Washington LLC Name Search
You'll need to verify name availability by performing a Washington LLC name search before starting a new business.
We’ll show you how to establish your Washington LLC with a distinctive and legally recognized name.
Recommended: Claim your domain name before it's gone. Verify its availability with GoDaddy.
Check LLC Name Availability in Washington
1. Do a Washington Business Name Search
You can use the Washington Business Name Search to check the availability of your desired name.
To perform the most effective search, type in the entity 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 paperwork 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 Washington Naming Guidelines
When naming a limited liability company (LLC) in Washington, it's important to meet the following requirements:
- Required Phrases: The LLC name must include one of the following phrases: "limited liability company," "limited liability," or their abbreviations: "Co.," "L.L.C.," or "LLC."
- Prohibited Words: The name should not contain certain words or phrases, such as "cooperative," "partnership," "corporation," "incorporated," or their respective abbreviations: "Corp.," "Ltd.," or "Inc." It must also comply with any other words or phrases prohibited by state statutes.
- PLLCs: Registered professional limited liability companies must include "Professional Limited Liability Company," "PLLC," or "P.L.L.C.” in their name.
Ensure that your LLC's name follows these guidelines to comply with Washington state's naming requirements for limited liability companies.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
Registering Your Washington 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.
Register Your Washington LLC Name
Registering your LLC name in Washington is a relatively straightforward task. Your business name becomes officially registered when you file the Certificate of Formation with the Washington Secretary of State. This critical document marks the formal establishment of your business in the state.
The Washington 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 Washington Business Entity Name
The Washington Secretary of State's Corporations & Charities Division handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 180 days. If you have yet to form your business entity using the reserved name when the business name reservation expires, you may renew the name reservation.
To reserve a business name, you must file an application by mail. When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Cheques must be made out to the “Secretary of State.” An additional fee is required for expedited filing.
After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.
Washington Name Reservation Form
File by Mail With the Washington Secretary of StateDownload Form
Additional Expedited Fee: $50
Secretary of State
801 Capitol Way S
P.O. Box 40234
Olympia, Washington 98504-0234
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
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Find out which is best for you.
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.
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 Washington’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. 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.
Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful Washington LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using the Washington 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 a Name Reservation Form will help you stand out from the competition. With your entity name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.
The timeframe for receiving LLC name search results in Washington can vary. Generally, online search results are available immediately upon submission. However, it's recommended to allow some additional time for processing and verification, especially during peak periods.
No, you cannot use a name for your LLC in Washington that is already in use by another business entity. It's important to conduct an LLC name search to ensure the name you choose is available and not already registered by another entity.
Yes, Washington has certain naming restrictions for LLCs. The name must be distinguishable from other registered entities, and it should include the words "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," or "L.L.C." Additionally, it should avoid using words that may mislead the public or imply a purpose it does not serve.
Yes, it is possible to change your LLC name after it has been registered in Washington. The process typically involves filing Articles of Amendment with the Washington Secretary of State and paying the required fee. It's recommended to conduct a new name search to ensure the availability of the new name before proceeding with the amendment.
Yes, professional LLCs in Washington have additional naming requirements. The name should include words that designate it as a professional limited liability company, such as "Professional Limited Liability Company," "PLLC," or "P.L.L.C." These designations indicate that the LLC is providing professional services and are specific to certain licensed professions.