Sometimes a business name can hit you like a “Eureka!” moment. But most of the time, a great business idea is ready with you, but the perfect name hasn’t emerged in your mind yet. Whether you have already zeroed a name in your mind for your limited liability company (LLC) or you’re still blank in this aspect, here’s some guidance that’ll prove to be useful for you.

Guidelines For Naming Your LLC

Be Unique: Do not confuse the word “unique” to mean “unusual.” It actually means “one of a kind.” Your LLC shouldn’t have the same name as another business—not just because it’s also the law, but also because it’s better for marketing.

So how to check if your brilliant name hasn’t already been claimed? Googling is a good start, but most states have a searchable database for business names on their Secretary of State website, and quicker too.

You may want to make sure your desired name isn’t trademarked. To do so, or to trademark your own name, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website and search their federal database to compare.

Make It Descriptive: Ideally, a business name should give an indication about what your business is and what you offer. That way, anyone hearing your LLC name during a conversation or seeing it on a sign as they drive-by would immediately know the goods or services you’re selling. And, if it’s something they want, you have a potential customer. Or they may even make a mental note for later use.

Distinguish Yourself from Competition: Putting a word or two in your name that describes something extra about the company also sets you apart from similar businesses. In researching the competition, you get to learn about them, their positives and negatives. This will also tell you a bit about how you can make your business different? 

Word-play is Fun: Naming can be the only fun aspect of starting your LLC if you take it as a word game. First, find some words that best describe your business, as well as your name, location, etc. Then try to fit them together to come up with rhymes, sticking them together or other interesting ways. You may use familiar and common expressions, or twist the spellings. This also helps in making your name more memorable than just using you and your LLC partner’s surnames. 

What About Your Brand and Customers: When you think about your LLC, what are its goals and purposes? What got you to start it (beyond profits)? What service would you provide for your clients, and how? What remarks do you want people to associate with your LLC? You can use a reflection of those words in the name. Say you’re a party planner, you’d want the business name to convey joy. If you provide ambulance services, the name should be serious-sounding.

Think Long Term: If you’re unable to come up with a unique business name, you may be tempted to use the name of your town or city with the name to set it apart. But what if your business grows beyond the neighborhood? What if you branch out to other cities or even states? Similarly, you want to expand and sell additional products or services that what you are involved in as of now.

Make Online Plans: If you would be placing your LLC on the Internet (and you really should), you want a good, easy-to-spell-and-remember domain name. Factor that into your naming decision. Your first choice of name for “www” may have been already claimed, so get creative. You may also want to check the possibility that whoever owns your coveted URL would sell it for a reasonable price.

Follow Rules: Rules for LLC names vary State by State, so you should check your particular state’s parameters, listed below, to ensure your LLC business name complies. Read on.

Rules For Naming Your LLC

All States may have different rules about what an entity’s name can be and usage of company suffixes. This makes picking out a business name very tricky. You want it appealing to the customers, have the flexibility to grow with your company and be memorable. Once you finalize a name, you’ll also need to ensure that no one else has it. To learn more about rules that apply to name your LLC business, find your State below.

Alabama

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Alabama business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the Corporate Section of the Alabama Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may to use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. As per AL SOS, you must obtain a Certificate of Name Reservation [10A-1-4.02(f)] before filing your LLC formation documents in the county.

Alaska

Your LLC’s name must be distinct. This rule applies both to the LLCs formed in Alaska, as well as those originally formed elsewhere but authorized to operate in the State of Alaska.

Your AK LLC’s name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or either of its abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” The name of a specific borough, city, or village may be used in the LLC’s name but it cannot, however, include the words “borough,” “city,” or “village,” or otherwise “state” or indicate that the LLC is affiliated to a municipality. Entity’s names containing a word with professional licensing restrictions, such as Engineer, and misleading of the corporate’s purposes, are not allowed. An available business name may be reserved for $15, for up to 120 days. A proposed LLC name may be registered by paying an annual $25 fee.

Arizona

You will need a distinguishable, original name for your AZ LLC that’s not used by another business in Arizona. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, conduct a thorough AZ business entity name search. Your LLC’s name must have the words “limited liability company” or “LLC” at the end, such as “Arizona Tree Trimmers LLC.”

