Delaware Entity Searches & Naming your Delaware LLC
Your Delaware business entity needs the perfect name, and we’re here to help. In this section we’ll guide you through searching the DE Division of Corporations business register, tell you about the rules for naming your business, describe “Doing Business As (DBA)” names and get you started with registering your LLC.
Delaware LLC Business Search
You should start naming your business by completing a “Delaware business entity search” with the Division of Corporations. They have a helpful tool on their website that lets you search the register of DE LLCs and corporations to see if someone already has your desired business name. All you need to do is enter the DE business name in the “Entity Name” field and click “Search.
If the business name is already used, that means it’s not available and you won’t be able to register it. Try searching for a different business name instead.
Use the Delaware Secretary of State Entity Search tool or try Incfile's Business Name Search tool.
Follow These Rules to Name Your Delaware LLC
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Delaware Division of Corporations naming rules. These do vary from state to state — we’ve got general naming rules below, as well as naming rules specific to LLC businesses formed in DE.
Standard LLC Naming Rules
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they are formed in. You will need to pay attention to these rules as they will influence the name you choose for your Delaware LLC.
Your LLC Business Name Must Be Unique
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of Delaware. This is why you should check business name availability on the DE DOC website.
Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable With Another Business Name
It’s not enough for your DE LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Delaware. 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 like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
Your LLC Business Name Must Contain Certain Words
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their name. These words should normally come at the end of the name.
Your LLC Business Name May Have Other General Restrictions
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or DE agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Delaware Division of Revenue, Delaware 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 Olympic organization
- Imply a purpose that it would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific LLC Naming Rules for Delaware
In addition to the general rules listed above, the Delaware Division of Corporations has some specific business naming rules for your LLC. You will need to follow these rules if you want to name your DE business appropriately.
- The name of your LLC may contain the names of members or the words "Club," "Foundation," "Fund," "Institute," "Society," "Union," "Syndicate," or "Trust" instead of “LLC.”
- The name 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 the individual to be part of the LLC — doctors, engineers or accountants, for example.
- The name may contain the name of a member or manager.
Delaware LLC “Doing Business As” (DBA) Names
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Delaware, doing business under a different name is known as a “Doing Business As (DBA)” name. You might choose to use a different name from your DE formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Delaware Corporate Construction Holding Company LLC, and you have a chain called Wilmington Building Supplies. You should file a DBA form with the Delaware courts in your county. You can have Incfile do this on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.
Incfile’s Assumed Business Name service
Business Name Registration for Your Delaware LLC
Once you’ve searched for your Delaware business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether or not you need a fictitious name, you can register your DE LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
- If you don’t want to form your Delaware LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Delaware Division of Corporations. You will need to complete a form and file it with the DE DOC. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.
Delaware DOC LLC name reservation form
- If you’re ready to start your Delaware LLC, you can file your Certificate of Formation With the Delaware Division of Corporations, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your Delaware LLC
You might find the following answers useful.
How Do I Search for My Delaware LLC Business Name?
Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can search the register of the Delaware Division of Corporations, which will tell you if there are any DE corporations or LLCs with that name.
Are There Any Rules on Naming My Delaware LLC?
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Delaware). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in Delaware?
Yes. Known as “assumed names,” “fictitious names,” “doing business as names” or “trade names,” you can choose to conduct business under a different name.
Can I Reserve a Name for My Delaware LLC?
Yes. The Delaware Division of Corporations allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. If you are ready to start your business now, you do not need to reserve a name.
Useful Resources for Naming Your Delaware LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Delaware LLC name does not infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name does not infringe is to carry out a trademark search through Incfile. If it doesn’t infringe, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.
Incfile Trademark Search and Registration service
Find the Perfect Name for Your Delaware LLC
The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:
- Appeal to your customers
- Be memorable enough to stand out
- Best represent your product or services
- Not be used by another business
Incfile guide to choosing a business name