Naming your Pennsylvania LLC
If you’ve decided to form a limited liability company in Pennsylvania, then it’s time to choose a strong company name. This will be regarded as the official and legal name of your LLC. This name will be mentioned in the certificate of organization, as well as on other important business-related documents. Hence, it’s important to ensure that the chosen name is compliant with the Pennsylvania business name rules and guidelines. You’ll also need to reserve your business name after conducting a Pennsylvania LLC name search. You can look for ideas online to help you choose a business name, or you can utilize the help of business name generators. Now, let’s look at the two focal points to consider when it comes to naming your limited liability company.
General Pennsylvania LLC naming rules
One of the most important areas to focus on when naming your limited-liability company is the Pennsylvania business name rules and guidelines. The name reservation and guidelines for an LLC are governed by the 2020 Pennsylvania Consolidated & Unconsolidated Statutes, Title 54 – NAMES, Chapter 5 – Corporate and Other Association Names. The general rules for an LLC name include:
- The name should have words like Limited Liability Company, or abbreviations like LLC or L.L.C.
- It may also contain a combination of words and abbreviations like “limited liability co.”, “ltd. liability company”, or “Ltd. liability co.”
- This name should be distinguishable from any other name in the Department of State database. This can be checked by conducting a Pennsylvania LLC name search.
- There are “Word Restrictions” that you will need to check before finalizing a name. The state prohibits the use of specific words like banking, trust, and realtor among others.
It’s extremely important to use proper designators at the end of your company name. A Pennsylvania LLC is not allowed to use a designator that implies it is a corporation. Following the state naming guidelines will not only help you to properly conduct a Pennsylvania LLC name search but will also ensure your chosen name is available.
Pennsylvania LLC business search
Once you’ve successfully come up with a name for your LLC that complies with the Pennsylvania business name rules, the next step is to conduct an entity or name availability search. The website of the Pennsylvania Department of State offers an online option for conducting this search. The following options are available:
- Search by company name – This is the most commonly used method for the Pennsylvania LLC name search. This search can be used by both domestic and foreign entities. You can also use this search for DBA names or fictitious names. You can search for a company name that starts with a specific word or the whole name. You don’t have to search by using a designator like LLC as the database will reveal names of every entity type. Let’s look at an example to understand this process.
Example: You want to start a bakery using the name “The Frosted Fox Cake Shop”. You can conduct the Pennsylvania business entity search by using the full name or a part of the name like “the cake shop”. The search options will reveal both specific names and all names that have the cake shop in it. The results will show that “The Frosted Fox Cake Shop” already exists. In such a scenario, if you tweak the name a little bit like “Frosted Cake Shop” then it doesn’t bring up any similar name. This shows the name as being available. Now you can simply use it in the Name Reservation form.
- Search by entity ID – This option is used by registered agents to check the status of an existing Pennsylvania LLC, as each company formed in the state has an associated filing number.
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