Choosing the perfect name for your business is a vital part of the process of forming an LLC. Your business name isn’t just how your audience will know But how do you choose a good name? Let’s walk you through everything you have to keep in mind specifically for LLCs and how to choose a solid name for your business. 

Disclaimer: the following information is not intended to be legal advice. We are not lawyers. If you have legal questions, consult with a local attorney. 

What is an LLC?

LLC, short for Limited Liability Company, is a business entity that offers the owners the limited personal liability of a corporation without the formalities that come with having a board of directors. It’s the best of both worlds between a corporation and a partnership. 

LLC in 3-D letters

How to Choose an LLC Name

Choosing a good name for your LLC isn’t just about picking something that sounds cool. There are legal requirements that all LLC owners have to abide by and other helpful tips to keep in mind. 

Legal Requirements for LLC Names

These are the legal requirements that every LLC name must meet. It must be unique, it must include the entity type, and it must not include any restricted words related to the accuracy of the name. 

LLC Names Must Be Unique

The name of your LLC can’t be the same as another business entity registered in your state. It also can’t be the same as a trademarked phrase. To see if your desired business name is still available in your state, conduct an LLC name search via your local secretary of state office. To see whether or not it’s been trademarked, conduct a trademark search at the United States Patent and Trademark Office site.

LLC Names Must Include the entity type

When written in full, your LLC name also has to include one of the following variations on “limited liability company” to indicate the business entity: 

  • LLC
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • L.L.C
  • L.C.
  • LC
  • Ltd. Liability Co

LLC Names Must Not Mislead or Include Restricted Words

Your LLC name must be accurate and must not mislead potential customers. For that reason, there are some business terms, words, and abbreviations you legally cannot include in a business entity name. The exact rules vary state to state, but here are some examples that generally apply. Words that indicate any entity type besides LLC, like “Corporation” and “Corp.,” “Incorporated” and “Inc.,” and “Limited Partnership” are restricted.

An LLC name also can’t legally include words that imply that your company is a governmental organization, like “City,” “Township,” or “Federal.” You cannot include words like “Bank” or “Insurer” or “Trust,” unless you are in the banking or insurance industry. If you include “Legal” or “Medical” in your business name, you’ll be asked to show your license. 

A thick book with the word LAW on the cover


Other LLC Naming Considerations 

Here are a few other, non-legal things to keep in mind when you’re brainstorming LLC names: 

  • Domain name availability
  • Room for growth
  • Memorability
  • Meaning
  • Originality
  • Social media

Domain name availability

A website for your business is a necessity these days. That also means a domain name that either matches or represents your entity name. Before you register your LLC name, look up the domain name to see if it’s taken. 

Room for Growth

When you name a business, you want to choose one that accurately represents what you offer, but doesn’t hold you back from expanding in the future. For example, using your own name might be a good idea if you’re a solo business owner, but if you hire more people it might confuse people. If your business name is tied to a specific product, that might make it harder to expand your offerings later on. 

A plant growing


Having a memorable business name is the first step to building brand recognition. There are a few different ways you can accomplish that:

  • Make it catchy
  • Use alliteration
  • Make it rhyme
  • Get descriptive
  • Use a reference
  • Make it a pun


A good business name clearly communicates what you sell. You don’t have to exactly spell out what your products and services are, but people who walk past your storefront, see an ad for your business on social media, or otherwise interact with your brand name should get a good idea of what your business is without any previous familiarity with it.  

An outline of a head with a brain inside of it


For ecommerce and other primarily online businesses, originality is more important in a company name than meaning. After all, online small businesses aren’t just competing with businesses in their city, they’re competing with similar businesses from around the world. That makes standing out more important. 

Social Media

Social media is a major player in promoting any new business. That starts with choosing a handle for your accounts. For Twitter and Instagram, that’s your @, for Facebook and Pinterest, that’s your vanity URL. This should either match or allude to your business name and be the same across platforms. Check every social media platform you plan to use for your LLC name’s availability. If the name of your business is already taken, you can try the following variations: 

  • An acronym or initials
  • Add “real” or “official” at the beginning
  • Use a descriptive word
  • Add the word “try” in front of your company name
  • Add “dotcom” at the end

Once you’ve decided on the handle you want, claim it on all platforms even if you’re not ready to start posting yet. That stops anyone else from taking it. 

@ signs in different colors

Try a Business Name Generator

If you’re having trouble coming up with business name ideas, a business name generator can help get your brainstorming juices flowing. Here are a few good ones:

  1. Masterpiece Generator
  2. Wizlogo
  3. Namify
  4. Zyro Business Name Generator
  5. NameBounce
  6. Nameboy
  7. Wordoid
  8. Panabee

Gears in various colors

Four different ways to register your business name

Once you’ve chosen a name for your LLC, it’s time to make it official. There are four ways to do that, each offering varying levels of protections: 

  1. Entity name
  2. Trademark
  3. Doing Business As (DBA) Name
  4. Domain name

Entity name

Your entity name is how the state identifies your business. Registering an entity name protects your business name at a state level and prevents anyone else in your state from operating under the same name. Depending on your business structure and location, the state may require you to register a legal entity name. Most states don’t allow you to register a name that’s already been registered by someone else, and some states require your entity name to reflect the kind of business it represents. Check with your state for rules about how to register your business name.

