Does the Name of Your LLC Matter? How to Choose The Perfect Name

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Choosing a company name is an essential step in LLC business formation. And it has certain legal requirements to it. 

Besides, while you can delegate business incorporation to LLC formation services, the task of inventing a name for your business will be on you. 

Does the LLC name matter that much? Or is it rather a minor formality? In fact, an LLC company in the US can have more than one name, yet, only one legal name is allowed.

On one hand, the company name can make all the difference for your business reputation and credibility. 

On the other hand, it’s a part of your business as an entity operating on the market, so it should send some message and be able to keep up with a business growth potential

With that, let’s take a closer look at the process of choosing the name for your LLC and what options you have.

Naming requirements for LLC formation

When registering a sole proprietorship, your company is automatically named after you. Yet, when you file an LLC, you have a choice and can give your company nearly any name you want, which is easy to explain. 

Does the Name of Your LLC Matter How to Choose The Perfect Name

The business incorporation process results in the establishment of a corporation or an LLC, each of them being an independent business entity separate from its owners and organizers at a legal level. 

So, existing independently, an one of the top LLC companies can have its own name related either to the industry it operates in or the type of activity it runs. 

Hence, you can go creative and make up a business name by inventing new words or adding some symbols and signs. Since LLC incorporation brings your business to a new level, an LLC name should make your company stand out from the crowd.

But above all, an LLC name should be unique, and it’s not a recommendation but a legal requirement

The rule of thumb for naming LLCs is a unique moniker not even similar to any other business names already registered in the state of your business formation.

At the same time, though, your desired name can still be used by other businesses in other states. 

Thus, if you want your LLC name to be unique at a nationwide level, you need to protect it by registering a trademark.

However, before you come to that stage, there are other guidelines to remember when tinkering with a name for your future venture:

  • Business entity identifier is an obligatory part of the LLC company name, i.e. such words or abbreviations as “Limited”, “Limited Co.”, “Ltd.”, “LLC”, or “ Limited Liability Company” in full are to be present in your registered company name anyway;
  • Your LLC name should not look misleading or cause any confusion when it comes to the legal form of your business. Hence, such words as “bank”, “corporation”, “Inc.”, “insurance”, “trust”, '”fund”, and other denominative words related to financial, governmental, or regulatory bodies and institutions are not allowed to be used in LLC names, unless you have a special permission for that issued by the state;
  • It’s recommended that a company name evokes some associations with the business activity you are in to give potential customers a clue about what you are doing;
  • When it comes to the name's uniqueness, it’s worth noting that articles, suffixes, plural or passive forms, punctuation marks, and symbols won’t differentiate your company name from other similar names;
  • To make your company name unique and permissible, use acronyms, juggle with synonyms and keywords, go for foreign words, inspire with literature, science, and geography, be inventive and take parts of meaningful words to mix them in some fancy and catchy combos.

How to choose a perfect name for your LLC formation

Even with LLC naming rules in place giving you some direction to go, naming a company is almost as stressful as naming a baby since the company name can make a big difference for the business’s reputation and credibility, as well as for its marketing potential. 

Naming requirements for LLC formation

A perfect company name is one that is memorable, relevant to the industry, and compliant with modern business trends. 

So, before you will be in despair and find yourself searching high and low, we have a few helpful tips on how to create a great company name that will add value to your business while remaining legally permissible:

  • Use descriptive words: Choose the words that will best describe your business, some of its specific features, or the whole business idea. Pick the most appropriate ones and imagine how they will work in advertisements, brand names, or logos;
  • Make it stand out: A good business name is an attention grabber that quickly gets customers hooked and makes them want to learn more about your business. So, fancy word combos with some symbols and abbreviations as well as wordplay are welcomed;
  • Simplicity is the key: While LLC company naming allows for a creative approach, don’t go overboard by trying to mash up too many things in one name. Try to make it simple and such that evokes good emotions and delivers proper associations; 
  • Don’t go too long: LLC company names that are too long or consisting of many words look blurred and are hard to memorize. So, prefer shorter and easy to spell ones, pronounce, and remember word combinations.
  • Test it out: Never limit yourself to only one LLC name idea. Create as many versions as you can using different approaches and give them a try speaking them out loud or building them into your company logo design and email signatures.

LLC name options and how LLC services can help

Creative aspect aside, you can take different approaches to choose a name for your company before delving into business incorporation formalities.

Let’s take a look at the most common options you have and how you can use them for your business situation.

Naming an LLC after yourself

Many entrepreneurs cut corners and save themselves time and effort on brainstorming and seeking some original and one-of-the-kind name versions. Instead, they simply name their ventures after themselves. 

By choosing this simple and straightforward method, you make yourself the center of your business and settle strong personal associations

Customers will immediately connect you with your business that will perfectly work for your business reputation and recognizability. Besides, nothing is more authentic than your own name, especially if it’s not too common.

On the other hand, though great for single- and two-member LLCs, this approach is not the best option for LLC companies with multiple members where a more neutral name not related to business owners is preferable to avoid conflicts and disagreements. 

More than that, widespread personal names won’t make your company moniker unique, and you’ll end up fiddling with other versions to match the state uniqueness requirements.  

Legal or business name?

Do you know that a company can have more than one name, no matter the business entity type? Your LLC company can operate either under a legal name or under a chosen business name, which might be completely different from a legal one. 

Legal or business name

A legal name is a moniker you register with the state and put down in your formation documents. It functions for legal purposes and is used in legal documents and forms you file with the government and the state. 

In other words, it’s the name you’ll use for signing contracts, filing federal and state reports, opening a business bank account, getting credits, etc.

A business name or DBA (doing business as) name is a sort of nickname you’ll use publically

Meant for marketing and sales purposes, it will make a part of your brand and appear in your logo, advertisements, business cards, and other marketing materials. 

Notably, this name doesn’t have to contain an “LLC identifier,” and you are not limited in the number of DBAs, which will let you independently develop several product lines or brands.    

LLC and DBA name registration

Whether you are going to use only a legal LLC name for all purposes or plan to go for different names, each of them needs official registration

LLC and DBA name registration

First of all, you need to check all name versions for uniqueness and availability, since non-unique names will be rejected. 

Then, you have to incorporate a chosen LLC name into your incorporation docs and file a separate registration for each DBA you are going to use. 

It’s the Secretary of State that gives a thumbs up for using LLC names, so all naming applications have to be filed there. 

While an LLC company name is registered within the business formation process, the DBA registration process might vary a bit by state. 

Similar to LLC formation, you can cope with the business name registration on your own.

Yet, a nice option is to delegate those processes to one of the LLC incorporation services that will handle all formalities for you, thus, giving you more time on crucial business planning. 

Providers ranked as the best LLC services have a whole range of helpful options down their sleeves. 

They will check your LLC name within an LLC incorporation package and provide DBA registrations as add-ons.

More than that, if you need to change your LLC or DBA name for some reason, which normally entangles a lot of paperwork, LLC services can help with that task too. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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