Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the Indiana Secretary of State, Business Services Division, Incfile can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct an Indiana business search, plus LLC naming rules, assumed names and registering your business.
General Rules for LLC Names
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, regardless of what state they’re formed in.
The business name you have decided upon cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Indiana. This is why it's imperative to perform an Indiana business entity 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 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, 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 very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Indiana Comptroller, 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 International Olympic Committee
- Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific Rules for Indiana Business Names
Indiana requires LLCs to comply with the general naming rules, and does not require any further or unique name regulations to be met.
How to Come Up with a Business Name
Finding the perfect business name can be difficult. We have 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.
Indiana Business Search
Once you have an idea of the business name you’d like to use, you’ll need to perform an Indiana business entity search to make sure the name hasn’t been taken by another business.
Incfile offers a speedy, simple and convenient tool to look up your desired business name. The State of Indiana also has a tool that lets you search the state’s business registry to see whether someone already has the business name you’d like to use.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Indiana LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t do that is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If it’s not being used by any other entity, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.
Indiana DBA or Assumed Name
You may do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), fictitious name or trade name. In Indiana, it's called an assumed name and also referred to as DBA. You may decide to use an Indiana assumed name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your business might be called C and N Marketing Solutions, LLC, and under that company, you have an event planning business called C and N Events. You could file for an assumed business name just for that company. You'll file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the Secretary of State and County Recorder, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the Indiana Secretary of State
Once you’ve completed an Indiana business entity search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need an assumed name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.