Search Your Business Name with the Kentucky Secretary of State and Register Your LLC
Whether you’re searching for the right Kentucky business name or registering your LLC with the KY Secretary of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on a Kentucky business entity search, LLC naming rules, fictitious names and registering your business.
Kentucky SOS Business Entity Search
You need to check whether there’s already another Kentucky LLC registered with your desired business name. That means searching the Kentucky Secretary of State website using their business search tool. You can easily look up KY LLCs and corporations by name and other details.
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.
Kentucky Secretary of State business name search tool
Kentucky SOS Rules on Your LLC Business Name
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Kentucky 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 KY.
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 Kentucky. This is why you should check business name availability on the KY SOS website.
Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name
It’s not enough for your KY LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Kentucky. 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 KY agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Kentucky Department of Revenue, Kentucky 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 would be illegal for your business to carry out
DBA/Assumed Names for Kentucky Businesses
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Kentucky, doing business under a different name is known as an “Assumed Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your KY formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Kentucky Liquor Holding Company LLC and your main product is called James Johnson’s Bourbon. You should file an assumed name to let the Kentucky Secretary of State know. In Kentucky, you do that through a Certificate of Assumed Name form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.
Incfile’s DBA/Assumed Business Name service
Register Your Business Name with the Kentucky Secretary of State
Once you’ve searched for your Kentucky business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your KY LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
If you don’t want to form your Kentucky LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Kentucky Secretary of State. You will need to complete a Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name and file it with the KY SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.
Kentucky SOS LLC name reservation form.
- If you’re ready to start your Kentucky LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with the Kentucky SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your Kentucky LLC
You might find the following answers useful.
How Do I Search for My Kentucky LLC Business Name?
Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can search the register of the Kentucky Secretary of State, which will tell you if there are any KY corporations or LLCs with that name.
Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in Kentucky?
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 Kentucky LLC?
Yes. The Kentucky 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 Kentucky LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Kentucky 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
Incfile Trademark Search and Registration service
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
Incfile guide to choosing a business name