We’re here to help you find the right business name for your Georgia LLC. From searching for a business name with the GA Secretary of State to understanding naming rules or creating a “Doing Business As” name to register your entity, you’re in the right place.
Georgia LLC Business Name Rules
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of Georgia. This is why you should check business name availability using the Georgia SOS website or Incfile’s free Business Name Search tool.
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 Georgia. 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.
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.
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or GA agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Georgia Department of Taxation and Finance, Georgia 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
- Use of the following terms in an entity name requires the written approval of the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner: “insurance,” “assurance,” “surety,” “fidelity,” “reinsurance,” “reassurance” or “indemnity”
- Use of the following terms or any variation of the word “bank” in an entity 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” or “trust company”
- Use of the following terms in an entity name requires the written approval of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission: “college” or “university”
Coming up with a Great Business Name
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:
Georgia Business Entity Searches
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few name options, the next step is to complete a business entity search with the Georgia Secretary of State. Incfile provides an easy-to-use Business Name Search tool that will look up your proposed business name in the Georgia business registry. You can also use the business search feature on the Secretary of State website yourself.
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.
DBA/Assumed Names for Georgia LLCs
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Georgia, doing business under a different name is known as a “fictitious” or “Doing Business As (DBA)” name. You might choose to use a different name from your GA formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Georgia Orchards Holding Company LLC and you have a chain called The Peach Pit Stop. You should file a fictitious/DBA name form. You should register a fictitious name with the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where you conduct business, or you can have Incfile file it on your behalf through our Fictitious Business Name service.
Registering Your Business Name
Once you’ve searched for your Georgia business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your LLC name with Georgia. There are a couple of ways to do this.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Georgia 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.
FAQs About Naming Your Georgia LLC
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
You can use Incfile’s Business Name Search tool or search the Georgia business registry yourself on the Secretary of State website. Just go to the Business Name Search tool and enter your proposed business name.
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Georgia). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Yes. Known as “assumed names,” “fictitious names,” “doing business as names” or “trade names,” you can choose to conduct business under a different name. Details are above.
Yes. The Georgia Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you are ready to start your business now, you do not need to reserve a name.