Ultimate Guide To Naming Your Delaware LLC

  • Post category:Delaware

In the State of Delaware, no other LLC or formed entity may use your preferred business name. Because of this, you must conduct a Delaware business entity search before starting the filing procedure.

The General Naming Rules must be followed by LLCs in Delaware. The Delaware Code further specifies that no organization may use “bank” or any variation.

Selecting your business structure is necessary because different naming guidelines apply to different structures. This will affect your name choice. 

Ultimate Guide to Naming your Delaware LLC

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. The easiest way to set up your business so that your personal assets are protected if your company is sued is to form an LLC.

DELAWARE LLC NAMING RULES

  • The term “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.) has to be in the name.
  • Words that could make someone mistake your LLC for a government organization (such as the FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.) cannot be included in your name.
  • The terms Company, Association, Club, Foundation, Fund, Institute, Society, Union, Syndicate, Limited, Public Benefit, or Trust may be included in the name.
  • Unless the business has received state authorization to operate as a bank, the word “bank” or any variation of it cannot appear in your name. However, if the context makes it obvious that the term “bank” does not refer to a banking business or mislead the public about the nature of the business, then any variation of the word can be used. 
  • Your name has to be different from any other company that is currently operating in the state.

SUFFIXES FOR THE DELAWARE LLC

You can end your company name with any of the following suffixes (also called designators):

  • Limited Liability Company
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC
  • Association
  • Company
  • Club
  • Foundation
  • Fund
  • Institute
  • Society
  • Union
  • Syndicate
  • Limited
  • Trust
  • An abbreviation thereof

Although there are many options available to you, it is advised to start with the first three on the list: “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.”, and “LLC.”

The name of your LLC’s manager or member may also appear in your US LLC name.

Terms in foreign languages may be used in the name; however, you must provide an English translation when filing.

Certain terms are restricted and require extra documents. These include terms like “bank” and “college.” 

CREATE A BRAND NAME FOR THE BUSINESS FOR DELAWARE LLC

SELECT A BRANDING STRATEGY

The next important choice is whether your brand will be a part of your legal name or a separate entity.

Most business owners favour using their company’s legal name as their brand.

  • Legal Name: The name that appears on your formation documents is the legal name of your company. 
  • Brand Name: The name you use to market your business is your brand name. Clients see and use it as their name.

Informal businesses, such as general partnerships and sole proprietorships, are almost always required to use their surname(s) as their legal name.

There are Three Main Branding Strategies:

  • The brand name is also the legal name of the company. When you file your formation documents, you will register your legal name if you are forming an LLC or corporation.
  • The company’s brand name is different from its legal name. You must file a DBA if you decide to use a different brand name. 
  • The company uses several brand names in addition to its legal name. You must apply for DBAs if you use more than one brand name.

CONSIDER USING A DBA TO BRAND OR REBRAND YOUR BUSINESS

A trade name is what is used to refer to a DBA (doing business as) in Delaware. You can use a name other than the legal name of your company if you have a Delaware trade name.

You can usually create a DBA name and legally operate under a new name if you aren’t pleased with the name you initially chose or if circumstances change and your original name becomes outdated.

DBA FOR YOUR BUSINESS STRUCTURE

Businesses may choose to operate under a name other than their official name on occasion. Instead of changing their legal name in this situation, which might require more administrative work, many businesses choose to operate under a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or “fictitious name.”

After registering your LLC, you may use a DBA or fictitious name for several purposes. For example, you might think that a different name more accurately describes your goods or services or that it is harder for customers to remember your official US LLC name. Additionally, the DBA saves you from having to rename your LLC to use a different name for a new brand or company that your US LLC launches.

For whatever reason, obtaining a DBA or fictitious name is usually an easy process that involves just checking with current organizations to make sure the desired name or DBA is not already in use, submitting an application to the relevant government agency, and paying a nominal filing fee.

Delaware does not have a state-level DBA filing. As a result, you must register the DBA name reservation for your LLC with the county in which you conduct business. Delaware is divided into three counties: Sussex, Keny, and New Castle.

A DBA application requires a $25 filing fee. You fill out the Application for Registration of Trade, Business, and Fictitious Name Certificate and mail it to your county’s prothonotary office.

BUSINESS NAME SEARCH

Ensuring your company name is unique as a domain name and at the state and federal levels is the last step in naming your company. The Delaware business name database is the primary and most important search place. The requirements for a search can change based on how your company is structured. To find out if the LLC name you want is available, you can search the business name availability database on the Delaware Department of State website.

You must register this name with the Delaware Division of Corporations. Your name will be recognized in Delaware as long as it is different from another business name.

However, a trademark is a property rather than a name. A trademark is any word, tagline, symbol, design, or combination of these that serves to identify and set your business apart from competitors’ brands, products, or services. A trademark is primarily used to prevent consumer confusion by preventing two similar businesses from using the same name or symbol.

You can protect your company’s name or brand by submitting a trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can legally protect your brand name or company name across the United States in the categories of your choice if your trademark registration is accepted. Although most people apply for trademark registration at the federal level, you could also simply apply at the state level.

Reach out to us at Relin Consultants – Leading Global Business Set Up Partners for further assistance.

FAQs

How do I name an LLC in Delaware?

Either “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation LLC, L.L.C. must appear in your Delaware LLC name. If you’d like, you can put a comma before the previous LLC designations and after the name, but most people don’t.

What are the rules for company names in Delaware?

Delaware corporation names must meet the following requirements: (1) it must be available; (2) have a corporate suffix; (3) do not contain restricted words; and (4) not violate any other naming regulations in Delaware. Selecting a name that adheres to these guidelines reduces the possibility of delayed incorporation.

Do I need a trade name for my Delaware LLC?

A trade name, also known as a Delaware DBA, permits your company to conduct business using a name other than its official name. It might be beneficial to use a different name for marketing, running multiple businesses under one roof, protecting your privacy, or just to avoid adding “LLC” to your company name every time you say it.

In Delaware, how do I reserve the name of an LLC?

Name reservations are available via the Delaware Division of Corporations via mail or the Internet. For a charge of $75.00 per name, you can reserve a Corporate, Limited Liability Company, Limited Partnership, Statutory Trust, General Partnership, and Limited Liability Partnership name.