Regardless of which state you form your LLC in, your company name must be unique, and cannot match any existing legal entity name. In addition, each state has specific regulations for what can and can’t be included in an LLC name. Here are some of the most common rules your business needs to adhere to:
- Your LLC name must include the words “limited liability company,” or the abbreviation LLC (in some cases, just LC).
- Your LLC name cannot refer to other types of legal entities, like “incorporated” or “corporation.”
- Your LLC name cannot refer to specialized services like banking, medicine or law. If you are planning to start a business that offers these services, you may look into forming a Professional LLC (PLLC).
To find out if your name is available, select your state and follow the link to the name search where you can discover if your desired LLC name is available.
In addition to making sure your desired name is available, and follows the legal requirements for your state of formation, you also want to pick a name that will help your business gain a competitive edge. There are three strategies you can use in this area, including product promotion, highlighting core values, and crafting a short yet memorable name.
The first strategy is to pick a name that speaks to the specific product or service your company sells. For example, the name Chipotle Mexican Grill — better known as simply “Chipotle” — emphasizes the company’s use of specific peppers to season the Mexican cuisine the restaurant is known for.
Another strategy is to highlight a value your company stands for. This helps customers place confidence in your brand, as they identify your business with a certain quality or standard of service. A good example of this is Best Buy, which uses its name to suggest great deals on the products they sell.
Finally, it’s usually smart to choose a name that is short, memorable, and easy to pronounce. This makes it easier for customers to look up your business online, and also for word of mouth to spread.
Once you have made sure your name is available in your state and optimized for marketing and promoting your brand, there are two other important questions you will want to answer:
1) Is the URL available for your business? Virtually every company needs some sort of online presence these days, so it’s important to ensure you can acquire a suitable domain name that fits your business name.
An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email system (@yourcompany.com) with Google's G Suite, which also comes with business tools for word processing and spreadsheets, all with business-grade security - Try it for free
2) Do you like it? At the end of the day, this is your business, and you need to be excited about promoting your company. Choose a name that you’re proud of, and that represents the values and beliefs you instill in your business.
Form Your LLC
Now that you've decided on a name, launch your business using our free LLC formation guide.