You are allowed to reserve the name you have selected for business by downloading the appropriate form, completing it and sending it to the Arizona Corporation Commission office. The completion of this form and reserving a name for your proposed LLC must all be following ARS 10-120 to ARS 10-11909. The reserved name will be held for up to 120 days and the filing costs are $10.

Arkansas

The name you choose for your AR LLC must be different from all other registered and reserved entity names of the State. You are not allowed to include words or phrases that give the impression that the LLC has been organized for a purpose other than mentioned in its Articles, or one not permitted by the State law.

A name can be reserved for up to 120 days before filing. This process can be done, under A.C.A. § 4-26-402, A.C.A § 4-33-402, A.C.A § 4-32-104, by filing Form RN-06. By post or online on the Secretary of State site. The filing fee for a name reservation is $25 (paper) and $22.50 (online). Use Business Entity Search to confirm the availability of your desired name. 

The LLC name must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” You can use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. 

California

You will need a distinct name for your LLC that is not used by another entity in California. Conduct a CA business entity name search on the California Business Entity Search & Name page to find out if another business is using your name choice before you register it. The name of your company must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC.” “Limited” and “Company” can be abbreviated to “Ltd.” and “Co.,” respectively. If your name is available then file a name reservation on the CSOS’ Name Reservation Request Form, to reserve the desired name. When approved, you have the exclusive right to use it for up to 60 days. 

A name that is “likely to mislead the public” or not “distinguishable” from an existing LLC name or unexpired name reservation, is not permitted. Misleading or deceptive names extend not just to similarly spelled ones, but also to corporate designators. There are other restrictions on names related to specific industries. Business names cannot have the words Bank, Trust or Trustee unless approved by the Commissioner of Business Oversight. The rules for naming your CA LLC are outlined in its Corporations Code Section 17701.08. Even if you reserve the name, your Articles of Organization may still get rejected because of the name, so you must go through the law carefully.

Colorado

You will need an original name for your CO LLC that is not used or reserved by another business in your state. To check if another entity is already using the business name of your choice, take up a Colorado business entity name search. The name for your LLC must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end. 

Articles of speech such as ‘the’ and ‘a’, and terms or abbreviations included in an entity name would make a name distinguishable. Such as ABC LLC would not be considered same as ABC Limited Liability Company, or ABC LLC would not be considered same as A B C LLC (spaced out).

However, characters such as periods (.), commas (,), underscores (_), apostrophes (‘), etc, or uppercase, and lowercase letters won’t make a name distinct. You might go through section 7-90-601, C.R.S., for more information. In CO, you can reserve your proposed name for up to 120 days.

Connecticut

You need to use a name that is not the same or too similar to an existing business name in the state of Connecticut. Punctuations, plural forms, suffixes, abbreviations, the difference in phonetic spelling won’t make it unique. The CT SOS will not approve a name that is so similar to another name as to be likely to be mistaken for it. 

The name must not imply that it was formed for a purpose other than on your Articles and it should not mislead the public, either. Do include the words “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company”. The CT SOS allows the business name to only include English letters and numbers or Roman numerals. 

Available LLC names can be reserved for up to 120 days with the State’s office for a $30 fee.

Delaware

The rules for naming your new DE LLC are that it must be easy to distinguish from any other business’s name registered or reserved her, including nonprofit organizations. It must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” It can include words in a foreign language, as long as you provide a translation into English when forming the LLC. Words like “Bank,” “University” or “College” are restricted and need additional paperwork. Other words associated with certain professions or licensed individuals require an individual in that profession to be a member— for example, doctors, engineers or accountants. An available name can be reserved with the Delaware Secretary of State by paying a fee of $75, for up to 120 days. Not required if you are forming an LLC right away.

Florida

The name of your new FL LLC must be unique. Your proposed LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or their abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. 

Restricted words would need prior approval and additional paperwork if you still wish to use them in the name. The restricted words as per the rules for naming your Florida LLC are names associated with institutions (such as banks or credit unions) and words implying qualified professions like doctors, engineers, attorneys or architects. Generally prohibited words that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency such as IRS, EPA, Treasury, etc. are also prohibited here. 

Just remember, no name reservation is allowed here. They are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Once you have your desired name is available, submit your filing immediately.

Georgia

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other GA business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the Corporate Section of the Alabama Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization or one that’s not allowed by state law. 

