Follow Naming Laws for Your Limited Liability Company

By Jennifer Reuting

Although you do have autonomy in choosing your business name, the state has some requirements that you’ll have to keep in mind, namely (no pun intended) that you must designate your business as a limited liability company. You do so by adding the designator limited liability company, limited company, or an abbreviation such as L.L.C. or LLC to the end of the name in uppercase or lowercase letters.

If the addition of LLC at the end of your name doesn’t seem catchy, don’t fret. You must use the designation at the end of your company name when forming your articles of organization, but you can operate your business without it by filing a fictitious firm name application with your county clerk.

Even if you intend to request corporation or S corporation tax status with the IRS, you still need to add the LLC designation at the end of your company name when filing your articles of organization with the secretary of state.

The state also restricts the use of certain words that may imply that your business is part of a regulated industry. This policy varies from state to state but typically restricts the use of words that could give the idea that the LLC is in the banking or insurance industry, such as bank, credit union, trust, and insurance.

To make your life easier, check out this website containing all state laws on naming requirements regarding business entities, real estate, and taxation. Enter the password onesmartdummy. Here, you can view your specific state’s laws, organized by topic.