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Business Name Searches and Name Registration for Your Maryland LLC 

We’re here to help you find the right business name for your Maryland LLC. From searching for a business name with MD Business Express to understanding naming rules or creating a “Doing Business As” name to register your entity, you’re in the right place.

Maryland Business Entity Search 

Before filing your LLC, you’ll need to check whether there’s already another MD LLC registered with your desired business name. That means searching the Maryland Business Express website using their business search tool. You can easily perform a Maryland LLC search 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.

Maryland Business Express business search tool

Business Name Registration Rules for Your Maryland LLC

Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Maryland Business Express 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 MD.

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 Maryland. This is why you should check business name availability on the MD Business Express website.

Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name

It’s not enough for your MD LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Maryland. 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 MD agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Maryland Comptroller, Maryland 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

Maryland LLC DBA or Trade Names

You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Maryland, doing business under a different name is known as a “Trade Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your MD formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your LLC might be called Maryland Commercial Real Estate Holding Company LLC and you have a chain called “Baltimore Property Rentals.” You should file a trade name to let Maryland Business Express know. You can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.

Incfile’s Assumed Business Name service

Business Name Registration for Your Maryland LLC

Once you’ve searched for your Maryland business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your MD LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.

  1. If you don’t want to form your Maryland LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with Maryland Business Express. You will need to contact sdat.charterhelp@maryland.gov. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.

  1. If you’re ready to start your Maryland LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with Maryland Business Express, or let Incfile take care of it for you. 

FAQs on Naming Your Maryland LLC

You might find the following answers useful.

How Do I Search for My Maryland LLC Business Name?

Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can search the register of Maryland Business Express, which will tell you if there are any MD corporations or LLCs with that name.

Are There Any Rules on Naming My Maryland LLC?

Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Maryland). We’ve detailed these rules above.

Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in Maryland?

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 Maryland LLC?

Yes. Maryland Business Express 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 Maryland LLC

You might find these resources helpful.

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your Maryland 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 Maryland 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

Incfile guide to choosing a business name

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Maryland?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$197 4 Weeks 10 Business Days

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due Date: April 15th

Filing Fee:$300

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