Georgia Secretary of State Business Search, Naming and Registration
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 Business Entity Search
You should start naming your business by completing a “Georgia 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 on the SOS website. You can learn if
an existing LLC or corporation in Georgia is already using your business name.
If your 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.
You can also search for your business name directly on the Georgia SOS website.
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Georgia Secretary of State 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 GA.
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 Georgia 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 Georgia. This is why you should check business name availability on the GA SOS
Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable With Another Business Name
It’s not enough for your GA 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.
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 GA agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Georgia Department of Revenue, 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
Specific Georgia Business Name Rules
In addition to the general rules listed above, the Georgia Secretary of State has some specific business naming rules for your LLC. You will need to follow these rules if you
want to name your GA business appropriately.
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”
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
Assumed Business Name service.
Once you’ve followed the Georgia naming rules, checked name availability with our tool, and decided whether you
need a fictitious name, you can formally register your GA LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
If you don’t want to form your Georgia LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Georgia Secretary of State. You will need to complete a Name Reservation
Request and file it with the GA SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away. Georgia SOS LLC name reservation form
Just use the Incfile business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. Our tool will automatically search the register of the Georgia Secretary of State, which will tell you if there are any GA corporations or LLCs with your proposed name.
If you want a street address in Georgia, Incfile provides a convenient and safe virtual mailbox service. Please note that this may not meet the requirements of the Secretary of State for a registered office or registered agent address, but it is an excellent way to securely access your physical mail from anywhere.
The benefits of our virtual Georgia mailbox service include:
One address for all correspondence
Review mail wherever you are
A professional image for your business
A low, fixed price regardless of mail volume
Are There Any Rules on Naming My Georgia LLC?
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.
Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in Georgia?
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.
Can I Reserve a Name for My Georgia LLC?
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.
Useful Resources for Naming Your Georgia LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
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.
This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file
this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.