Rules for Naming Your LLC — An Entire State Guide

Rules for Naming Your LLC — An Entire State Guide

Picking out your business name can be extremely tricky. You want it to appeal to your audience, have the flexibility to grow with your company and be memorable enough for customers to find you again and again. Once you decide on a name, you’ll also need to make sure that no one else has it so you can file it with your secretary of state. To learn more about rules that apply to naming your LLC, find your state below.

Alabama

Your new LLC’s name must be distinguishable from any other Alabama business entity name that is reserved or registered with the Corporate Section of the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. It must contain, at the end, one of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” The terms “Limited” and “Company” are allowed to be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and “Co.” The name must not state or imply that the LLC was formed for some purpose other than that stated in the articles of organization. The Alabama Secretary of State’s office does not reserve names for domestic LLCs.

Alaska

In Alaska, your new LLC’s business name must be distinguishable from all other business entity names registered or reserved with the State of Alaska. This applies both to entities formed in Alaska, as well as those originally formed elsewhere but authorized to operate in the state.

Your new Alaska LLC’s name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or one of the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” The name cannot, however, include the words “city,” “borough” or “village,” or otherwise state or imply that the LLC is a municipality of any sort (although the name of a specific village, borough or city is permitted to be included). An available LLC name may be reserved for up to 120 days for $15. A proposed LLC name may be registered (kept on the LLC filing office’s rolls) by paying an annual $25 fee.

Arizona

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Arizona LLC that’s not used by another business in Arizona. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, conduct an Arizona business entity name search. Your Arizona LLC’s name must have the words “limited liability company” or “LLC” at the end, such as “Arizona Desert Tours LLC.”

Arkansas

The name you choose for your Arkansas LLC must be distinguishable from all other registered and reserved business names in the state. The name is not allowed to include words or phrases that could give the impression that the LLC has been organized for a purpose other than what is specified in its articles, or one that’s not allowed by state law.

The LLC name also has to have at its end one of the following terms or abbreviations:

  • “Limited Liability Company”
  • “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  • “Limited Company”
  • “LC” or “L.C.”

The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” An available LLC name may be reserved with the state for up to 120 days for $25 (or $22.50 if the reservation is made online).

California

You will need an original name for your LLC that is not used by another LLC in California. Conduct a California business entity name search to find out if another company is using your top business name choice before you register it. The name of your business must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC.” “Limited” and “Company” can be abbreviated to “Ltd.” and “Co.,“ such as “Malibu Beach Luxury Rentals Ltd.” You can search for other company names (and words you aren’t allowed to use in your company name) on the California Business Entity Search & Name page.

Colorado

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Colorado LLC that’s not used by another business in your state. To find out if another company is already using your first choice of business name, carry out a Colorado business entity name search. Your new name must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end, such as “Rocky Mountain Tours LLC.”

Connecticut

Your new Connecticut LLC’s name must be distinguishable from the names of other business entities already registered or reserved with the state. The LLC’s name must include at its end the terms “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” Available LLC names can be reserved for up to 120 days with the Connecticut Secretary of State’s office for a $30 fee.

Delaware

The name of your new Delaware LLC must be easy to distinguish from any other business entity’s name registered or reserved with the state, including nonprofit organizations. Your new LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The name of your LLC can include words in a foreign language, as long as you provide a translation into English when filing the LLC. Some words, like “Bank,” “University” or “College” are restricted and need additional paperwork. Other words (typically those associated with certain professions and licensed individuals) require an individual in that profession to be part of the LLC — for example, doctors, engineers or accountants. An available name can be reserved with the Delaware Secretary of State for up to 120 days by paying a fee of $75. This is not necessary if you are forming an LLC right away.

Florida

The name of your new Florida LLC must be different from any other business entity’s name registered or reserved with the state. Your new LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” can be abbreviated as “Co.”

Certain restricted words need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name. This includes both names associated with institutions (such as banks and credit unions) and words associated with certain qualified professions like doctors, engineers, attorneys or architects. You cannot use certain prohibited words that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency such as IRS, EPA, Treasury, etc.

Georgia

The name you choose for your Georgia LLC must be distinguishable from all other registered and reserved business names in the state. The name is not allowed to include words or phrases that could give the impression that the LLC has been organized for some purpose other than that specified in its articles, or one that’s not allowed by state law. The Georgia LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency.