A basic map of the United States


Filing a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office can protect the name of your business, goods, and services at a national level. Trademarks prevent other US businesses in the same industry from using your trademarked names. 

All United States businesses are subject to trademark infringement lawsuits, which are typically expensive. For that reason, you should check your business, product, and service names against the US Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark database.

The Registered Trademark symbol

Doing business as (DBA) name

A DBA name, also known as a trade name, fictitious name, or assumed name, is a name for a business that isn’t your own legal name as the business owner. It doesn’t provide any legal protection on its own, but it does establish your business as an entity. 

DBA names are more relevant to sole proprietorships and partnerships than LLCs and corporations, but there are some cases when an LLC owner would register one. One reason an LLC could also want to register a DBA is if they want to market their business using a different name than the legal name of your LLC. If you live in a state that requires the use of “LLC” in your marketing, having a DBA allows you to drop the LLC from the title if it doesn’t make a catchy business name.

A little shop with a blank sign

Domain name

Registering a domain name also doesn’t provide any legal protection on its own, but it does protect your brand presence online. Once you register it, no one else can use that domain name as long as you own it. 

Your domain name doesn’t have to be the same as your legal business name, trademark, or DBA. So if the domain name that matches your business name is already registered by someone else and they’re not willing to sell it, it’s not the end of the world. In most cases, you’ll want to go for a .COM domain name since it continues to be the default domain name extension

A search bar that reads httpswww

When to Consider a Trademark

Your business entity name only protects your business name at the state level. A trademark protects your business name at the national level. Trademarks also aren’t limited to business names. You can also trademark the names of your products or services to prevent others companies from using the same names. Not everyone needs to trademark their business name, but it’s a good idea if you: 

  • Do a lot of business out of state
  • Are considering expanding or franchising your business
  • Want to protect a unique business name

If your customers are mostly or entirely local, a trademark probably wouldn’t be much use to you. However, even if you don’t plan to trademark the name, you should still check with the Patent and Trademark Office to make sure it’s not already trademarked. 

A Registered Trademark symbol and a question mark

LLC name FAQs

If you have questions about choosing an LLC name, we’ve got some answers. If you would like to know more about the specific laws in your state, feel free to reach out to your Secretary of State Office or consult with an attorney. 

Do I need “LLC” in my domain name?

Since there is no requirement for your domain name to match the government name of your business, you don’t have to include the LLC acronym in your domain name. You can if you really want to, but it usually looks strange. 

Do I have to use a comma in the name of my LLC?

All 50 states will accept your LLC’s legal name with or without a comma. For example, if your business is called L&R Designs, your entity name could either be L&R designs, LLC or L&R Designs LLC. 

A big comma


Are LLC names case sensitive?

When you file with the state, the way your LLC name is capitalized is also the way it will appear on your official paperwork. In other contexts, you can use any variations on capitalization you want to. The IRS defaults to writing business names in all capital letters. 

Should you use your name for an LLC?

Using your own name for your LLC could make sense if you’re running a solo operation and want to build a personal brand. However, if you expand your business and start hiring employees, it could be a hindrance. If you’re an independent artist, freelancer, or contractor, this might be the best move, but otherwise it’s a better idea to come up with a different name for your business. 

A blank hello my name is name tag

Are LLC names by state?

LLC names are governed by state law and registering as one does not protect your name in other states. If you live in Illinois and someone is using the LLC name you want in Michigan, you can use it if the name doesn’t have a federal trademark. 

Are LLC names trademarked?

Registering your LLC doesn’t automatically trademark the name. It only protects you on the state level. If you want or need protection for your business name on a national level, you’ll need to file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

What happens if the name you want is already taken?

If your perfect name you have picked out is already taken by another business, you don’t have to go back to the drawing board just yet. There are a few ways you can tweak the name to make it similar in spirit but different enough to get approved.

  • Adding your name
  • Changing a word
  • Adding now words

Adding, “and”, “the”, or different punctuation will not make your business name legally different enough to get approved because it would still be confusingly similar to the other name.

A blank drawing board

Can you change your LLC name?

You can change your LLC to a new name with the state by filing an amendment. However, this only changes the name with the secretary of state. Changing the name with the IRS, your bank account, and any marketing materials are separate processes. The entire business name change process can be a pain, so though it is an option that’s not a reason to not put much thought into what you’ll name your business. 

How Sav Can Help

Once you’ve named your business, it’s time to buy your domain and set up your website so you can start making an impact online. Here at Sav, we make it easy and affordable for entrepreneurs and small business owners to create and manage their online identity so you can focus on running your business. Get started today with a free trial of our website builder!

Luca Harsh

Luca Harsh

Luca Harsh is an in-house content writer for Sav. They live in Chicago with their cat, Polly. Yes, Harsh is their real last name.