Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the LA Secretary of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need to perform a Louisiana business search, plus LLC naming rules, trade names and registering your business.
General Rules for LLC Names
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they’re formed in.
The business name you've chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Louisiana. This is why it's imperative to perform a Louisiana 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 Louisiana. 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 a 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 select LLC names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Louisiana Department of Revenue, Louisiana 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 Louisiana Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, Louisiana has some specific business naming statutes. You’ll need to follow these rules if you want to name your business appropriately. Here is an excerpt:
How to Come Up with a Business Name
Finding the perfect business name can be tricky. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.
Louisiana Business Search
Once you have an idea of what business name you’d like to use, you’ll need to perform a Louisiana entity search to make sure another business in the state doesn’t already have that name.
Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The LA Secretary of State also has a tool that lets you search the registry of LLCs and corporations in the state to see whether someone already has your desired business name.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Louisiana 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 no one else is using it, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.
Louisiana DBA or Trade Name
You may choose to do business as a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as) or assumed name. In Louisiana, it’s known as a trade name. You may choose to use a trade name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your business may be called Louisiana Parrish Projects Holding Company, LLC, and under that company, you have a property development chain called Mardi Gras Apartments. You should file for a trade name to let the LA Secretary of State know. You'll do that with the Application to Register Trade Name Trademark or Service Mark, 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. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the LA Secretary of State
Once you’ve completed a Louisiana business entity search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a trade name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.