LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. This type of pot besides normally is referred to as a restrict company or L.L.C., LLC, L.C., LC, or Ltd. Liability Co .
How to choose an LLC name
Choosing a list for your limited indebtedness company ( LLC ) can be one of the fun parts of starting a business. possibly you ’ ve had a name in judgment for a while, or you ’ re still brainstorming with a few options on the table.
Wherever you are in the procedure of forming an LLC, remember : your name can influence a customer ’ sulfur first depression of your trade name, and set you apart from the competition .
Your business entity diagnose can besides protect you and your commercial enterprise at the express and union levels. You will need to register your list with the submit politics, which will ensure that your business identify is unique and that another business owner can ’ t use the like list. ( sometimes, imitation isn’t the highest form of flattery. )
Picking a singular and memorable name for your LLC can make your small clientele stand out from the pack and can help customers find your products or services. here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a name for your LLC .
It must be unique. Legally, the name of your LLC can ’ t be the same as another commercial enterprise entity registered in your department of state or the lapp as a brand phrase. State databases check lone whether the LLC name is available in your own express, but do not check whether the name is trademarked .
To see if your desire business identify is calm up for grabs both in your state and that it isn ’ triiodothyronine trademarked, conduct an LLC appoint search via your local secretary of state position and then do a hallmark search at the United States Patent and Trademark Office web site .
It must include the entity type. When written in entire, your LLC name besides has to include the words “ Limited Liability Company ” or the initials “ LLC. ”
It must not mislead. There are some legally enshrine business terms, words, and abbreviations you can not include in your business entity diagnose. exact rules vary state to country, but generally words and terms that indicate an entity type different from LLC, such as “ Corporation ” and “ Corp., ” “ Incorporated ” and “ Inc., ” and “ Limited Partnership ” are restricted .
Your LLC name can not include words to indicate that your caller is a governmental arrangement, such as “ City, ” “ Township, ” or “ Federal. ” You can not include words that indicate your party is a savings bank or policy agency, like “ Bank ” or “ Insurer ” or “ Trust, ” unless you are in that diligence .
You besides are not allowed to include words like “ Legal ” or “ Medical ” in your business name when you are not a lawyer or doctor ( you will be asked to provide licenses ) .
Beyond the basic legal requirements, there are besides other important considerations when it comes to the business name plot. Keep these in thinker :
Think about your domain. When naming your commercial enterprise, you ’ ll likely need a vane presence—meaning that you ’ ll want a web site with a sphere identify that either matches or represents your entity name. Check that the sphere you want international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine already in use or see how expensive it is to purchase .
The US Small Business Administration recommends this directory of accredit registrars as a resource for checking that your ideal domain diagnose is available.
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Pick a name that allows you to grow. Be advanced when coming up with a name for your LLC. Choose words that evoke what you ’ re volunteer but aren ’ triiodothyronine so particular that they pigeonhole you if you decide to expand .
For exercise, if you ’ ra operate solo, it can be fine to use your own identify in your LLC, but if you scale and add to your staff, a business identify like “ Erika Jones Coaching LLC ” may confuse clients who expect to interface with you and only you. similarly, if you ’ re selling a product, you may want to keep your identify more high level, quite than tied to the specific product you sell now, so that you have board to expand your offerings down the cable .
Make it memorable. not every business name needs to be far-out or highly unique to be successful. But it helps to be comfortable to remember. That can either mean that your business name identical literally reflects what your commercial enterprise does or that it ’ s cunning, apt, or catchy .
alliteration or rhymed can make a appoint more memorable. Or, you might consider using a recognizable son from nature, literature, or history to create a cognitive association with something known .
LLC vs. DBA: When to create a fictitious name
If your business is a sole proprietorship or general partnership and you want to operate under a name different than your own, you ’ ll have to file a DBA ( doing business as ). ( LLCs don ’ t have this necessity because registering a business mention is partially of the formation procedure. ) Both DBAs and LLCs register your unique clientele name in your state so no one else can take that name. But alone LLCs provide legal security of your personal assets .
In most cases, if you incorporated your commercial enterprise as an LLC, you don ’ triiodothyronine besides need a DBA. One reason you might besides want a DBA is if you want to market your clientele using a different name than the diagnose of your LLC .
For example, possibly you created the LLC using a generic list like AAA Building, but late decide you want to use a more memorable appoint, such as The Construction Brothers. A DBA would allow you to operate your occupation as The Construction Brothers, but retain the legal protection of your LLC. however, you would still want to use your LLC name on legal documents and bills or any business obligations .
If your state requires you to use “ LLC ” in your selling materials, a DBA besides allows you to drop the LLC. After all, the LLC can be a gawky addition to a snappy business mention .
When to consider a trademark
While your business entity name protects you at the state of matter floor, trademarks protect you at the national horizontal surface. You can trademark your clientele appoint, vitamin a good as the names of products or services you provide. Doing indeed prevents others in alike industries from selling their goods under the lapp names .
If you do a lot of clientele out of country, are considering expanding or franchising your commercial enterprise, or have a singular clientele name or brand you want to protect, you might want to consider trademarking your business diagnose. If you ’ re a small service clientele, say a local paint company, whose customers are by and large or all local, trademarking likely doesn ’ t make common sense. Your clientele name would already be protected in your state through your LLC .
Make indisputable to cross-check the names you ’ re cooking up to avoid a dearly-won brand violation lawsuit. Again, you can check the official database at the Patent and Trademark Office .
What happens if your name is already taken?
If you start doing your homework and realize your name is already taken, you can tweak your diagnose to make it work. Adding an “ and ” or “ the ” or some punctuation international relations and security network ’ thymine enough, but adding your first base name or full name or a few different words might be enough to get the identify approved.
Final thoughts on LLC names
Picking a name for your business is just one of many authoritative company decisions you ’ ll have to make as you start a newfangled venture. spend clock to ensure your diagnose fits your business and sets you apart from the crowd will pay off in the future. If you ’ re at all concerned about the legal implications of choosing a name, consider engaging an lawyer for advice .
Next steps for your LLC
See our cosmopolitan scout for how to start an LLC .
See our state specific guides for California LLC, Texas LLC and Florida LLC .