You’ve decided to form your business into an LLC, congratulations! This is a smart move for many business owners. Not only will forming an LLC or limited liability company protects your personal assets, but it will give your business more authority. Naming your business is sometimes one of the hardest steps. When it comes to naming an LLC, you have even more things to consider.
You want your LLC to be around for a while. You need a name that’s powerful, and that reflects the message behind your business. This might take some time, but it’s worth the extra effort. While not impossible, it’s not an easy process to rename your LLC in the future. Getting it right the first time will save you a future headache, not to mention it will position your business for success. Here’s everything you should consider before naming your LLC.
Know the Rules
Believe it or not, not all names are legally eligible for an LLC. These rules vary depending on the state, but you generally can’t include any restricted words. Some states also require identifies like having “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” in the name itself.
Learn which words are restricted in your state. These usually include things like “insurance” or “Bank” but can also include derogatory words. The best way to learn what words are and aren’t allowed in your business name is to search on your state website. You’ll find this list either with your Secretary of State or the Department of State.
Most LLCs also require you to avoid using trademarked names or names that are too similar to other businesses. You can conduct a Business Entity Search by state to see if your chosen name is too similar to another. It’s a good idea to be original aside from just meeting LLC requirements.
Your name needs to be memorable and unique. If your company is based online, it becomes even more important to have a name that stands out from the crowd. Because it can be hard to decide on a single name, create a list which you can use to search through online LLC databases. Make sure there are no businesses in your state that already have your name taken. You can also search through the US Patent and Trademark Office to analyze your name on a national scale.
Check for Domain Names
Because this is a digital world, it’s not enough to decide on a name that works on paper. You’ll also need to find a name that isn’t taken on the World Wide Web. Conduct an online search to ensure your chosen name is available as a .com or similar extension before committing. Also look into websites with similar names to make sure they aren’t detrimental to your brand or also similar.
Along with your domain name, check social media platforms to make sure you’ll be able to make a unique account there as well. Namechk.com lets you quickly see if your chosen username is available across the web. A social-media friendly username is one that’s easy to spell, memorable, and available to use.
Give it Meaning
While it’s nice to have a cute or fun name, this might not help you serve your business. Think of your name as an introduction. What does it say about your business? Calling your business something like “Jamie’s Gorgeous Creations” might sound like a good gimmick, but it doesn’t tell customers what your business is about. Doesn’t “Jamie’s Cupcakes” or “Jamie’s Kitchen” give you a clearer idea of what the company actually does?
You want to be clear, specific, and meaningful. Your marketing plan will depend on having clear messaging, and your name is a the heart of that. People need to know what to expect when they stumble upon your name. Don’t leave them guessing.
Naming Your Business
Having a business name that works for your business will pay off more than an underperforming name by a long shot. Make sure you consider these things before officially registering your LLC with your state. As a business asset, your company name is worth its weight in gold. This is the foundation for your brand, your relationships with your customers, and your growth of your business.