, obtaining a federal trademark typically isn't a pressing requirement. It can often be a costly endeavor and is something that can be considered as your business scales. However, if you have aspirations of creating a business with a nationwide reach, it could be beneficial to verify if your chosen business name has already been trademarked at the federal level at this early stage.

You can trademark search the US Federal Trademark Database on the USPTO website.

To learn more about trademarking your business visit our How to Trademark Your Business guide.

Social Media Handles

Once you have decided on a business name, the another step is to claim a consistent username across various social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. 

Select a username that reflects your business name, is available across all these platforms, and will assist users in identifying and interacting with your business on these social networks. 

This uniformity aids in boosting your online presence and brand recognition.

To learn more, visit our Social Media Guide for Small Businesses.

Using a DBA (Doing Business As)

A "doing business as" (DBA) name refers to any registered business name that differs from its formal legal name in Illinois.

If you operate multiple businesses under a single LLC, DBAs can be an effective tool for enhancing the branding of those subsidiaries. 

Take for instance, if you are the owner of a party supply company in Illinois which also provides inflatable rentals, obtaining a DBA for the inflatable rental service could serve to distinguish this particular offering more clearly, bringing in more business.

To learn more about DBAs, visit our How to File a DBA guide.

Branding Your Business Name

Learn more about branding your Illinois LLC with these resources: