LLC Name Search

Your business name is an important part of your LLC’s brand identity. Before choosing an LLC name, however, you need to ensure that it is distinguishable and matches an available domain name. Here’s how to perform an LLC name search to ensure your business name is ready for formation. 

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How to Search for an LLC Name in 3 Steps

LLC name searches help to ensure you are following state requirements and choosing a business name that will set your venture up for success. Fortunately, performing an LLC name search only requires a couple easy steps that we’ve outlined for you below. 

Step 1: Follow State Naming Rules

LLC naming rules will vary state-by-state. Before choosing a name for your LLC, make sure you review the naming requirements specified by your state. 

There are, however, LLC naming requirements that are common across most states such as:  

  • Your business name must include limited liability company, limited company, or LLC 
  • Your LLC name cannot include terms that could confuse it for government entity 
  • Your business name must be unique and distinguishable from other business entities in the state 
  • Your LLC name cannot include words that are associated with certain licenses if you do not possess them such as “bank” or “university” 
  • Your LLC name cannot include terms associated with other business structures 

Step 2: Conduct a Business Entity Search

An LLC’s business name must be unique. 

Therefore, it is important to do a business entity search in your state in order to ensure it is distinguishable from any other existing business. 

You can typically find a business entity search tool on your state’s Secretary of State, Department of Corporations, or other related government entity website. This tool will allow you to search through all existing business entities to ensure that your business name isn’t already taken. 

Step 3: Do a Domain Name Search

Doing a domain name search will help ensure that your business’s name has a matching web domain name. 

A web domain name that corresponds with your LLC name means: 

  • Your brand has continuity 
  • Your business looks more credible  
  • Your business is more searchable  

Plus, if you are still searching for the perfect LLC name, you can use a domain name search to brainstorm business names with available web domains. 

 With GoDaddy, you can easily search available domain names and secure the perfect one for your business.

Next Steps

After searching for your LLC name, you’ll then need to take the following steps:

Register and Reserve Your Business Name

When you form your LLC, you also register your business name. This requires submitting formation documents, typically called Certificate of Formation or Articles of Organization, to the state. 

You can also opt to have a formation service such as Northwest Registered Agent file these documents for you. 

If you aren’t planning on immediately forming your LLC, reserving your business name can protect it while you prepare to form your business. Typically for up to 120 days. However, not all states offer name reservations, check with your state agency to determine if this is a possibility. 

Trademark Your Business Name

Trademarking your business name establishes ownership and protects your intellectual property

This can be a valuable step toward ensuring your company is protected as it grows and the process is fairly straightforward. 

Before you can move forward with trademarking your business name you will need to complete a trademark search to ensure it is available. If so, you can apply online with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  

Additional Brainstorming Tips:

  • Business name generators are helpful tools to explore potential names and spark new ideas. Plus, many of them are free to use. 
  • Brainstorming techniques like mind mapping can assist you in unlocking creative name ideas and breaking out of writer’s block. 
  • Get feedback from people you know about associations with potential name choices or to help you generate business name ideas. 

Conclusion

Finding the perfect name for your LLC is an important step toward forming your business and establishing your brand. Make sure to follow the steps above to find a unique name for your new venture.