Whether you’re searching for the right Pennsylvania business name or registering your LLC with the PA Department of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on Pennsylvania business entity search, LLC naming rules, fictitious names and registering your business.
You need to check whether there’s already another Pennsylvania LLC registered with your desired business name. That means searching the Pennsylvania Department of State website using their business search tool. You can easily look up PA 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.
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Pennsylvania Department 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 PA.
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they are formed in. You will need to pay attention to these rules as they will influence the name you choose for your Pennsylvania LLC.
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of Pennsylvania. This is why you should check business name availability on the PA DOS website.
It’s not enough for your PA LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Pennsylvania. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:
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:
In addition to the general rules listed above, the Pennsylvania Department of State has some specific business naming rules for your LLC. You will need to follow these rules if you want to name your PA business appropriately.
There are certain prohibited and restricted words that have limitations on how they can be used in a Pennsylvania LLC name. These include "bank," ‘‘banking," ‘‘banker," ‘‘trust," ‘‘college," ‘‘university," ‘‘seminary," ‘‘certified public accountant," ‘‘public accountant," ‘‘architect," ‘‘architecture," ‘‘engineer," "engineering," ‘‘surveyor," ‘‘surveying," ‘‘pharmacist," ‘‘druggist," ‘‘apothecary," ‘‘drug store," ‘‘pharmacy," ‘‘drugs," ‘‘medicine store," ‘‘medicines," ‘‘drug shop," ‘‘pharmaceutical," ‘‘homeopathic," ‘‘homeopathy," “‘annuity," ‘‘assurance," ‘‘beneficial," ‘‘bond," ‘‘casualty," ‘‘endowment," ‘‘fidelity," ‘‘fraternal," ‘‘guaranty," ‘‘indemnity," ‘‘insurance," ‘‘insurer," ‘‘reassurance," ‘‘reinsurance," ‘‘surety," ‘‘title" ‘‘mutual," or “electricity or gas utilities.”
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Pennsylvania, this is known as a “Fictitious Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your PA formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Pennsylvania Sports and Leisure Holding Company LLC and you have a chain called Daper’s Hockey Gear. You should file a fictitious name to let the Pennsylvania Department of State know. In Pennsylvania, you do that through a Fictitious Name Registration form [DSCB:54-311], or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.
Once you’ve searched for your Pennsylvania business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your PA LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
You might find the following answers useful.
You can search the register of the Pennsylvania Department of State, which will tell you if there are any PA corporations or LLCs with that name. Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name.
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Pennsylvania). 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.
Yes. The Pennsylvania Department of State allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. If you are ready to start your business now, you do not need to reserve a name.
You might find these resources helpful.
You must be careful that your Pennsylvania 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.
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:
|State Fee||State Filing Time||Expedited Filing Time|
|$125||3 Weeks||8 Business Days|
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.
Frequency: Decennially in years ending with the number "1" (2021, 2031, etc.)
Due: Any time during the reporting year.
*The decennial filing is only required if no other filings (agent changes, amendments, etc.) have been submitted to the state during that 10 year period.
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