Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the AZ Corporation Commission, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to perform an Arizona corporation search, plus LLC naming rules, trade names and registering your business.
General Rules for LLC Names
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they are formed in.
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Arizona. This is why it's imperative to perform an Arizona business search before you begin the filing process.
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 Arizona. In addition, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name 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 have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, normally at the end of the name.
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, Arizona Comptroller, Arizona Police, Treasury, 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 Arizona Rules for Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, the AZ Corporation Commission has some specific business naming rules for your LLC. You must follow these rules if you want to name your business appropriately. Here are some direct quotes from the Arizona State Legislature, Section 29-3112:
E. The name of a limited liability company or foreign limited liability company may not contain the words "association", "corporation" or "incorporated" or an abbreviation of these words. The name of a limited liability company or foreign limited liability company may not contain the words "bank", "deposit", "credit union", "trust" or "trust company" separately or in combination to indicate or convey the idea that the company is engaged in banking, credit union or trust business unless the company is to be and becomes actively and substantially engaged in the banking, credit union or trust business or the company is a holding company holding substantial interest in companies actively and substantially engaged in the banking, credit union or trust business.
How to Come Up with a 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 Business Name Generator.
Arizona Corporation Search
Once you have an idea of what business name you’d like to use, you’ll need to perform an Arizona business entity search to make sure it’s available.
Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The AZ Corporation Commission also has a tool that lets you search the State of Arizona business registry to see whether someone already has your desired business name.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Arizona LLC name does not infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest 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, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.
Arizona DBA or Trade Name
You may do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as) or assumed name. In Arizona, it’s known as a trade name. You may choose to use a trade name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your business might be called Phoenix Property Development Holding Company, LLC, and you have a chain called Desert Rose Apartments. You should file for a trade name to let the AZ Corporation Commission know. In Arizona, you do that with the Trade Name Registration Application, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Trade Name service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the ACC
Once you’ve performed an Arizona business entity search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a trade name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.