We can help you search for the right business name, register your LLC with the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS), and more. We’ve got all the information you need on conducting an Illinois business search, LLC naming rules, using an assumed name, and registering your business.
The business name you've chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Illinois. This is why it's imperative to perform an IL SOS 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 another corporation or LLC in Illinois. In addition, 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 words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, normally at the end of the name.
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are too similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Illinois Comptroller, Illinois 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 Illinois Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, Illinois has some specific business naming guidelines. You’ll need to follow them to appropriately name your business. For example, the name:
How to Come Up with a Business Name
Giving your business the perfect name can be difficult. We’ve put together a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.
Illinois Business Search
Once you’ve found a name you like, you’ll need to perform an Illinois entity search to make sure another business isn’t already using it.
Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to research the business name you want. The Illinois SOS also has a tool that lets you search the registry of LLCs and corporations to see whether another business is already using your name.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Illinois LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark that another business holds. The easiest way to ensure compliance is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If no one else is using the trademark or service mark, you can even register it yourself.
Illinois DBA or Assumed 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) name. In Illinois, it’s known as an assumed name. You may choose to use an assumed name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Illinois Great Lakes Holding Company LLC and you have a chain called Shoreline Tourism and Leisure. You should file an assumed name to let the Illinois SOS know. In Illinois, you do that with the Application to Adopt, Change, Cancel or Renew an Assumed Name, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Trade Name service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark.