Search for the Perfect LLC Name and Register It with the Indiana Secretary of State
Your Indiana business entity needs the perfect name, and we’re here to help. In this section we’ll guide you through searching the IN Secretary of State business registry, tell you about the rules for naming your business, describe assumed names and get you started with registering your LLC.
Indiana Secretary of State Business Search
You should start naming your business by completing an “Indiana business entity search” with the secretary of state. They have a helpful tool on their website that lets you search the register of IN LLCs and corporations to see if someone already has your desired business name.
If the business name is already used, that means it’s not available and you won’t be able to register it. Try running an LLC search for a different business name instead.Indiana Secretary of State Business Name Search Tool
Rules on Indiana LLC Name Availability
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Indiana Secretary of State (SOS) 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 IN.
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of Indiana. This is why you should check business name availability on the IN SOS website.
It’s not enough for your IN LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Indiana. 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 IN agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Indiana Department of Revenue, Indiana 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
Assumed Business Names in Indiana
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Indiana, doing business under a different name is known as an “Assumed Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your formal IN LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Indiana Architecture and Engineering Holding Company LLC, but you provide your main service as Indianapolis Commercial Building Services. You should file an assumed name to let the Indiana Secretary of State know. In Indiana, you do that through a Certificate of Assumed Business Name form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.Incfile's Assumed Business Name Service
Register Your Business Name with the Indiana Secretary of State
Once you’ve searched for your Indiana business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need an assumed name, you can register your IN LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this:
If you don’t want to form your Indiana LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Indiana Secretary of State. You will need to complete a Reservation of Business Name and file it with the IN SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.
If you’re ready to start your Indiana LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with the Indiana SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your Indiana LLC
You might find the following answers useful.
Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can search the register of the Indiana Secretary of State, which will tell you if there are any IN corporations or LLCs with that name.
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Indiana). 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 Indiana 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 Indiana LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Indiana 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 Indiana 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