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Naming your New York State Limited Liability Company

Choosing the right name for a New York LLC helps to set you apart in the minds of your customers, partners, suppliers and employees. New York State does have rules about what you can call your new LLC.

General New York Secretary of State Rules on What You Can Call Your LLC

  • The name must be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in New York State
  • New York State LLC names must use the English alphabet or regular numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)     
  • The name of your New York State business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC”

Rules on Not Confusing Your New York State Business Name With Another Business Name

  • It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another New York State business
  • When deciding if names are substantially similar, you cannot claim a different type face, font, accents, subscript/superscript characters, punctuation or words like “the,” “and,” “of” etc. to claim your business name is different

Rules on Words You Can’t Use in Your Business Name

  • There are certain words that are restricted or prohibited for use in the name of an LLC
  • Restricted words include: "America Espirito Sport Fraternite," "Citius Altius Fortius," academy, acceptance, annuity, arboretum, assurance, bank, benefit, blind, bond, casualty, college, conservatory, council, doctor, education, elementary, endowment, exchange, fidelity, finance, guaranty, handicapped, historical, historical society, history, indemnity, industrial organization, industrial organization, institute, insurance, investment, kindergarten, labor, lawyer, library, loan, mortgage, museum, Olympiad or , prekindergarten, preschool, savings, school, secondary, surety, title, trust, underwriter, union , United Nations, university
  • Prohibited words include: attorney, board of trade, chamber of commerce, community, cooperation, cooperative, corporation, incorporated, partnership, redevelopment, state police, state trooper, tenant relocation, urban development, urban relocation, anything to do with the Olympics
  • Although these are the main rules about naming your business in New York State, there are plenty more, you can find them here

New York State Information on Naming an LLC

  • You can search for existing company names in New York State here.
  • New York State does say that “customers are cautioned to avoid interpreting database search information as an indication that a name is or is not available for use” and “finding that the name is available is not an approval of the name by the Department of State and is not a determination that the proposed name satisfies any particular requirement of law. No expenditure or other commitment should be made in reliance upon the availability of a name.”
  • You can reserve a business name with the New York Secretary of State for a fee of $20. Full details of how to do that are available here.

Rules on Infringing on Service Marks or Trademarks Inside or Outside New York State

In addition to the rules above, it’s also vital to see if your name might infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. For example, it might not be a good idea to call yourself “NY Rangers Hockey Gear,” since NY Rangers is a trademark owned by the sports team.

The easiest way to see if your proposed business name infringes is to carry out a trademark search. You can do that via the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You should also bear in mind that your business entity name cannot be substantially similar to an existing trademark or service mark.

What Should You Call Your New York State LLC?

Finding the perfect name can be tough. You want a business name that:

  • Describes what your New York State business does
  • Appeals to your planned audience
  • Makes your business easy to find
  • Is relatively unique
  • Doesn’t limit you to a particular location or type of product or service

Fortunately, we’ve got some good advice on seeking out the perfect business name for your New York LLC. Check out our guidance here and be inspired.

You’ve Found the Perfect Business Name, What Next?

Once you’ve found the right name for your business, it’s time to make it a reality. Check out our guide to starting your New York State LLC and start your LLC today.

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

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
$205 5 Business Days 1 Business Day

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: Biennially

Due Date: During anniversary month of organization.

Filing Fee: $9

Important: Section 206 of the New York State Limited Liability Company Law requires that within 120 days after the effectiveness of the initial articles of organization, a limited liability company (LLC) must publish in two newspapers a copy of the articles of organization or a notice related to the formation of the LLC. The newspapers must be designated by the county clerk of the county in which the office of the LLC is located, as stated in the articles of organization. After publication, the printer or publisher of each newspaper will provide you with an affidavit of publication. A Certificate of Publication, with the affidavits of publication of the newspapers attached, must be submitted to the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231. The fee for filing the Certificate of Publication is $50.

(We do not assist in the filing of the Publication Requirement)

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