The GA LLC name can’t suggest any affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency.

Using the following terms require prior written approval of the Office of Commissioner of Insurance:

  • “Insurance”
  • “Assurance”
  • “Surety”
  • “Fidelity”
  • “Reinsurance”
  • “Reassurance”
  • “Indemnity”

Addition of below terms or any variation in a Georgia LLC name requires prior written approval of the Department of Banking and Finance:

  • “Bank”
  • “Banc”
  • “Banque”
  • “Banker”
  • “Banking Company”
  • “Banking House”
  • “Bancorp”
  • “Bankruptcy”
  • “Credit Union”
  • “Savings & Loan”
  • “Trust”
  • “Trust Company”

Adding the terms “College” or “University” in your business name requires written approval of the GA Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.

You can reserve your preferred name for 30 days, with an application and a fee of $25.00

All of the letters in the LLC’s name must be from the English alphabet.

Hawaii

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Hawaiian business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the HI Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

The rules for naming your Hawaii LLC say that all the letters in it must be in the English alphabet. Also, you can apply to use a name that is similar to another business’ name if the current owner or user permits in writing, or if a court order says you can.

An available name can be reserved with the Hawaii DCCA for up to 120 days, with a $10 fee.

Idaho

Under Idaho rules for naming your LLC, the name must contain the phrase “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or their abbreviation “L.L.C.,” “L.C.,” or “LLC.” It must be distinct from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the ID Secretary of State. You may check for availability by searching the Secretary of State’s business name database. Your selected name may be reserved for up to four months by filing a Reservation of Legal Entity Name with ID SOS, by filing online or by postal mail. The fee is $20 for online and $40 for posting.

The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Illinois

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Illinois business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the IL Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Your preferred name can’t suggest an association with any federal or state government entity or agency. Certain restricted words connected with institutions and some qualified professions need prior approval and additional efforts if you want to use them in your business name. Such as:

  • “Insurance”
  • “Surety”
  • “Underwriters”
  • “Bank”
  • “Bankers”
  • “Banking”
  • Any term showing a licensed professional service

Indiana

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from all other business entities ‘ names registered or reserved with the State of Indiana. To check if another entity is using your choice of business name, carry out an IN business name search. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

For reservation of your selected name, apply with the IN SOS either online or by completing the Application for Reservation of Exclusive Use of Corporate Name here. The name would be reserved for use for up to 120 days and the fee is $20.

Iowa

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Iowa business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the Iowa Secretary of State. You can search for the availability of your proposed name here. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. But not allowed to use the terms “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited Partnership,” or their abbreviations, either. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. 

You may take permission to use a similar name as another entity from it or the court. 

You can chose to reserve your preferred name, for up to 120 days, by completing the Application for Reservation of Name and filing with IA SOS, for a fee of $10. 

Kansas

Your LLC’s name must be distinguishable from any other Kansas business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the KS Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

The name may have the name of a member or manager, and it may also have the words “Company,” “Club,” “Association,” “Foundation,” “Fund,” “Institute,” “Society,” “Syndicate,” “Union,” “Limited” or “Trust” (or their abbreviations).

You can use a similar name only if you get prior written permission from the other entity and file it with the KS SOS. An available name can be reserved for $35 using a paper form, or $27 for an online application. For up to 120 days.

Kentucky

Under Kentucky rules for naming your LLC, the entity’s name must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “LC.” You can use the abbreviation “LTD CO.” It must be distinguishable from the names of other businesses already on file with the KY Secretary of State. You should check for availability by searching the KY SOS’s business name database. Your chosen name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You may reserve your selected name for up to 120 days by filing a Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name (Form RES) with the Secretary of State. The reservation may be filed online or by mail, by paying a filing fee is $15.

You may take permission to use a similar name as another entity from it or the court. 

Louisiana

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from all other business entities ‘ names registered or reserved with the State of Louisiana. LA’s rules of naming your LLC demand that the name must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “L.C.”. The name of a low-profit SMLLC must have the words “Low-Profit Limited Liability Company,” or “L3C”, or “l3c” as an abbreviation.

The name must be distinguishable from other entities’ names already on file with the LA SOS. Names may be checked in its database for availability. 

