LLC Names [The Guide on How to Choose One in 2021]

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Choosing an LLC name for your company is probably one of the most important things on your to-do list if you’re starting a new business.

LLC names have to be memorable, distinctive, yet informative enough to tell people what services or products your company offers.

So, how do you choose the right LLC name? The answer to this question and other suggestions for your LLC company name is presented in this article.

How to Choose an LLC name?

Choosing an LLC name can be quite challenging because the company’s name is usually the first thing customers will learn about your company. The name is a crucial part of your business, so it has to be well chosen. Here are some tips on how to choose an LLC name for your company:

Brainstorm Potential Names

Start by brainstorming until you come up with 4-5 potential names. The aim is to think of at least a few creative and catchy LLC names. Keep in mind that an effective brainstorming session lasts between 15 to 45 minutes. If you didn’t get the desired outcome, take a 15-minute break and start over – the more names you come up with, the better!

You can use several brainstorm techniques:

Word Association

Commence with a couple of random names. Proceed with words that connect your two random words to your company’s service, product, or mission. This kind of exercise will tease out potentially useful hidden ideas.

Visualization

Picture yourself as a client in the type of business you want to start. What are the right words that you’ll use to describe the service/product and the atmosphere? Consider using adjectives to define that kind of environment.

Get Personal

You can refer to meaningful experiences and memories to make others relate to your business. You can name your LLC after yourself or after someone significant to you.

Acronyms

Using acronyms when creating your business’ name can be really beneficial and funny at the same time. You can describe the purpose of your business or come up with something creative. For instance, MAC – Make-up Art Cosmetics or TGI Fridays – Thank God It’s Friday.

Synonyms

You can get creative by using synonyms. Find synonyms that can describe your company by using similar yet unique words. Do your research on words that will relate to your company. For instance, if your company is about make-up, you need to think of words related to beauty, such as gorgeous, pretty, stunning, etc.

Valuable Questions to Ask Yourself

Once you’ve come up with some LLC name ideas, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the name simple?
  • Is the name memorable?
  • Are there any obscure words in the name?
  • How does it sound when it’s pronounced out loud?

Make Sure It Is Legally Compliant

The name of your business should be memorable so that your clients won’t forget it. However, that’s also the legal business name that’ll show up on all the formal documents. Thus, your choice might be limited by some legal regulations and rules. Every state has its own rules about what you can name your LLC.

So, when you’re creating your LLC name you need to consider the restricted identifiers and restricted words that you cannot use.

Required Identifiers

Most of the states require an LLC designation to be included in the LLC company names. Even though the designation can vary from state to state, generally abbreviations or phrases such as “Limited Liability Co.”, “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “Limited” are included.

Restricted Words

Different states will have different restricted words that can’t be used as part of an LLC name. Mostly restricted words include “insurance” and “bank”. These words are restricted because their use in an LLC name can be misleading for the public.

In case you decide to use one of these restricted words in the LLC name, you better check your state’s business name guidelines to see whether there is a chance to apply for permission to use that word as part of your company name.

Name Availability

You need to check whether the name you’ve chosen is available so you don’t get rejected. Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that the company name of your LLC still will be available when you submit your formation documentation.

That said, there’s an option to make a reservation by submitting a name reservation request along with the fee. This way you’ll secure the name for 60 to 120 days.

If you have plans to expand your business, consider reserving the LLC company name in all states where you want to do business in the future. In case you need more time to expand your business to other states, it’s better to make name registrations in these states than a name reservation.

Getting a trademark and patent protection of your business name is another thing you must consider.

US Patent and Trademark Office

If you intend to do business in more states, first do a trademark search. If you protect your business name with a trademark it will be protected in all 50 United States, which will prevent other companies with identical or similar purposes from using the same name.

By researching the US Patent and Trademark Office’s trademark database you can compare your LLC names list to the names that are already in the database and see whether they’re too similar.

Domain Name Registrars

Another thing you should do is check whether the name you’ve picked for your LLC can be used as a domain name for your company’s website. Research through domain names registration websites such as Register and Network Solutions, or browse the hosting service that you are planning on using, such as WordPress. Maybe you’ll need to buy a domain name that is owned by someone else or change your company’s name to find another that is available.

If you need more helpful ideas for choosing a business domain, you can find them in our guide on choosing a domain name.

Originality

Always be original and the customers will recognize you. It’s better to come up with a remarkable business name particularly if you’re planning to use a version of the name as a service mark or a trademark. Naming your LLC with a unique business name will provide you with better protection for your business trademark.

It’s best to choose good LLC names that are meaningful, memorable, easy to use, spell, and pronounce. Keeping the name short is also recommended.

