Whether you’re searching for the right Alabama business name or registering your LLC name with the Alabama Secretary of State (SOS), we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a Alabama LLC search, plus business naming rules, assumed names and trademarks.
General Rules for LLC Names
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, regardless of which state they’re formed in.
The business name you select cannot be in use by any other corporation or LLC in the state. This is why it's so important to perform a Alabama Secretary of State business search before you begin your formation paperwork.
It’s not enough for your LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Alabama. In addition, you cannot use the following features in an attempt to differentiate your business name from that of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
- The conjunction "And," or “&"
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All LLCs must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Alabama Department of Revenue, Alabama Police, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
- Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific Rules for Alabama Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Alabama LLC laws that apply to naming your business.
Coming Up with the Ideal Business Name
The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.
Alabama Business Entity Search
Once you know your business name, you’ll need to perform an Alabama business search to make sure another business in the state doesn’t already have that name.
You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search tool, which will search the Alabama business registry for you.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be sure that your Alabama LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The quickest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t do that is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If no one else is using it, we’ll help you register it as a trademark for your own business.
Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.
Alabama DBA or Trade Name
You may do business as a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as) or assumed name. In Alabama, it’s known as a trade name. You may use a trade name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Alabama Textiles Holding Company LLC and you have a line called Cotton State Clothing. You could register an assumed name just for that brand. You'd do that with the Application to Register or Renew Trademark, Service Mark or Trade Name in Alabama, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the Alabama SOS
You’ve performed an Alabama Secretary of State business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need an assumed name. Now you can register your LLC name in one of two ways.
Form your LLC in Alabama for $0 + State Fee ($200)
FAQs About Naming Your Alabama LLC
Just visit the free Business Name Search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can also perform an Alabama business search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether there are any AL corporations or LLCs with that name.
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the State of Alabama). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Yes. You can conduct business under a trade name. Details are above.
Yes. The Alabama SOS allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you’re ready to start your business now, you don’t need to reserve a name.