You may reserve a name for up to 60 days by filing a Name Reservation form (Form #398), for $25, with up to two 30-day extensions upon request. The reservation may be applied for by post or online. If you are forming your LLC and its Articles online, you’d need to provide the LLC’s IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN). Therefore, it’s better if you would reserve the name before obtaining the EIN to ensure the name is available.

The name should not contain any word or phrase indicating that the LLC is organized for any unlawful purpose, or a purpose contrary to its Articles, or that the LLC is an administrative agency of any parish (LA’s equivalent of a county) or the federal government. 

Maine

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from all other business entities ‘ names registered or reserved with the State of Maine. You can search here to determine if the name you want is available.

This rule applies both to the LLCs formed inside, as well as those originally formed elsewhere but authorized to operate in the State of ME.

Your ME LLC’s name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or either of its abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The name must not include the words “Corporation,” “Incorporated” or their abbreviations. A limited partnership name cannot include the name of a limited partner unless it is also the name of a general partner.

The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Obscene, abusive name are not permitted. The name must not falsely imply an association with public institutions, or unlawful activity. 

One more thing, LLC or other business names containing the word “Passamaquoddy” are prohibited without authorization, in writing, from the Passamaquoddy Tribe (except “Passamaquoddy Bay”).

Available LLC names can be reserved with the ME SOS for a $20 fee.

Maryland

The name needs to be unique and not used by another business entity that is already reserved or registered with the Maryland Department of Taxation and Assessment. To find out if your choice of LLC name is available, you can search the Charter Record Search database. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. Or if it implies it is an entity other than LLC. 

Your MD LLC name must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “L.C.” 

Massachusetts

The name you choose for your MA LLC must be different from all other registered and reserved entity names of the State. This rule for naming your LLC applies to entities formed in the state, as well as those formed elsewhere but conducting business in Massachusetts. You are not allowed to include words or phrases that give the impression that the LLC has been organized for a purpose other than mentioned in its Articles, or one not permitted by the State law.

It must have, at its the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. 

The LLC name can also include the name of a member or manager. An available LLC name can be reserved for 60 days for a $30 fee.

Michigan

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the Corporate Division of the Michigan Secretary of State. It must have, at the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. 

The LLC name cannot include words that could confuse your entity with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.). Prohibited words (Bank, Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC in Michigan.

You can reserve an LLC name by filling out a form and paying a fee of $25, for up to six months.

Minnesota

The name you choose for your MN LLC must be different from all other registered and reserved entity names of the State. You are not allowed to include words or phrases that give the impression that the LLC has been organized for a purpose other than mentioned in its Articles, or one not permitted by the Minnesota State law.

The name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or its abbreviated term “LLC” at the end. But not to include the words “Corporation,” “Incorporated” or the abbreviations “Inc.” or “Corp.” An available LLC name can be reserved for up to 12 months with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State Business & Lien system. The fee is $50 for filing by mail, $55 for online and in-person filings.

Mississippi

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from all other business entities ‘ names registered or reserved with the State of Mississippi. 

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Mississippi business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the MS Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

It may include the name of a member or manager. Your LLC’s name must not contain any of the following words, their abbreviations, any combination thereof, or any words or abbreviations of similar meaning:

  • “Banking”
  • “Partnership”
  • “Trust Company”
  • “Corporation”
  • “Incorporated”
  • “Limited Partnership”
  • “Limited Liability Partnership”
  • “Insurance”
  • “Bank”
  • “Banker(s)”
  • “Trust”

You can reserve your desired LLC name for up to 180 days for a $25 fee before you actually file for an organization with the MS SOS.

Missouri

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Missouri business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the Missouri Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,”  “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. The following terms are prohibited corporation, incorporated, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability limited partnership, or their abbreviations.

It must not contain any word or phrase which indicates that it is a governmental agency.

You can reserve a name by filing with the Office of Secretary of State and paying a fee of $25, for a period of 60 days. The reservation is extendable up to a maximum of 180 days.

Montana

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Montana business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the MT Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Available LLC names can be reserved with the MT SOS for up to 120 days for $10.

Nebraska

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Nebraska business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the NE Secretary of State. This applies to LLCs formed in Nebraska, as well as those formed elsewhere but authorized to operate in this state.

 It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Available LLC names can be reserved for up to 120 days for $15.

Nevada

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from all other business entities ‘ names registered or reserved with the State of Nevada. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Your NV LLC name must not include the words “Accounting,” “Accountant,” “Accountancy,” “Auditing” or “Auditor,” unless the Nevada State Board of Accountancy certifies the company is registered as per Chapter 86 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS).

The LLC’s name must also not include the words “Bank” or “Trust” unless your Articles show that it is planned to conduct business as a banking or trust company and has been approved by the NE Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

Do not mention the terms “Engineer,” “Engineering,” “Engineered,” “Professional Engineer,” “Registered Engineer,” or “Licensed Engineer” without certification from the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

New Hampshire

Your selected LLC’s name must be distinct from any other New Hampshire business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. You can insert additional space between the letters or spaces in each of these abbreviations — so “L. L. C.” and “L L C” are also permitted. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You may select a name that contains the name of a member or manager, and/or the words “Company,” “Club,” “Association,” “Foundation,” “Fund,” “Institute,” “Society,” “Syndicate,” “Limited,” “Trust,” “Union,” or their abbreviations. An available name can be reserved with the NH SOS for 120 days for $15.

New Jersey

Your LLC’s name must be distinguishable from the names of any other New Jersey business entities that are already reserved or registered with the NJ Secretary of State. You can search for availability of your chosen business name here.  It must have, at its end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Certain words are prohibited to be included:

  • “Cemetery”
  • “District of Columbia”
  • “Funeral Homes”
  • “Urban Renewal”
  • “Realtor”
  • “D.C.”
  • “Postal”
  • “Little League”
  • “Underwriters”
  • “Metropolitan”
  • “Handicapped”
  • “Blind”
  • “Olympia”
  • “Olympic”
  • “Trust”

New Mexico

Your LLC’s name must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. 

Remember that “LLC” is a distinct entity and stands for “Limited Liability Company.” Not “LLC Corporation, “Limited Liability Corporation,” or anything connected to a corporation. 

It must be distinct from any other New Mexico business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the NM Secretary of State. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

A name available in NM can be reserved for up to 120 days for a $20 fee.

New York

The name you have zeroed in for your LLC business in New York must be distinct from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the NY Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Below terms are restricted for as per rules in New York for naming your LLC:

  • “Arboretum”
  • “Citius Altius Fortius”
  • “Academy”
  • “Acceptance”
  • “Annuity”
  • “Blind”
  • “Conservatory”
  • “America Espirito Sport Fraternite”
  • “Assurance”
  • “Bank”
  • “Benefit”
  • “Bond”
  • “Casualty”
  • “College”
  • “Council”
  • “Doctor”
  • “Education”
  • “Elementary”
  • “Endowment”
  • “Handicapped”
  • “Exchange”
  • “Fidelity”
  • “History”
  • “Finance”
  • “Guaranty”
  • “Historical”
  • “Historical Society”
  • “Indemnity”
  • “Industrial Organization”
  • “Insurance”
  • “Investment”
  • “Kindergarten”
  • “Labor”
  • “Lawyer
  • “Library”
  • “Loan”
  • “Institute”
  • “Mortgage”
  • “Museum”
  • “Olympiad”
  • “Prekindergarten”
  • “Savings”
  • “School”
  • “Secondary”
  • “Preschool”
  • “Surety”
  • “Title”
  • “Trust”
  • “Underwriter”
  • “University”
  • “Union”
  • “United Nations”
  • “Urban Development”
  • “Cooperation”
  • “Cooperative”
  • “Corporation”
  • “Attorney”
  • “Board of Trade”
  • “Chamber of Commerce”
  • “Community”
  • anything to do with “Olympic”
  • “Incorporated”
  • “Partnership”
  • “Redevelopment”
  • “State Police”
  • “State Trooper
  • “Tenant Relocation”
  • “Urban Relocation”

An available name in NY can be reserved for a $20 fee. For 60 days, extendable up to 180 days.

North Carolina

An LLC in North Carolina must have a unique name, distinguishable from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the NC Secretary of State. The availability of business names can be searched in the NC SOS business name database. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Usage of the restricted words, such as “Bank,” “Banker,” “Banking,” “Trust,” “Mutual,” “Cooperative,” “Co-op,”, “Insurance,” “Engineer,” “Engineering,” “Architect,” “Architecture,” “Architectural,” “Surveyor,” “Survey,” “Surveying,” “Certified Public Accountant” need prior certifications.