Avoid Names With Limiting Categories

Avoid names that will put limitations on your business. Why limit the lifespan of your business with its name? Choose a name that’ll sound good for decades, even centuries, or you may face the same problem as “Twentieth Century Fox”.

Also, make sure that the name of your company does not tie your business up to a particular location, service, or product. For example, “Los Angeles Business Loans” is restricted to work only in Los Angeles, so if they want to expand to another market they’ll need to rebrand, which will cause additional and unnecessary expenses.

Be International

Choose a name that is easily understandable for the global market in case you want to expand in the future. For instance, one of the many great examples of LLC companies with a successfully chosen name is LC Waikiki. Named after a Hawaiian beach, today Waikiki is a multicultural fashion brand that has expanded to the global market.

On the other hand, the Chinese electronics company Xiaomi, faced a name issue on a global level as many people were confused about how to pronounce the brand name. Chances are, if someone doesn’t know how to pronounce the name right, they won’t recommend it to a friend to avoid embarrassment because of wrong pronunciation.

Key Takeaways

An LLC name can be crucial for your business, so it has to be well chosen.
An effective brainstorming session for creating great LLC names lasts between 15 to 45 minutes
Every state has its own rules about what you can name your LLC.
You need to check whether the name you’ve chosen is available so you don’t get rejected.
Choose a name that is meaningful, memorable, easy to use, spell, and pronounce. Keeping
the name short is also recommended.
DID YOU KNOW: 72% of the best brand names are acronyms or made-up words.

LLC Examples

There are many well-known LLC companies even if customers may not realize that they’re actually an LLC. LLCs have many advantages when running a business, that’s why they are a popular business entity type. Such LLC examples include:

Nike

Originally it was called Blue Ribbon Sports. Nike was founded by running coach Bill Bowerman and his student Phil Knight. Both were passionate about finding creative ways to craft the world’s most covetable running shoe.

During his youth, Knight traveled the world and came across a statue of Nike (the Greek winged goddess of victory). Years later when he was searching for LLC naming ideas for his company brainstorming potential names together with his team, a colleague suggested they change the name of the brand from Blue Ribbon to Nike. And so the well-known world-famous Nike brand was born.

eBay

Originally, eBay was called AuctionWeb. The decision to change the name to eBay was spurred by the fact that most people referred to the site as eBay instead of its actual name. But where did “eBay” come from? Before “AuctionWeb” even existed, Pierre Omidyar, the founder, wanted to register the domain echobay.com for his already planned business name Echo Bay Inc. but it wasn’t available. So, he came up with “eBay” at the moment and registered it instead. Later, it turned out to be one of the greatest LLC names.

Sony

Sony or Sony Corporation, which is a major Japanese manufacturer of consumer electronic products, was created by blending two meaningful words “sonus” and “sonny”. In Latin, the word Sonus means “sound” and “sonic”, while sonny means “little son” in English.
Combined, these names were meant to represent a small group of young adults who have passion and energy and strive towards innovative ideas and unlimited creations.
With its worldwide expansion, in 1958 the company formally adopted “Sony Corporation” as its corporate name. Notice that it is easy to pronounce and read in any language. The name Sony fits comfortably with the spirit of freedom and open-mindedness that the company tries to convey.

BlackBerry

Perhaps not many people remember “Research In Motion” (RIM), but everyone is familiar with “BlackBerry”. Even though it is not a brand of the present, the name is still recognizable. The marketing company Lexicon Branding created the name “BlackBerry”, in reference to the keyboard buttons that look similar to the drupelets of the blackberry fruit.

It is such a remarkable and meaningful brand name that it was noticed by everyone. Creative LLC names are always a great choice.

Conclusion

If you are looking to form an LLC (Limited Liability Company), you’ll need a Registered Agent Service to prepare all your legal and tax documents. However, when it comes to LLC names, you need to choose one very precisely, to be memorable for your customers, as well as easy to comprehend and pronounce. The name of your company is a vital part of your business, so choose it wisely.

FAQ

Should I use my name for LLC?

If you’re doing business by yourself, you can use your name for the business. Professionals such as artists, coaches, or musicians can name their businesses after themselves. However, if your business involves producing goods for sale, and you intend to form a company, it is better to use a different name.

Is it better to have a long or short name for your LLC?

It is better to keep your LLC name short because shorter names are easier to remember. It also makes it easier for customers to refer you to their friends.

How important is the name of the LLC?

Names have power! The LLC names people choose for their businesses are important because often it’s the first impression customers get from a business. People see a sign with the company’s name on it and they either remember it or they don’t.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I’m an entrepreneur by profession and an artist by passion. I do business to pay the bills and make music to bring the thrills. Thanks to a bachelor in Business Administration, I'm well-versed in all things business. Owning a construction company certainly helps, too, but it also brings out my love for building and home protection.

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