NAMING YOUR KENTUCKY 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 Kentucky 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.
For more information, read the State of Kentucky's naming guidelines.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
2. Kentucky LLC Name Search
Before filing your name reservation request, you can use the Kentucky Business Name Search to check the availability of your desired name. To perform the most effective search, enter the entity name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC.” This will return all entities using the same or similar names.
If your business entity name is several words, you can even search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.
3. URL Availability
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 can search and find your business.
The best way to determine the availability of your desired URL 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
The Kentucky Secretary of State Business Services Division handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 120 days.
To reserve a business entity name, you must file an application by mail. There is no online option. 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 “Kentucky State Treasurer” in order to file.
Kentucky Application for Reservation of a Business Entity Name
Division of Business Filings
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602
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While reserving the name for your Kentucky 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 its availability for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business entity 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 Kentucky’s trademark records to see if your business name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business entity in your state.
- Search the electronic records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to find any federally registered trademarks associated with your business entity name.
Social Media Search
Just as important, or more so, than finding a domain name that fits your business is ensuring the availability of your business name for use across social media platforms. To do this, simply search your business name on each major site, or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once online.
Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful Kentucky LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using the Kentucky Secretary of State Business 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 an Application for Reservation of Name will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your Kentucky LLC.