Conducting a Missouri LLC Search and Naming Your Business
Your Missouri business entity needs the perfect name, and we’re here to help. In this section we’ll guide you through searching the MO Secretary of State business register, tell you about the rules for naming your business, describe the “Fictitious Name” process and get you started with registering your LLC.
Missouri Secretary of State Business Search
You need to check whether there’s already another Missouri LLC registered with your desired business name. That means searching the Missouri Secretary of State website using their business entity search tool. You can easily look up MO 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.Missouri Secretary of State Business Name Search Tool
Business Name Registration Rules for Your Missouri LLC
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Missouri 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 MO.
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of Missouri. This is why you should check business name availability on the MO SOS website.
It’s not enough for your MO LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Missouri. 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 MO agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Missouri Department of Revenue, Missouri 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
Missouri LLC DBA or Fictitious Names
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Missouri, doing business under a different name is known as a “Fictitious Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your MO formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Missouri Wealth Management Holding Company LLC and you brand yourself as Missouri Money Management. You should file a Fictitious Name to let the Missouri Secretary of State know. In Missouri, you do that through a “Registration of Fictitious Name” form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA / Fictitious Names service.Incfile's DBA / Fictitious Name Service
Business Name Registration for Your Missouri LLC
Once you’ve searched for your Missouri business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your MO LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
If you don’t want to form your Missouri LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Missouri Secretary of State. You will need to complete an “Application for Reservation of Name” form and file it with the MO SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.
If you’re ready to start your Missouri LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with the Missouri SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your Missouri 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 Missouri Secretary of State, which will tell you if there are any MO 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 Missouri). 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 Missouri 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 Missouri LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Missouri 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 Missouri 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