When starting a new business, coming up with the perfect name is one of the most important tasks. The right name can help you stand out from the competition, build brand recognition and be easily remembered by customers.
Choosing the right LLC name is not an easy task. It has to be unique, easy to remember and meet legal requirements.
1. Be Unique
Choosing the perfect business name is one of the most important tasks when starting an LLC. Sometimes, a business name comes in a flash, like when Juan came up with his organic seeds company’s name “Takes Juan to Grow One.” Other times, you might struggle for ages trying to find the right name for your LLC.
Your business name must be unique, which means it cannot be the same as another LLC registered in your state or a trademarked phrase. You can check for availability of your LLC name through a database offered by the Secretary of State or through an online business name registrar.
In addition to being unique, your business name should convey what your company is all about. A creative and catchy LLC name tells customers what you sell and makes them remember your brand. A meaningful name can also help you establish a clear identity on social media and your website, which will boost your SEO.
2. Be Searchable
The most obvious rule when naming an LLC is that it needs to include the phrase “limited liability company” or the initials “LLC.” Some states have additional rules for legal business names, and you should always check your state’s database before you start the registration process.
In addition, the business name must also be searchable on social media and website domains. This will help you rank higher on Google searches and build trust with your customers.
It’s a good idea to purchase matching domain and social media handles shortly after choosing your LLC name, so that someone else does not snag it before you register. This is called securing a brand. You can also reserve a name with your state before starting the registration process.
3. Be Easy to Remember
The name of your LLC is more than a label—it’s a brand and identity. It should capture the company’s personality, differentiate it from competitors, and help potential clients understand what you do. It should also stick in people’s minds, especially when spoken aloud. You can do this by using alliteration or rhyming schemes.
It’s also important to consider the long-term when selecting an LLC name. You may decide to expand the business into other states, or even sell it down the road. If the name you select pigeonholes the business in any way, it could be difficult to change down the line.
In addition, the name cannot include words that suggest the company is something other than an LLC (such as a bank or insurance agency), unless the business is actually organized as that type of entity. Check with your state’s regulating body to see what types of words are prohibited in LLC names.
4. Be Future-Proof
You want your LLC name to evoke your company values and give an idea of what your business is all about. However, it is important to not get too specific so that your company can grow and not be pigeonholed in one particular niche or industry.
Consider incorporating a word or two that can tell a story about your company, as this will be memorable for your customers. This can help differentiate you from other companies that may offer similar products or services.
Also, make sure that you have the matching domain and social media handles available. A lot of people run bots to buy up domain names and social handles shortly after a new business is formed, which can cost the new owner thousands of dollars.
Most states require that your LLC name include the phrase “limited liability company” or the initials “LLC.” Some states also prohibit certain words that may imply other types of business entities, such as bank, insurance, medical, or legal services.