Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the Connecticut Secretary of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a Connecticut business 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’re formed in.
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Connecticut. This is why it's imperative to perform a Connecticut 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 Connecticut. For example, 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 a words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their name. These words normally appear at the end of the name.
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Connecticut Comptroller, Connecticut 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 Rules for Connecticut Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, many states impose their own specific rules or guidelines for naming businesses. Connecticut is quite lenient in what it deems to be permissible business names, and the state rules mimic the general ones.
The one state-specific rule says that because an LLC is a company and not a corporation, your LLC name cannot include the words “Corporation,” “Incorporated” or their abbreviations “Corp.” or “Inc.”
How to Come Up with a Business Name
Finding the perfect business name can be difficult. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to select a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.
Connecticut Business Search
Once you have an idea of the business name you’d like to use, you’ll need to perform a Connecticut entity search to make sure another business doesn’t already have that name. Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The Connecticut Secretary of State also has a tool that lets you search the Connecticut business registry to see if someone already has your desired business name.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Connecticut LLC name doesn’t 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.
Connecticut 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 Connecticut, it’s known as a trade name. You may choose to use a different name from your legal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Connecticut Travel Holding Company, LLC, and you own a chain called Bridgeport Hiking Adventures. You'll need to file for a trade name for that hiking business. In Connecticut, trade name certificates are filed with the town clerk in the town where the business is transacted, not with the Secretary of State.
Please contact your local town clerk for filing instructions. Or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA 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 Connecticut Secretary of State
Once you’ve completed a Connecticut Secretary of State business 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.