US Legal Sector: State Rules For Business Naming - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

US Legal Sector: State Rules For Business Naming

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There were 30.7 million small businesses in the United States in recent years according to statistics done by the U.S Small Business Administration. Small businesses account for 99.9% of all enterprises in the United States. Over 59.9 million individuals are employed by small companies.

Brainstorming names for your company is one of the most exciting first jobs to do when starting a business. It’s also one of the most important tasks; your startup name will serve as the foundation of your brand, therefore it is important to choose wisely.

There are some business name limits to be aware of as you begin the process of choosing a name for your organization. Every state has its own set of restrictions for what is and is not permitted in company names.

Tips on How to Make Sure You Don’t Break the Law

Consult the Secretary of State’s office for information on the rules and restrictions that apply to business names. The limits listed above are simply a sample of what each state has to offer. By checking the state government’s website and contacting the appropriate state agency for more information, entrepreneurs can ensure that the business names they want to use will not violate the rules.

Perform a corporate name search. Even if the desired name is free of forbidden words and otherwise fits all of the requirements, it is unlikely that a firm will be able to use it if another company selling identical products or services has already done so. The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC) name generator can be used to search name availability. 

Search for a trademark. Companies that plan to conduct business in multiple states should conduct a trademark search. When a business name is trademarked, it is protected in all 50 states, making it impossible for other firms with similar aims to use the name in any state.

Enlist the help of a lawyer to be sure you’ve covered all of your bases. Everything discussed here is for informational purposes only. Entrepreneurs should obtain the advice of an attorney or another qualified professional for legal advice on business names.

Each U.S state has its own requirements, below we will discuss the requirements according to certain states:

Alabama

Your new LLC’s name must be distinct from any existing Alabama business entity name that has been reserved or registered with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office’s Corporate Section. It must include one of the following at the end: “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” are acronyms for “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” The terms “Limited” and “Company” may be shortened as “Ltd.” and “Co.” respectively. The name of the LLC cannot express or imply that it was founded for a purpose other than that mentioned in the articles of incorporation. Domestic LLC names are not held in reserve by the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.

Delaware

Your new Delaware LLC’s name must be distinct from the names of any other business entities that have been registered or reserved with the state, including nonprofit organizations. The words “Limited Liability Company” or the acronyms “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must appear at the end of your new LLC’s name. Your LLC’s name can include words in a foreign language as long as you offer an English translation when you file the LLC. Some terms, such as “bank,” “university,” and “college,” are banned and require additional documentation. In other words, some LLCs (usually those linked with specific professions and licensed individuals) demand that a member of that profession be a member of the LLC.

Florida

Your new Florida LLC must have a name that is distinct from any existing business organization name that has been registered or reserved with the state. The words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the acronyms “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must appear at the end of your new LLC’s name. The words “Limited” and “Company” can be shortened as “Ltd.” and “Co.” respectively.

If you wish to use some banned words in your business name, you’ll need to fill out additional documentation. This comprises both institutional names (such as banks and credit unions) and words associated with certain qualified professions such as doctors, engineers, attorneys, and architects.

Final Thought

After you’ve done your research and come up with a unique business name that complies with your state’s criteria, you’re ready to start your company.


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