A name can be reserved for an LLC entity in NC for a fee of $30, for up to 120 days.

North Dakota

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other North Dakota business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the ND Secretary of State. It must include either of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.”, at its end. You are allowed to use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. But it should not contain the words “Bank,” “Banker,” “Banking,” “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited Partnership,” “Limited Liability Partnership,” “Limited Liability Limited Partnership,” or their abbreviations.

The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. 

An available LLC name can be reserved for up to 12 months for $10.

Ohio

An original name needs to be used to start business, as per Ohio’s rules for naming your LLC. Your chosen name must be distinct from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the OH Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

The business name can’t suggest an affiliation with a federal or state government agency. Abusive or profane words or phrases that are generally considered a slur against an ethnic group, gender, religion, or heredity, are unacceptable. Restricted words such as bank or credit union need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your LLC name.

Oklahoma

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Oklahoma business entity’s name that is already registered. It should also not be similar to any reserved name with the State during the last 3-years, as per the OK Secretary of State rules for naming your LLC. You can perform a Business Entity Search to check the availability of the name you’re trying to reserve isn’t already registered in Oklahoma. It must have, in the end, any of the terms: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

An available LLC name may be reserved for period of 60 days for a filing $10 fee.

Oregon

Only a distinct name can be registered to start your LLC in Oregon. It must be distinguishable from all other business entities ‘ names actively registered or reserved with the State. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out an Oregon Business Name Search​. According to the OR rules for naming your LLC, a difference of even a letter is enough to distinguish it from another name in the State’s database. Except that adding or deleting the letter “s” to make a word plural, singular or possessive or change in punctuation is not permitted. And that identical names can be used under different counties. You can use a different keyword or place it in a different way to make it unique. 

It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Pennsylvania

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Pennsylvania business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the Corporate Section of the PA Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Your LLC name can’t suggest an affiliation with a federal or state government agency. Prohibited words, with a restriction on use, and requiring prior approval and certification, are:

  • “Architect”
  • ‘‘Architecture”
  • ‘‘Engineer”
  • “Engineering”
  • ‘‘Banker”
  • ‘‘Trust”
  • ‘‘College”
  • ‘‘University”
  • ‘‘Seminary”
  • “Bank”
  • ‘‘Banking”
  • ‘‘Certified Public Accountant”
  • ‘‘Public Accountant”
  • ‘‘Surveyor”
  • ‘‘Surveying”
  • ‘‘Pharmacist”
  • ‘‘Druggist”
  • “Drugs”
  • ‘‘Medicines”
  • ‘‘Drug Shop”
  • ‘‘Pharmaceutical”
  • ‘‘Apothecary”
  • ‘‘Assurance”
  • ‘‘Beneficial”
  • ‘‘Drug Store”
  • ‘‘Pharmacy”
  • ‘‘Medicine Store”
  • ‘‘Homeopathic”
  • ‘‘Homeopathy”
  • “Annuity”
  • ‘‘Bond”
  • ‘‘Casualty”
  • “Endowment”
  • ‘‘Fidelity”
  • ‘‘Fraternal”
  • ‘‘Guaranty”
  • “Indemnity”
  • ‘‘Insurance”
  • ‘‘Reinsurance”
  • ‘‘surety”
  • ‘‘Title”
  • ‘‘Insurer”
  • ‘‘Reassurance”
  • ‘‘Mutual”
  • “Electricity
  • “Gas Utilities”

Rhode Island

The name you have selected for your new LLC in Rhode Island must be distinct from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered, as per the rules laid down by RI Secretary of State for naming your LLC. It must have, in the end, one of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C”, (upper or lower case). You are allowed to use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You can search an available LLC name in RI in its Secretary of State’s business name database. And reserve for 120 days by filing the application form#620 and paying a $25 fee.

South Carolina

To start an LLC business in South Carolina, your business name must be distinguishable from any other South Carolina business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the SC Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

An available name may be reserved for 120 days by filing two copies of the Application to Reserve an LLC Name form, as per SC’s rules for naming your LLC. With a $25 fee.

South Dakota

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other South Dakota business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the SD Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, one of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “L.C.” You are allowed to use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You are allowed to use the name of another domestic or foreign company if the other entity is authorized to conduct business in South Dakota and any of these are true:

  • The company proposing to use the name has merged or has been reorganized with the other entity
  • The company proposing to use the name has acquired a substantial portion of the assets (including the name) of the other entity.

