DO YOU HAVE TO PUT ‘LLC’ IN YOUR BUSINESS NAME? (2022)
You’re about to read a complete guide to naming your LLC with 'LLC' included.
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find on this page:
- Do you have to put 'LLC' in your business name?
- Are there advatages to adding 'LLC' to your business name?
- Are there alternatives if I don't want to?
- Does LLC have to be in your logo?
- What happens if you fail to use your full LLC name?
- What are some other LLC naming rules?
Let's dive right in!
After deciding that starting an LLC / Limited Liability Company is something you want to do, you probably want to pick a name for your business.
Your problem is that you are not sure what the rules are when it comes to naming your LLC.
You want to know:
- Do you have to put LLC in your business name?
- Do you have to put LLC in your logo?
In short, when you file your LLC, you will need to use some sort of term related to LLC, but more than that is a lot tougher to say it is needed, legally.
Should I Put ‘LLC’ In My Business Name?
Let us start off by saying that your state's law decides what options you have when creating your LLC.
The rules may be different depending on the state.
Most states though require some terminology form of ‘Limited Liability Company’ in its name.
Many states allow:
- Limited Liability Co.
for you to use in your LLC’s official legal name.
This will show that your business has an LLC status.
Be sure to check your state's laws for more specific rules for naming your LLC.
Advantage of adding 'LLC' to your business name:
You may not have thought of the advantages of having ‘LLC’ after your company’s name has.
But, trust us when we say that it can make an incredible difference.
When you put ‘LLC’ at the end of your business’s name, consumers are more likely to trust you.
The reason for this is because the certification of your business makes them feel like they’re dealing with a professional.
By adding ‘LLC’ to the end of your business’s name, you show that your company is legally filed.
It’s not like you decided to throw up a website online or you decided to open up a lemonade stand; anyone can do that.
Instead, you put in the time to make your company a legal entity.
This builds more trust with consumers.
Do I Need To Add 'LLC' To My Business Name?
Earlier, we mentioned that most states require some sort of abbreviation of ‘LLC’ to your business name, when filing your LLC.
In addition, we discussed why you should add ‘LLC’ to your business name, in terms of its benefits.
However, you want to know “Do I need to add ‘LLC’ to your business name?”, in terms of its day-to-day activities
You may be wondering what the implications are regarding your legal documents, financial statements, advertising, and marketing.
Many lawyers are of the opinion that removing any doubts as to whether or not your business is an LLC, is the best option for you.
If you can remove any skepticism from the consumer side of things as to whether or not your company is a separate legal entity or not, you are putting yourself in the safest position.
Sometimes, consumers may be scared off from starting legal action against you if they see that your company is an LLC.
Realizing that they will not have any access to personal assets may stop them from starting up with you.
When Don't You Need To Add 'LLC' To Use Your Business Name?
But, truth be told, you may refuse to do any of this. You may be stubborn about using ‘LLC’ as part of your entity's day-to-day activities.
You think that including ‘LLC’ to your business name may ruin opportunities for you because your business name looks ugly (for argument's sake).
The way around this is to use a DBA name.
After filing your LLC, you can choose to register a DBA name (doing business as). This is considered to be a “fictitious” or “assumed” name.
If you do indeed file for a DBA, then you will not need to use your official, legal, LLC name.
The name you use for a DBA can be used to sign all the documents.
If you would not have filed a DBA, then you would have to use your full, legal company name.
For example, you have a catering company, “John’s Catering Service LLC”.
If you register a DBA, “John’s Catering”, you can sign all of your documents, legally, as “John’s Catering”.
Does 'LLC' Have To Be In Your Logo?
After a WHOLE bunch of research, we came out with the best answer possible; NOBODY KNOWS!
Well obviously, if you registered a DBA, then there is absolutely no room to require ‘LLC’ in your logo.
The only scenario that this question starts is when you did not register a DBA.
In such a case, there are attorneys that say you do need to include LLC in your logo.
However, there are attorneys who believe that using LLC in your logo is NOT necessary.
The attorneys who believe that you should include LLC in your logo understand as follows:
You should not leave any doubt for the consumers to figure out if your company is an LLC or not.
For that reason, you should include LLC in your logo.
On the other hand, we mentioned that there are attorneys who believe that it is NOT necessary (at all) to add LLC to your business logo.
They believe as follows:
A logo is only an extension of your business’s trade name. It is not a direct representation of your business.
For this reason, you do NOT need to add LLC to your logo.
What we think it really boils down to, is whether or not your logo is a legal representation or not.
If that's the case, then in most situations your logo is NOT a legal representation of your business.
Instead, a logo is a BRANDING representation of your company. Branding departments do not need legal recognition.
For this reason, we do NOT recommend you to include LLC in your logo.
In fact, including LLC in your logo could even be BAD for you.
It may ruin the imagery of your logo, in terms of its design.
This is the case for branding purposes.
HOWEVER, this does NOT apply to invoices, contracts, leases, legal records, tax returns, letterhead, or any legal documentation.
Failure To Use Full LLC Name
We get it.
Sometimes you may not want to use ‘LLC’ in your business name.
This is not a choice worth making. It may put you LLC in DANGER.
A judge may use this to show that your business did NOT operate as an LLC.
If this happens, the members of your LLC may be personally responsible for any debts or liabilities.
This would be a HUGE bummer.
The entire purpose of you making your business an LLC was to protect your personal possessions.
Be sure you do research to make sure that your business name follows your state's laws.
Other LLC Naming Rules:
According to the IRS, certain types of businesses CANNOT form LLCs.
are examples of businesses that cannot incorporate LLCs.
For this reason, there are some states that made it illegal to use the word “bank” or “insurance” when naming an LLC.
Special exceptions might be granted if you fill out special paperwork.
You CANNOT include a word that will confuse the public into thinking your LLC is a government unit or entity.
This is regardless if it’s done directly or indirectly.
The list includes (but isn't limited to):
- State Department
- United States
Additionally, you CANNOT include in your LLC’s name something that will mislead others into thinking that your business provides something it does not.
Words that promote illegal activity.
Be sure to research your state's specific laws of naming LLCs.
You asked the question “Does an LLC have to have LLC in the name?”
The answer, basically YES!
Or at least some sort of abbreviation of “LLC”.
Please note: You should NOT use this portion of the site as legal advice.
Instead, it is for informational purposes ONLY.
Be sure to research your state’s rules and regulations for legal information.