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Naming Your Washington LLC

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

Washington Secretary of State Business Search

You should start naming your business by completing a business entity search with the Secretary of State. They have a helpful tool on their website that lets you search the register of WA LLCs and corporations to see if someone already has your desired business name.

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.

Washington Secretary of State Business Entity Search Tool

Washington LLC Naming Rules

Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Washington 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 WA.

General Business 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 Washington LLC.

Specific Washington State Rules

In addition to the general rules listed above, the Washington 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 business appropriately.

The name of an LLC may not contain any of the following words or phrases: "Cooperative," "partnership," "corporation," "incorporated," or the abbreviations "Corp.," "Ltd.," "Inc.," "LP," "L.P.," "LLP," "L.L.P.," "LLLP," "L.L.L.P." or any words or phrases prohibited by any statute of Washington State.

Washington Secretary of State Business Naming Rules

Washington “Doing Business As” (DBA) and Trade Names

You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Washington, doing business under a different name is known as a “Trade” or “Doing Business As (DBA)” name. You might choose to use a different name from your formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your LLC might be called Washington Real Estate Waterside Holding Company LLC and you have a brand called “Seattle Lakefront Properties.” You should file a trade name to let the Washington Secretary of State know. In Washington, you do that through a Business License Application form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.

Incfile’s DBA/Trade Name Service

Register Your Business Name with the Washington Secretary of State

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

  • 1

    If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Washington Secretary of State. You will need to complete a Name Reservation form and file it with the WA SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.


    Washington SOS LLC Name Reservation Form

  • 2

    If you’re ready to start your Washington LLC, you can formally file your Certificate of Formation with the SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.

FAQs on Naming Your Washington LLC

You might find the following answers useful.

Useful Resources for Naming Your Washington LLC

You might find these resources helpful.

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your Washington 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 Washington 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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