Coming up with the right name for your business is an exciting feeling.
However your LLC name is not actually yours till you’ve registered it.
It’s possible that the name could be taken or might be sought after by one more entrepreneur.
After you register your LLC name, you will not have to worry about anyone else in your state using it pertaining to business purposes.
This step-by-step guide will teach you the right way to register an LLC name, even if you are a complete beginner.
The Easy Areas of Registering an LLC Name
Coming up with a great name is the simple part. Some of you may have had a specific title in the back of your mind for a long time. Now that you’re prepared to move forward with the business, you need to verify its availability and then register it.
Lots of people struggle when they appreciate a business name, yet they’re not quite prepared to start the business by itself. They’re afraid someone else will steal title if they don’t sign-up it quickly.
Fortunately, you can reserve an LLC title even before you start the business enterprise itself. Many states allow you to reserve the name for sixty or 180 times without filing some other LLC paperwork.
An LLC name reservation type is typically a one or two-page document that is easy to fill out and file. This purchases you some time to obtain everything in order and ensures the name remains available when you are ready to form the LLC.
While reserving a name may be easy, registering an LLC can be a bit intimidating. The paperwork and process are a bit more involved than just thinking of a title.
Fortunately, business formation services such as LegalZoom make the entire process a breeze.
LegalZoom has been used to produce over 2 . 5 million businesses in the usa. Just plug your name into LegalZoom, and they’ll look into the state database on your behalf to verify its availability.
You’ll know within seconds whether or not the title is available without having to research the state database by yourself.
In addition to the LLC name examine, LegalZoom can handle the entire formation process on your behalf. They’ll file the right paperwork with your secretary of state’s office. All you need to do can be answer a handful of simple questions about your company.
LegalZoom’s LLC formation packages start at just $79 in addition state filing fees.
The particular Difficult Parts of Signing up an LLC Title
If it ends up that your business title isn’t available, creating a new one can become challenging. This is especially true for anyone who had your own heart set on a specific name.
So try not to get too attached to any name yet. Have some flexibility and come up with a shortlist of a few names in case 1 doesn’t work out.
It’s furthermore worth noting that you simply can’t register a good LLC name without creating an LLC. Registering the name indicates you’ll have to file content articles of organization along with your state, obtain an EIN, appoint a registered agent, make an operating contract, and everything else that is required to legally form an LLC.
It’s furthermore tough to come up with a brandable and easy-to-remember title without boxing you into a particular group. For example , let’s state you’re opening the restaurant and sign-up the name “Pete’s Pizzas Palace. ”
What if you decide to begin serving breakfast within two years? This title doesn’t offer you a ton of flexibility. And that means you need to think beyond the immediate future when you’re registering the name.
For those of you who want to legally protect your LLC name with a trademark, the procedure is much longer compared to name reservation plus formation process along with your state. It could take anywhere from 12 to eighteen months for your brand to come through.
Even after you’ve trademarked a name, it is still your obligation to defend that brand. So if you think another business has breached your trademark, all of the legal fees connected with defending the name will fall on your shoulders. This process is far from fun.
Step 1 – Guarantee the LLC Name can be obtained
Before you move forward with the registration process, you need to verify the particular name’s availability. In the event that someone else in your state has already registered title or a similar name, then you’ll have to come up with something else.
Run a Company Name Search
Don’t fill out any name reservation types or LLC development paperwork until you’ve run a business title search. If the title isn’t available, your applications will get turned down, and the application fees aren’t refundable.
Every condition has a database of business names. But these databases aren’t consistently user-friendly, and it could be tough for you to confirm the results.
All of the best business formation services possess a business name lookup tool. LegalZoom’s any of my favorites. Here’s what it looks like after i search LegalZoom for “Quick Sprout Example LLC” in the state of Washington.
I’m immediately given a notification showing that the name can be obtained. LegalZoom’s entity title check service is definitely 100% free to use.
Operate a Domain Name Search
Title check search only applies to the records in your state associated with formation database. But another business might be using that title elsewhere.
Most entrepreneurs want to create a website that matches the name of their own LLC. So if that domain has already been signed up and can’t be purchased for a reasonable price, it’s probably not worthwhile to use that title.
This is especially true in case you haven’t invested anything into the name however.
Just use any domain name registrar to see the domain’s availability. If the domain name is available, you’ll wish to secure it at some point.
Check Federal Trademark Records
You’ll want to make sure that your LLC title isn’t violating analysis trademark. Even if a trademark hasn’t already been issued yet, someone else may have an application pending for the name you wish to register.
Government trademarks are ideal for businesses that plan to level outside of a local region. Registering the name along with your state alone can not stop someone within another region from using your name.
So if you’re eventually planning to trademark the name, it’s in your greatest interest to run the trademark search ahead of time.
Fortunately, LegalZoom also has a brand search service.
Deals start at just $199, and it usually takes lower than 15 minutes to complete.
Browse the Internet
Aside from state databases, federal directories, and domain names, you should run some Google searches for the name you need to register. See exactly what comes up.
