Start-up Tips: How To Name Your LLC

One of the most crucial decisions a business owner has to do is to choose the name of the company.

As an entrepreneur, you have to make sure that the business name is distinguishable and easy for consumers to remember. You also need to make sure that it reflects the values of your business.

The Importance of Your Company Name

The name of your business plays a monumental role for your brand. It refers to the identity of your brand. Getting it right will give your company advantages and benefits.

  • Since it is the first thing potential customers see, it helps leave a powerful first impression. So, it has to have a wow factor that will convey the right message.
  • It showcases what the company is all about and helps people have an idea about the values and beliefs of your business.
  • It is what makes your company different from other businesses within the same industry.

Naming An LLC

For many emerging entrepreneurs, forming a limited liability company (LLC) is the best choice. That may actually be true. An LLC business structure provides protection to the owners by limiting the liability of members.

Once you decide on this business structure type, you will have to proceed with the formal process in the state where you want to form the company. Make sure you understand every step and complete them properly to avoid encountering problems in the future. For starters, you need to consider three main factors on how to name your LLC:

  • The name needs to be easy to spell.
  • It has to be short.
  • It needs to have a positive connotation.

Aside from these basic factors to consider, you also need to consider other things to ensure that your name complies with the law.

  • Availability – The name that you want to use has to be available. Make sure no other business entity is using it. To do this, you will have to conduct a name search to check possible existing companies on the database of the state. When doing a search, make sure you check every possible way to use the name.
  • Naming regulations – Each state has its own regulations when it comes to naming LLCs. Generally, all states require LLCs to include the phrase Limited Liability Company or any of its abbreviations like LLC or L.L.C. Most companies choose LLC.
  • Restrictions – Your company also needs to take note of the restrictions. It cannot have any word that will imply that it is a corporation. So, you cannot use the words Corporation, Incorporated, Corp., or Inc. You also cannot use a name that can confuse your company with a government agency.
  • Distinguishability – As stated earlier, your company name needs to be distinguishable. So, you have to make sure that it is not too similar to any names that other business entities use. The state does not approve names that are close to or similar to the names of existing businesses. Here are a few things you need to remember:

In most cases, you cannot use a name that is already in use even if your company name has a different designator. For example, you cannot use NAME, LLC if there is already an existing NAME, Inc. However, there are some states that allow such instances. Check out the laws of your state to be sure. 

Differences in the form of a word will not help you get approval. If your company uses the singular form of the word and another existing business has registered the plural form, the name may not be available. In such cases, you will have to come up with an alternative name.

o Differences in the articles you use on your company name do not mean it is available. So, you will have to think of another name if the only difference is a, an, or the. For example, you choose A NAME, LLC. You cannot use it if there is an existing THE NAME, LLC.

o The use of the word and, or, or the ampersand symbol does not create distinguishability. Changing and to & does not let you use the name.

  • The name remains unavailable even if you try to change it by adding a hyphen, period, or comma.
  • Changing numerical to written numbers does not make it unique. You still cannot use the same company name.
  • A name that somehow seems similar to an existing company will not get approval. If it can be deceptive, you will have to think of an alternative.

Things To Consider

Aside from considering state regulations on how to name your LLC, you will also have to think about other things. To help you choose the right company name to represent your brand, here are a few tips. 

  • Review the essence of the business. Check your mission statement or business plan. You also have to keep in mind the target audience. Think of the message you want them to get and what you want them to feel when they see your LLC name.
  • You may need to brainstorm for a few days to finalize your decision. You can do it with a business partner. You can also do it alone. Make sure the brainstorming process allows creativity to flow. You may also use common techniques, such as brain dumping, list-making, word association, and mind mapping.
  • After brainstorming, you will also need to review all the possible names. Analyze each of them. Go through the list and keep those that resonate with you. You may want a name that will help people understand what your company does. It has to be easy to remember and pronounce. 

Name Registration

After coming up with a final decision, you will have to register the name of your business with the state. You have to file formal paperwork. Most, if not all, states offer readily-available forms for you to use.

Understanding how to name your LLC is only one of the steps you need to go through to formally start a business. The process includes multiple steps. If you need help, you can turn to a reliable company like DoMyLLC. Our team of experts can help deal with the paperwork. Contact us now to find out how we can help make the process easier for you.

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