Use of the following terms in a Georgia LLC name requires the written approval of the Office of Commissioner of Insurance:

  • “Insurance”
  • “Assurance”
  • “Surety”
  • “Fidelity”
  • “Reinsurance”
  • “Reassurance”
  • “Indemnity”

Use of the following terms or any variation of the word “Bank” in a Georgia LLC name requires the written approval of the Department of Banking and Finance:

  • “Bank”
  • “Banc”
  • “Banque”
  • “Banker”
  • “Banking Company”
  • “Banking House”
  • “Bancorp”
  • “Bankruptcy”
  • “Credit Union”
  • “Savings & Loan”
  • “Trust”
  • “Trust Company”

Use of the terms “College” or “University” in a Georgia LLC name requires written approval of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.

The LLC name also has to have at its end one of the following terms or abbreviations:

  • “Limited Liability Company”
  • “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  • “Limited Company”
  • “LC” or “L.C.”

As in other states, the word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”

Hawaii

Your new Hawaii LLC’s name must not be the same or deceptively similar to any other business entity (corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.) name on file (either registered or reserved) at the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. One exception: You can apply to use a name that is not readily distinguishable from another business’ name if the current owner or user gives written permission, or if a court order says you can.

Additionally, the LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Company” or “Limited Liability Company,” or the abbreviations “L.C.,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” You can also abbreviate “Limited” as “Ltd.” and “Company” as “Co.” All of the letters in the LLC’s name must be from the English alphabet. You can reserve an available name with the Hawaii DCCA for up to 120 days, but it will cost you a $10 fee.

Idaho

Your new LLC’s business name must be unique from all other Idaho business entities registered or reserved with the Idaho Secretary of State. It costs $25 to register a business name in Idaho. The name of your business must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC.” “Limited” and “Company” can be abbreviated to “Ltd.” and “Co.,“ such as in “Idaho Printing Co.” For $20, you can reserve your unique name with the Corporations Division of the Idaho Secretary of State’s office for up to four months.

Illinois

You will need a distinctive, original name for your LLC that’s not used by another business in Illinois. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out an Illinois business entity name search. An Illinois LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency. Certain restricted words associated with institutions and certain qualified professions need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name, including:

  • “Insurance”
  • “Surety”
  • “Underwriters”
  • “Bank”
  • “Bankers”
  • “Banking”
  • Any word indicating a licensed professional service

Your business name must include “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end of the name.

Indiana

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Indiana LLC that’s not used by another business in your state. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out an Indiana business entity name search. Your new business must have the words “limited liability company” or “LLC” at the end of the name, such as “Indiana Sweets Factory LLC.”

Iowa

Your new LLC’s name must be different from the registered or reserved name of any other business entity on file with the Iowa Secretary of State. The LLC’s name must end with “Limited Company” or “Limited Liability Company,” or the abbreviations “L.C.” or “L.L.C.” “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” The LLC’s name may not include the terms “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” or “Limited Partnership,” and it can’t have any abbreviations for those terms, either.

You can, however, use a name that’s similar to another business name if the other entity gives written permission for you to use the name. They also have to request to change their own name in order to make it different from yours. Another exception to the “no similar names” rule is if you have a court order establishing your right to use the name. A $10 fee will let you reserve an available name for your Iowa LLC for up to 120 days.

Kansas

Your new LLC’s name must be different from the registered or reserved name of any other business entity on file with the Kansas Secretary of State. The LLC’s name must end with “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company” (or the abbreviations “L.C.,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “LLC”). The name may contain the name of a member or manager, and it may also contain the words “Company,” “Association,” “Club,” “Foundation,” “Fund,” “Institute,” “Society,” “Union,” “Syndicate,” “Limited” or “Trust” (or abbreviations of similar meaning).

You can use a name that’s similar to another business name if the other entity gives written permission and files that permission with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. You can reserve an available name for up to 120 days for $35 using a paper form, or $27 for an online name reservation.

Kentucky

The name you chose for your new LLC must be unique from the registered or reserved name of any other business entity on file with the Kentucky Secretary of State. The LLC’s name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or one of their abbreviations (“L.C.,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “LLC”). The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”

You can use a name similar to that of another business if the other entity gives written permission and applies to change its name to something else. You can also use the same name if a court establishes the applicant LLC’s right to use the name. An available LLC name may be reserved for a $15 fee.

