Naming Your Oregon Limited Liability Company
You need the right name for your Oregon LLC. Choosing the right name is vital because it tells your suppliers, customers and employees what your business does. Oregon has several rules and regulations about what you can call your new business. Let’s explore what they are.
General Oregon Secretary of State Rules on Naming Your LLC
- The name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in Oregon
- The name of your Oregon business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC”
Don't Confuse Your Oregon Business Name With Another Business Name
- The following terms can’t be used to say your business name is different from another business name:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC
- Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Punctuation and symbols
- Abbreviations of words
- Different typefaces, fonts, superscript, subscript, etc.
- It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another Oregon business
- For example, you can’t claim that Blue Widget Co., Blue Widget LLC, Blue Widget Incorporated, Blue-Widget-Company or Blue Widget are different from one another
Rules on Words You Can’t Use in Your Business Name
- The LLC name cannot contain the word "Cooperative" or include words in parentheses. The word "Association" cannot be used in an LLC name. If a company uses the words "Bank," "Banc" or "Bancorp," the company must be a bank and approval of the name is needed from the Department of Banking.
- A limited liability company name may not contain the word or abbreviation “cooperative,” “corporation,” “corp.,” “incorporated,” “Inc.,” “limited partnership,” “L.P.,” “LP,” “Ltd.,” “limited liability partnership,” “L.L.P.” or “LLP.”
- Certain restricted words need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name. This includes names associated with institutions (e.g., bank, credit union) and words associated with certain qualified professions like doctors, engineers, attorneys or architects.
- You can also be an Oregon LLC with a different “Doing Business As” name. In Oregon these are known as “fictitious names” and need to be registered with the Secretary of State. Learn about fictitious names in your state.
Oregon Information on Naming an LLC
- Please note that you do not need to reserve a name if you are forming an LLC. By registering an LLC, the name will automatically be reserved for your business. You would normally only reserve a name if you are not planning on forming your new company anytime soon.
- A name can be used to form any type of business entity, not just an LLC.
- Just filing a name registration doesn’t guarantee you will be granted the name. You should wait until your LLC is formally created before using the name for anything else.
“Doing Business As (DBA)” Names
If you are going to use a different name other than your LLC name to conduct business, you will have to let the Oregon Secretary of State know. This alternative name is called your “Assumed Business Name” and is also known as a “Doing Business As” name.
If you are registered with an assumed business name but want to be filed as a corporation or LLC, you must cancel your assumed business name registration and at the same time file your formation document. There is no fee to cancel the ABN, as long as you send both documents in together and the name of the ABN is the same name that is being used for the new business entity.
If you would like to keep your assumed business name, you may amend it by making the registrant/owner the new business entity that you are filing. This will allow use of the business name with or without the entity identifier.
Rules About Infringing on Service Marks or Trademarks Inside or Outside Oregon
In addition to the rules above, it’s also vital to see if your Oregon LLC name might infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. For example, it might not be a good idea to call yourself “Google Search Optimization Services” since Google is a trademark.
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, or Incfile can help you protect your business with our new Trademark Search and Registration service. You should also bear in mind that your Oregon business entity name cannot be substantially similar to an existing trademark or service mark.
How to Search for Your Oregon Business Entity Name
Search the database of the Oregon Secretary of State for your proposed business name to see if it's unique. You can search for:
- Business name
- Registry number
What Should You Call Your Oregon LLC?
Finding the perfect name can be tough. You want a business name that:
- Describes what your Oregon 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 Oregon LLC. Check out our guidance on naming your LLC and get inspired.
You’ve Found the Perfect Name; What Next?
Once you’ve found the right name for your business, it’s time to make it a reality. Check out our packages for starting your Oregon LLC and form your LLC today.