Is definitely anyone else using that name for another company purpose? Are the social networking handles available? Offers anyone used e-commerce name in the past?
You’d be surprised what you can discover using a search engine.
You might realize that another business used that name in years past before the company crashed and burned due to bad publicity. Maybe the previous owner had legal troubles or even was part of a significant lawsuit. Or perhaps the business had a data infringement that exposed thousands of customer records. Even if this has nothing regarding your prospective firm, you probably won’t want your name related to these web outcomes.
Step 2 – Reserve the particular LLC Name
If your name provides survived the process of eradication in the previous step, it’s time to reserve your own LLC name. This step is crucial if you’re not really ready to officially begin your LLC nowadays.
Review State LLC Guidelines For Your Business Name
The booking process varies from state to state.
For example , you are able to reserve a proposed business name in California for a period of 60 days. You must complete the name reservation type and submit it by mail or in-person with a $10 application fee. The California secretary of state’s office isn’t accepting online title reservations at this time.
In Ohio, you can reserve title for 180 days from the date associated with filing. The submitting fee is $39, and you can file on the web or by mail.
Each state also has unique guidelines for creating an LLC name. For example , your own name may need to include one of the following suffixes:
- Limited Liability Company
- L. D. C.
- Limited Company
- Limited Co.
Here’s an excerpt through the California business title reservation form that shows some extra rules:
Step 3 – Register Your LLC Name
Now that you’ve completed the particular preliminary research, it’s time to make it official. This step will walk you through the actual LLC name reservation.
File Your Content of Organization
You can’t register an LLC name with out forming an LLC.
So, just how do you form an LLC? It all starts with filing the particular articles of business with your secretary of state. The posts of organization usually contain:
- Name of your company
- Description of business
- Mailing tackle
- Registered agent information
- Information about LLC members (owners)
The exact forms and filing procedure vary from state to mention. Rather than doing this your self, you can just make use of a formation service such as LegalZoom to handle this for you.
All you have to perform is answer several questions about your business, and LegalZoom is going to take care of the rest.
Get an EIN (employer identification number) for tax reasons. This is like the social security number for your business. You may get this directly from the particular IRS or have LegalZoom do it for you during the formation process.
You’ll also need to produce an operating agreement for your LLC. When you won’t file this particular with your secretary of state’s office, this legal document governs the rules and duties for your LLC users and management framework.
Choose a Registered Agent
As mentioned above, your LLC needs to have a registered agent. You can not officially create an LLC without getting someone for this role, which means you can’t sign-up an LLC name without one either.
A registered agent is a person or entity that can receive company of process plus government correspondence on behalf of your LLC.
Technically, you could name yourself as the signed up agent for your LLC, but I recommend against that.
All of the best company formation services dual as registered realtor solutions. So you can merely name LegalZoom as your registered agent with a single click throughout the formation process, plus they’ll handle the particular formalities to make this official.
LegalZoom’s registered agent service starts at just $249 for your first year.
Step 4 – Brand Your LLC Title
You automatically get “common law” trademark rights as soon as you start using a name for business reasons. But common legislation trademarks won’t safeguard you outside of your local area or state.
So if you plan on expanding across state outlines or to another area, you should trademark your own LLC name too. This will prevent businesses in the same industry from using your title.
File a Trademark Application
The trademark application process is relatively complicated. All of the paperwork is filed through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Trademark laws and regulations can be difficult to understand, which is why I don’t recommend doing this on your own. Take advantage of LegalZoom’s trademark registration solutions.
LegalZoom offers lawyer support throughout the brand process. They’ll manage all of the research and file the trademark paperwork with the USPTO on your behalf. If any problems arise during the process, LegalZoom will take proper care of them.
Step 5 – Make LLC Name (Optional)
The day may come when you decide to change your LLC name. Rather than dissolving the business and starting a new LLC from scratch, you might have some alternative choices to consider.
Register a DBA Name
You can always sign-up a DBA (doing business as) name for your business. This is also known as a “trade name” or “fictitious name. ”
For example , let’s state you formed the dry cleaning company called “Main Street Cleaners. ” You choose to expand the procedure and open a new location. If the brand new location isn’t upon Main Street, it may be confusing for customers.
So you could register a DBA because “West Street Cleaners” for the new place, and both companies would still work under the name LLC.
LegalZoom makes it easy to register a DBA, along with plans starting just $99 plus state filing fees.
File a Certificate of Amendment
If you want to change the legal name of your LLC, a DBA only won’t get the job done. You’ll need to file paperwork with your secretary of state’s office for making this change.
Each condition has its own change form and procedure. But generally speaking, here’s what those actions look like:
- Make sure the new title is available
- Approve an LLC resolution to change the business name
- File the certificate of amendment along with your state
- Amend your LLC operating agreement
- Notify taxes agencies and business licensing agencies
- Change the title on your business bank-account
You’ll also need to change the name on virtually anything else that has your initial LLC name. Changing your LLC title can be a major head ache, so I generally recommend against it. Check to see if a DBA name can resolve your problem before you go via this process.