Louisiana

Your new Louisiana LLC’s business name must be distinguishable from (i.e., not deceptively similar to) all other entities authorized to conduct business in the state by the Louisiana Secretary of State. This applies to entities formed in Louisiana, as well as those originally formed elsewhere but authorized to operate in the Bayou State.

At the end of the name, you must include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The name may not contain any word or phrase that states or implies that the LLC is organized for any unlawful purpose, nor for a purpose contrary to its articles of organization. It also must not include the phrase “Doing Business As,” or an abbreviation of the term such as “d/b/a” or “DBA.” The name is also not allowed to imply that the LLC is an administrative agency of any parish (Louisiana’s equivalent of a county) or the federal government. LLC names can be reserved with the state for up to 60 days for $25, with up to two 30-day extensions upon request.

Maine

Your Maine LLC’s name must be distinguishable from the registered, reserved, assumed, and fictitious names of other business entities already on file with the state. The LLC’s name must include at its end the terms “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The name is not allowed to include the words “Corporation,” “Incorporated” or their abbreviations. Available LLC names can be reserved with the Maine Secretary of State’s office for a $20 fee.

Maryland

The name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in Maryland. It must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “L.C.” To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Maryland business entity name search.

Massachusetts

The name you select for your Massachusetts LLC must be different from any other authorized business entity registered or reserved with the state. This applies to entities formed in the state, as well as those originally formed elsewhere but authorized to conduct business in Massachusetts.

At its end, your LLC’s name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company” (or their abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “L.C.”). Your business name can also include the name of a member or manager. An unused, available LLC name can be reserved for 30 days for a $30 fee.

Michigan

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Michigan LLC that’s not used by another business in Michigan. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Michigan business entity name search. Your new name must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end. You can reserve an LLC name for up to six months by filling out a form and paying a fee of $25.

Minnesota

Your new LLC’s name must be distinguishable from any other business name either registered or reserved with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office. The name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” at the end. It may not include the words “Corporation,” “Incorporated” or the abbreviations “Inc.” or “Corp.” It is also not allowed to include a word or phrase that states or implies that it is organized for some purpose other than a legal business purpose. You can reserve an available LLC name for up to 12 months for $35.

Mississippi

Your new LLC’s name must be distinguishable from any other Mississippi business entity name reserved or registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State. Your new LLC’s name must include (at the end) one of the following: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” It may include the name of a member or managers, but it may not contain any word or phrase that states or implies that it is organized for a purpose that is not a legal business purpose.

The new LLC’s name also may not contain any of the following words, their abbreviations, any combination thereof, or any words or abbreviations of similar meaning:

  • “Corporation”
  • “Incorporated”
  • “Partnership”
  • “Limited Partnership”
  • “Limited Liability Partnership”
  • “Bank”
  • “Banker(s)”
  • “Banking”
  • “Trust”
  • “Trust Company”
  • “Insurance”

You can reserve an available LLC name for up to 180 days for a $25 fee before you actually file for organization with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Missouri

The LLC name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in Missouri. The name must not contain any word or phrase which indicates or implies that it is any governmental agency, or that it is organized for any purpose other than a purpose for which LLCs may be created. The name of your Missouri business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”

Montana

Your new LLC’s business name must be distinguishable from all other Montana LLCs, corporations, and other business entities authorized to conduct business by the Montana Secretary of State. The LLC name must contain, as the last words of the name, “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” “LLC,” or another acceptable version of this entity type. Available LLC names can be reserved with the state for up to 120 days for $10.

Nebraska

Your new LLC’s business name must be distinguishable from all other business entities authorized to conduct business by the Nebraska Secretary of State. This applies to entities formed in Nebraska, as well as those originally formed elsewhere but authorized to operate in this state.

The LLC name must contain, as the last words of the name, one of the following terms: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC” or “L.L.C.” It may not, however, include any abbreviation, word, or phrase that that states or implies that it has been formed for some purpose not included in its articles of organization. Available LLC names can be reserved with the state for up to 120 days for $10.

