Last Updated: May 13, 2024, 7:57 am by TRUiC Team

Rhode Island LLC Name Search

You'll need to conduct a Rhode Island LLC name search to ensure name availability for your new business.

Keep reading to learn how to find a unique and legally compliant name for your Rhode Island LLC.

Recommended: Northwest ($29 + State Fees) will register your business name when you form an LLC.

Rhode Island LLC Name Search Image

Check LLC Name Availability in Rhode Island

You can use Rhode Island’s Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired 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.

Be sure to conduct a thorough search before completing your application to avoid rejection.

2. Search Available Domain Names

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.

Find a Domain Now

3. Follow Rhode Island Naming Guidelines

When starting a business entity in Rhode Island, it's crucial to adhere to the state's naming requirements

Rhode Island follows the "distinguishable upon the record" standard, meaning your requested name must be unique and distinguishable from existing names in the active Corporate Database. 

To help you understand what makes a name distinguishable, here are some guidelines:

Name Distinctiveness

To ensure your entity's name is distinguishable, it must not be identical or too similar to any other name already on file. The following examples illustrate situations where the name would not be considered distinguishable:

  • Articles: Avoid using articles such as "a," "an," or "the" as the beginning word of your entity name.
  • Plural Forms: Plural forms of the same word do not create distinctiveness. For example, "City Girl" and "City Girls" would not be considered distinguishable.
  • Misspellings: Obvious misspellings of the same name or word will not make the name distinguishable. For instance, "Cat" and "Kat" or "Boyz" and "Boys" are not distinct names.
  • Abbreviations: Using abbreviations instead of complete spellings of words does not create distinction. For example, "NE Industries, Inc." and "RI Appraisers, LLC" are not distinguishable from "Northeast Industries, Inc." and "Rhode Island Appraisers, LLC."
  • Variations: Variations of the same word are not considered distinct. For instance, "Finance Specialists, Inc." and "Financing Specialists, Inc." or "Rhode Island Realty, Inc." and "Rhode Island Real Estate, Inc." are not distinguishable names.
  • Entity Status Indicators: Changing a word or name indicating the entity's status, such as "Inc.," "Corporation," or "LLC," does not create distinction. For example, "Acme Enterprises, Inc." and "Acme Enterprises Corporation" or "Acme Enterprises, LLC" are not distinct names.
  • Numeric Designations: Adding numeric designations without consent does not create distinction. For instance, "Gourmet Bakery, Inc.," "Gourmet Bakery I, Inc.," and "Gourmet Bakery II, Inc." are not distinguishable.
  • Punctuation and Capitalization: Differences in punctuation, special characters, or capitalization do not create distinctiveness. For example, "T-Bones, Inc." and "T*Bones, Inc." or "T-Bones, Inc." and "t-Bones, Inc." are not distinguishable names.
  • Spacing and Separation: Differences in spacing or separation between letters or numbers do not make names distinguishable. For instance, "TNT, Inc." and "T N T, Inc." are not distinct names.
  • Representation of Numbers: Using different representations of numbers within otherwise identical names does not create distinction. For example, "2 Brothers Pizza, Inc.," "II Brothers Pizza, Inc.," and "Two Brothers Pizza, Inc." are not considered distinguishable.

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

Registering Your Rhode Island Business Name

Whether you're prepared to launch your LLC or still in the planning phase, we're here to guide you through the process of reserving or registering your new name.

Register Your Rhode Island LLC Name

Registering your LLC name in Rhode Island is a relatively straightforward task. Your business name becomes officially registered when you file the Rhode Island Articles of Organization. This critical document marks the formal establishment of your business in the state.

The Rhode Island Secretary of State's website provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the form and pay the necessary state filing fee.

Keep in mind: Utilizing a professional LLC formation service can simplify the process by handling the registration of your LLC name and the establishment of your LLC. To learn more, refer to our Best LLC Services review.

Reserve Your Rhode Island Business Entity Name

Rhode Island’s Secretary of State Business Services Division handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 120 days. There is no provision for name reservation renewal except for Limited Partnerships.

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 “Rhode Island Secretary of State.” There is an additional fee for online filing.

After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.

Rhode Island Application for Reservation of Entity Name

File Online with the Rhode Island Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

File by Mail

Download Form

Fee: $50

Additional Online Fee: $2.50

Mail to:
Office of the Secretary of State
Corporations Division
148 W. River Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

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Other Considerations

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.

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: 

  • Search Rhode Island’s trademark records 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. You can do this by simply searching your business name on each major site, or use 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 Rhode Island'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 Application for Reservation of Entity Name will help you standout from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.

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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 Rhode Island, where we can guide you every step of the way.

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To check the availability of an LLC name in Rhode Island, you can use the online business entity search tool provided by the Rhode Island Secretary of State. Enter your desired LLC name and review the search results to ensure that the name is not already registered or in use by another business entity.

Conducting an LLC name search in Rhode Island is crucial to ensure that your chosen name is unique and distinguishable from other registered entities. This step helps prevent potential legal conflicts, trademark infringement issues, and confusion among consumers.

It is recommended to perform an LLC name search in Rhode Island during the early stages of forming your LLC. If a significant amount of time has passed since your last search and you haven't registered the name yet, it's advisable to perform a new search before proceeding with registration.

In Rhode Island, your LLC name must be distinguishable from other registered entities, and it should include the words "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," or "L.L.C." It should also avoid using words that may mislead the public or imply a purpose it does not serve.

Yes, Rhode Island does indeed allow for the reservation of an LLC name. After conducting a name search and determining that your preferred LLC name is available, you can reserve it for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation with the Rhode Island Secretary of State and paying a small fee. 

This ensures your chosen name cannot be claimed by another entity during this period, allowing you to move forward with the LLC formation process at your pace. However, keep in mind that the reservation period cannot be extended, so it's best to proceed with your LLC registration before the reservation expires.