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Tennessee Secretary of State Business Search & Naming Your LLC

Whether you’re searching for the right Tennessee business name or registering your LLC with the TN Secretary of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on a Tennessee business entity search, LLC naming rules, fictitious names and registering your business.

Tennessee Secretary of State Business Search

You need to check whether there’s already another Tennessee LLC or corporation registered with your desired business name. That means searching the Tennessee Secretary of State website using their business entity search tool. You can easily look up TN 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.

Tennessee Secretary of State Business Entity Search Tool

Tennessee SOS Rules for Your LLC Business Name

Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Tennessee Secretary of State naming rules. These do vary from state to state — we’ve got general naming rules below.

Standard LLC Naming Rules

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 Tennessee LLC.

Specific LLC Naming Rules for Tennessee

In addition to the general rules listed above, the Tennessee Secretary of State has some specific business naming rules for your LLC. You will need to follow these rules if you want to name your TN business appropriately:

The TN Secretary of State says the following about naming your Tennessee LLC.
Generally, a business name cannot contain language stating or implying that:

  • The business transacts or has power to transact any business for which authorization is required under Tennessee law, unless the appropriate commission or officer has granted such authorization and certifies that fact in writing
  • The business is organized as, affiliated with, or sponsored by any fraternal, veterans, service, religious, charitable or professional organization, unless that fact is certified in writing by the organization with which affiliation or sponsorship is claimed
  • The business is an agency or instrumentality of, affiliated with or sponsored by the United States or the State of Tennessee or a subdivision or agency thereof, unless such fact is certified in writing by the appropriate official of the governmental entity
  • The business is organized for a purpose other than that permitted by the applicable business statutes and the business’ charter/articles/certificate

If a business name contains the word “mortgage,” “bank,” “banks,” “credit union” or “trust,” written approval must be first obtained from the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions before documents can be accepted for filing with the Division of Business Services.

Tennessee Secretary of State Business Naming Rules

DBA Names for Tennessee LLCs

You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Tennessee, a DBA (or “doing business as”) name is known as an “Assumed Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your TN formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your LLC might be called Tennessee Music Holding Company LLC and you have a chain called “Country Music Cooldown.” You should file an assumed name form to let the Tennessee Secretary of State know. In Tennessee, you do that through an “Application for Registration of Assumed Name (ss-4402)” form, or 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 Tennessee LLC

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

FAQs on Naming Your Tennessee LLC

You might find the following answers useful.

Additional Resources for Naming Your Tennessee LLC

You might find these other resources helpful.

Trademark and Service Marks

You must be careful that your Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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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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.

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