Nevada

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Nevada LLC that’s not used by another business in Nevada. It must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end of the name. Your LLC’s name is not allowed to include the terms “Accounting,” “Accountant,” “Accountancy,” “Auditing” or “Auditor,” unless the Nevada State Board of Accountancy certifies that the company is registered under the provisions of Chapter 86 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS).

Additionally, your LLC’s name may not include the words “Bank” or “Trust” unless the articles of organization show that the LLC is planning to exclusively conduct business as a banking or trust company. It must also have been approved by the Nevada Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

Your LLC’s name may not include the words “Engineer,” “Engineering,” “Engineered,” “Professional Engineer,” “Registered Engineer,” or “Licensed Engineer” unless the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors certifies that the LLC’s principals are licensed to practice engineering under state law (and the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors certifies that the LLC is exempt from any prohibitions).

New Hampshire

The name you select for your New Hampshire LLC must be distinguishable from the name of any other New Hampshire business entity that is reserved or registered with the state government. The LLC’s name must contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The state specifically says that an additional space is allowed to be inserted between the letters or periods in each of these abbreviations — so “L. L. C.” and “L L C” are also allowed.

The LLC’s name is allowed to contain the name of a member or manager, and it may also contain the words “Company,” “Association,” “Club,” “Foundation,” “Fund,” “Institute,” “Society,” “Union,” “Syndicate,” “Limited,” “Trust” or their abbreviations. You can reserve an available name for 120 days for $15.

New Jersey

Your new New Jersey LLC’s name must be distinguishable from the names of other business entities already registered or reserved with the state. The LLC’s name must include at its end the terms “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.” Certain restricted words need additional paperwork, and other words are prohibited. Restricted and prohibited words include:

  • “Blind”
  • “Cemetery”
  • “Funeral Homes”
  • “Handicapped”
  • “Urban Renewal”
  • “D.C.”
  • “District of Columbia”
  • “Little League”
  • “Metropolitan”
  • “Olympia”
  • “Olympic”
  • “Postal”
  • “Realtor”
  • “Trust”
  • “Underwriters”

New Mexico

You will need a distinctive, original name for your New Mexico LLC that’s not used by another business in New Mexico. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a New Mexico business entity name search. Your new business name must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “L.C.” at the end. The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.
You can reserve an available LLC name for up to 120 days for a $20 fee.

New York

The name you chose for your New York LLC must be readily distinguishable from the registered or reserved name of any other business entity on file with the New York Secretary of State, as well as any registered trademarks. The LLC’s name must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”

Restricted words for New York LLCs include:

  • “America Espirito Sport Fraternite”
  • “Citius Altius Fortius”
  • “Academy”
  • “Acceptance”
  • “Annuity”
  • “Arboretum”
  • “Assurance”
  • “Bank”
  • “Benefit”
  • “Blind”
  • “Bond”
  • “Casualty”
  • “College”
  • “Conservatory”
  • “Council”
  • “Doctor”
  • “Education”
  • “Elementary”
  • “Endowment”
  • “Exchange”
  • “Fidelity”
  • “Finance”
  • “Guaranty”
  • “Handicapped”
  • “Historical”
  • “Historical Society”
  • “History”
  • “Indemnity”
  • “Industrial Organization”
  • “Institute”
  • “Insurance”
  • “Investment”
  • “Kindergarten”
  • “Labor”
  • “Lawyer
  • “Library”
  • “Loan”
  • “Mortgage”
  • “Museum”
  • “Olympiad”
  • “Prekindergarten”
  • “Preschool”
  • “Savings”
  • “School”
  • “Secondary”
  • “Surety”
  • “Title”
  • “Trust”
  • “Underwriter”
  • “Union”
  • “United Nations”
  • “University”

In addition, prohibited words include:

  • “Attorney”
  • “Board of Trade”
  • “Chamber of Commerce”
  • “Community”
  • “Cooperation”
  • “Cooperative”
  • “Corporation”
  • “Incorporated”
  • “Partnership”
  • “Redevelopment”
  • “State Police”
  • “State Trooper
  • “Tenant Relocation”
  • “Urban Development”
  • “Urban Relocation”
  • anything to do with “Olympic”

North Carolina

The name of your new North Carolina LLC must be distinct from any other business entity’s name registered or reserved with the state. Your new LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “LLC.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “Company” can be abbreviated as “Co.”