An available LLC name may be reserved for 120 days, as per the rules of naming your SD LLC, for a $20 fee.

Tennessee

An original name needs to be used to start a business, as per Tennessee’s rules for naming your LLC. Your chosen name must be distinct from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the TN Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

However, do not use the words “Corporation” or “Incorporated.” An available name in Tennessee may be reserved for an LLC for four months for a $20 fee.

Texas

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Texan business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the TX Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. 

The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. Neither should it include words that indicate an association with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).

Usage of restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) requires additional paperwork and a licensed professional, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.

Business names can be reserved for 30 days, with a fee of $40 with the application. The period is extendable up to a maximum total of 150 days.

Utah

A unique name needs to be used to start a business, as per Utah’s rules for naming your LLC. Your chosen name must be distinguishable from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the UT Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

Your chosen name must not contain the words “Olympic,” “Olympiad,” or “Citius Altius Fortius,” unless you have a consent of the U.S. Olympic Committee, in writing. Moreover, it may not contain the words “University,” “College,” or “Institute,” without taking prior permission from the Division of Consumer Protection. An available name may be reserved for your LLC for 120 days for a $22 fee, with unending renewals of 120 days.

Vermont

Every entity in Vermont must be uniquely named as per the rules of naming your LLC in Vermont. You can search the database of business names in Vermont here. Your LLC’s name must be distinct from all other business entities ‘ names registered or reserved with the State. 

It must have, in the end, one of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “LC,” “L.L.C.,” or “L.C.” You are allowed to use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. But you cannot include any words that refer to other types of business structures (like “corporation” or “incorporated”). Also, the name must not have words that typically indicate specific types of businesses (like “bank” or “law office”).

The name must not imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You can get your proposed name reserved for up to 120 days for a filing fee of $20. With one-time extension available for an additional 120 days.

Virginia

To start an LLC business in Virginia, your business name must be distinguishable from any other Virginian entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the VA Department of State Corporations Bureau.  

As per the VA rules for naming your LLC, the name of your LLC must have either of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C,” at its end. However, your desired name must not include the words “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited Partnership,” or the abbreviations “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “L.P.,” or “LP.”

You are allowed to use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You can reserve an available business name for up to 120 days at a $10 fee. Renewable for another 30 days.

Washington

A unique name needs to be used to start a business, as per Washington’s rules for naming your LLC. Your chosen name must be distinguishable from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the WA Secretary of State. 

It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You can reserve your selected name for your LLC for a filing fee of $30. And this can be expedited with an extra $20. 

However, if you reserve a name for your WA LLC, you will be required to file your business formation documents by post or in person. You will not be able to form your business online with a reserved name. Also, if your LLC’s name is reserved, you would not be able to keep your name and address out of the public record.

West Virginia

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other West Virginian business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the WV Secretary of State. You can Search Business Organizations online database to know the availability of your desired name. It must have, in the end, one of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.”, “LC” or “L.C.” You are allowed to use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

You can reserve an available LLC name by filing Form NR-1, for up to 120 days for a $15 fee.

Wisconsin

Your LLC’s name must be distinct from any other Wisconsin business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered with the WI Secretary of State. It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. 

Your Wisconsin LLC name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization. Neither should it can’t suggest an affiliation with a federal or state government entity. 

Wyoming

A business in Wyoming must have a unique name, distinguishable from any other business entity’s name that is already reserved or registered, as per the WY Secretary of State rules for naming your LLC stipulate. Use Wyoming’s Business Entity Search to check the availability of your selected name.

It must have, in the end, any of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.” You may use the abbreviated terms “Ltd.” and “Co” for the words “Limited” and “Company”. The name cannot imply that your business has been registered for some purpose other than those stated in the Articles of Organization.

The LLC name cannot include words that could confuse your entity with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.). Prohibited words (Bank, Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC in Wyoming.

You may reserve your desired name for 120 days with a filing fee of $50.

If you are looking to form an LLC business, there are many tasks you need to undertake, other than just choosing a great name for your business. But worry not. AutoFilings is there to assist you every step of the way. Just get connected NOW, and begin a fulfilling journey.