Certain restricted words need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name. This includes some names associated with institutions (e.g., “Bank,” “Banker,” “Banking,” “Trust,” “Mutual,” “Cooperative,” “Co-op”), words associated with certain professional service areas (e.g., “Insurance,” “Engineer,” “Engineering,” “Architect,” “Architecture,” “Architectural,” “Surveyor,” “Survey,” “Surveying,” “Certified Public Accountant”) and any abbreviations of these words. There are several other words that the Department of the Secretary of State could reject in your corporate name, if you can’t provide adequate documentation that your business is legally qualified to provide the service implied.

North Dakota

The name you choose for your new LLC must be readily distinguishable from the registered or reserved name of any other business entity on file with the North Dakota Secretary of State, as well as any registered trademarks. Your LLC’s name must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The name may not contain a word or phrase that states or implies the LLC is organized for an unlawful purpose, nor may it contain the words “Bank,” “Banker,” “Banking,” “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited Partnership,” “Limited Liability Partnership,” “Limited Liability Limited Partnership,” or any abbreviations thereof.

You can use a name that’s not readily distinguishable from another business’ name if the other entity gives written consent and applies to change its name to something else. You can also use the same name if a court establishes the applicant LLC’s right to use the name. An available LLC name may be reserved for 12 months for $10.

Ohio

In Ohio, you need to choose an LLC name that is unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in the state. The name of your Ohio business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” and can use the abbreviations “Ltd.” and “Co.” Your Ohio LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency. If a name contains profanity or words or phrases that are generally considered a slur against an ethnic group, religion, gender or heredity, it is considered unacceptable. Certain restricted words need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name, including names associated with institutions like a bank or credit union.

Oklahoma

Your new Oklahoma LLC’s name must be readily distinguishable from any other business entity’s name that’s been registered or reserved with the state during the past three years. Your LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “L.C.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” The name may not state or imply that your business was organized for some different purpose than what is listed in its articles of organization. An available LLC name may be reserved for 60 days for a $10 fee.

Oregon

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Oregon LLC that’s not used by another business in Oregon. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out an Oregon business entity name search. Your new business name must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end of it.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, your LLC name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in the state. The name of your Pennsylvania business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC,” and it can use the abbreviations “Ltd.” and “Co.” Your Pennsylvania LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency. There are certain prohibited and restricted words that have limitations on how they can be used in a Pennsylvania LLC name. These include:

  • “Bank”
  • ‘‘Banking”
  • ‘‘Banker”
  • ‘‘Trust”
  • ‘‘College”
  • ‘‘University”
  • ‘‘Seminary”
  • ‘‘Certified Public Accountant”
  • ‘‘Public Accountant”
  • “Architect”
  • ‘‘Architecture”
  • ‘‘Engineer”
  • “Engineering”
  • ‘‘Surveyor”
  • ‘‘Surveying”
  • ‘‘Pharmacist”
  • ‘‘Druggist”
  • ‘‘Apothecary”
  • ‘‘Drug Store”
  • ‘‘Pharmacy”
  • “Drugs”
  • ‘‘Medicine Store”
  • ‘‘Medicines”
  • ‘‘Drug Shop”
  • ‘‘Pharmaceutical”
  • ‘‘Homeopathic”
  • ‘‘Homeopathy”
  • “Annuity”
  • ‘‘Assurance”
  • ‘‘Beneficial”
  • ‘‘Bond”
  • ‘‘Casualty”
  • “Endowment”
  • ‘‘Fidelity”
  • ‘‘Fraternal”
  • ‘‘Guaranty”
  • “Indemnity”
  • ‘‘Insurance”
  • ‘‘Insurer”
  • ‘‘Reassurance”
  • ‘‘Reinsurance”
  • ‘‘surety”
  • ‘‘Title”
  • ‘‘Mutual”
  • “Electricity
  • “Gas Utilities”

Certain restricted words need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name. This includes both names associated with institutions, (e.g., banks and credit unions) and words associated with qualified professions like doctors, engineers, attorneys or architects.

Rhode Island

Your new Rhode Island LLC’s name must be readily distinguishable from any other business entity’s name registered or reserved with the state. Its last words must contain “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC” or “L.L.C.” (upper or lower case letters). The name must also not imply that it was organized for a different purpose than what is specified in its articles of organization. You can reserve an available LLC name for 120 days by filing an application form and paying a $25 fee.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, your LLC’s name must be readily distinguishable from any other business entity’s name that is registered or reserved with the state. Your new LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “L.C.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”

Your business name may not state or imply that it was organized for some different purpose than what is stated in its articles of organization. An available LLC name may be reserved for 120 days by filing two copies of South Carolina’s Application to Reserve an LLC Name form, along with a $25 fee.

South Dakota

Your new South Dakota LLC’s name must be readily distinguishable from any other business entity’s name registered or reserved with the state. Your LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC,” or “L.C.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”

A South Dakota LLC is allowed to use the name of another domestic or foreign company if the other company is authorized to conduct business in South Dakota and any of these are true:

  • The company proposing to use the name has merged with the other company
  • The company proposing to use the name has been formed by reorganization with the other company
  • The company proposing to use the name has acquired substantially all of the assets (including the name) of the other company

An available LLC name may be reserved for 120 days for a $20 fee.

Tennessee

The name of your new Tennessee LLC must be easy to distinguish from any other business entity’s name that is registered or reserved with the state, including nonprofit organizations. Your new LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” Your new LLC’s name may not include the words “Corporation” or “Incorporated.” An available LLC name may be reserved for four months for a $20 fee.

Texas

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Texas LLC that’s not used by another business in Texas. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Texas business entity name search. Your Texas LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency. Your new name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end of the name.

Utah

Your new LLC’s business name must be distinguishable from all other Utah LLCs, corporations, and other business entities authorized to conduct business by the Utah Secretary of State. The LLC name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” “LLC” or another acceptable version of this entity type as its last words. Without the written consent of the U.S. Olympic Committee, your name cannot contain the words “Olympic,” “Olympiad,” or “Citius Altius Fortius.” Unless your LLC has written consent from the Division of Consumer Protection, it may not contain the words “University,” “College,” or “Institute.”An available LLC name may be reserved for up to 120 days for a $22 fee, and that reservation can be renewed once for up to 120 more days.

Vermont

The name of your new Vermont LLC must be easily distinguishable from any other business entity’s name registered or reserved with the state. Your LLC’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “LLC.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “Company” can be abbreviated as “Co.” An available LLC name may be reserved for up to 120 days for $20, and that reservation can be renewed one time for an additional 120 days.

Virginia

Your new LLC’s name must be distinct from all other Virginia business names that are either registered or reserved with the Virginia Department of State Corporations Bureau. You must include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or their respective abbreviations at the end of the name. However, your new LLC’s name is not allowed to include the words “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited Partnership,” or the abbreviations “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “L.P.,” or “LP.”

You can reserve an available LLC name for up to 120 days for a $10 fee, and the reservation can be renewed up until 30 days before it expires.

Washington

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Washington LLC that’s not being used by another business in Washington. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Washington business entity name search. The name must contain the words”Limited Liability Company,” the words “Limited Liability” with the abbreviation “Co.” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC” (as in “Seattle Residential Realtors LLC,” for example).

West Virginia

Your new LLC’s name must be distinguishable from all other West Virginia business names registered or reserved with the Secretary of State’s office. The LLC’s name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or the abbreviations “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “LC” or “L.C.” The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated as “Co.” You can reserve an available LLC name for up to 120 days for a $15 fee.

Wisconsin

You will need a distinctive, original name for your Wisconsin LLC that’s not used by another business in Wisconsin. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Wisconsin business entity name search. Your Wisconsin LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency. Your name must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end.

Wyoming

You will need a name for your Wyoming LLC that’s not in use by another business in your state. To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Wyoming business entity name search. Your name must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” at the end, such as in “Wyoming Soybean Processing LLC.”

Christina​ Morales

Christina Morales graduated from California State University, Sacramento with her B.A. in History and her credentials in secondary education. After teaching high school for several years, she started her own freelance business. She combined her love of creating content with her fascination of technology and since then has had the privilege of writing for a vast array of companies in the business, law, app, cloud computing, and marketing industries. When Christina isn’t writing, you can find her reading on her Kindle, watching HGTV or the Food Network, or crafting with her two little girls.