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hello and welcome i'm attorney thomas burton and today i'm going to show you how to see if your llc name is available now an llc also known as limited liability company is a great entity for many business owners forming a small business in their state i am an estate planning and business attorney licensed in wisconsin so i'm going to show you the process to see if your name is available in wisconsin but there is a process from what i am aware in almost all the states where you can form an llc all 50 states to search to see if the name is available before you file your application to form your llc so in wisconsin the department that handles these is the wisconsin department of financial institutions in many states it's the secretary of state's office so if you're looking for the government agency that handles llc's in your state i would google llc formation and the name of your state you could possibly put in secretary of state or also corporate name registry in your state but you want to go to the actual government website because that's where in wisconsin you can search for free and i believe most states now have moved to the online uh registration system so here on wdfi.org go to i want to search on the top left and then corporate records and you'll see that takes us right here to the search corporate records database and here you can search the legal entity name the date the entity type registered agent but you'll see right below it here in purple's name availability well it's purple for me it might be blue for you but if you just want to search the corporate records for the name availability this is the place to do it so let's go ahead and do a search here and i always suggest if you're working with your attorney or anyone else that you have three names in mind maybe your primary name and then a couple backups so i've done this before but badger best painting let's see if that's available in wisconsin and you can see it says no records appear to conflict with the name you entered although there appears to be no conflict final determination cannot be guaranteed so that exact phrase appears to be available but if you've watched some of my add your painting without the badge your best is already in use you see 2014 badger painting llc was formed in wisconsin and it's in appleton so you can't use badger painting and i'll just do one more example here in wisconsin the badger state badger is popular so if you search for bad day you can also see the badger company has already been taken but a less popular name like let's say john smith anything dad smith is popular but there appears to be no one no entity named john smith painting llc now that's the name you might want to go back to this or go to this advanced search where you can search by not just the exact phrase but using all of the words so you know before you are certain the name is available do some different searches like that one i just did there using all of the words that would be helpful because you can see what's out there for badger painting if you're considering using this name we've got a badger painting llc a badger painting comma llc but that was dissolved in 2017 badger custom painting badge of painting contractors badger state painting so that would give you an idea of if i'm looking to form my entity and call it badger painting what's out there because part of this is thinking about competitors as well if you're near any of these businesses like boomerang badger painting is in madison uh you might be advertising in their market and just not want a google search for their website to go uh someone searching for you to go to their website vice versa likelihood of confusion so think about that with your branding so part of this is legal what can you actually name the company and you can only name it a company that isn't in use now some of these that have been dissolved it's possible the department now would give you that name but just the caution i would consider whether you want a name some companies have bad publicity associated with them and so if it was recently dissolved like 2019 they might be gonna reinstate it by filing the fees or you know it could have on the internet some negative connotations and you don't want that associated with your new business if that's not really you so that's one example let's just try one more wisconsin painting here another popular name in wisconsin so you can see all the versions of wisconsin painting wisconsin's painting here someone has it in 2019 and there's different versions here bulldog central wisconsin so you can look through these and decide what you want to name yours now this is just using a popular name you can be creative and think out of the box when coming up with your name and that's how many great brands came up with their name and always can add words so you know you can do north west wisconsin painting especially if you're a regional basis and that looks available similarly badger painting might be taken but you could do northwest bad days so think about your brand where you want to operate things like that now in terms of the llc you don't have to name it if it's for a different type of entity and it you want it to be private not have anything to do with your brand you can just name it whatever you want you know you can name it bucky well that's a brand but let's say there's some uh your cabin is on forest road and you want to use that as the llc so look here's forest lake road so you can't use that but forest road llc might be available it looks like from this because if we just go back to the exact phrase there's no results so in general i wanted to show you how do you get to it and again i'll just run through from the home page here go to i want to search corporate records and then name availability to see if the name you're thinking about is available and if you're working with an attorney they'll run this search for you but before you meet with them it's a good idea to have your list down to top two or three names that you think would work and give it to them even if you did your search online and such and let them run a search as well make sure it appears to be available and then the final decision is up to the department of financial institutions when they examine your application your articles of organization you're proposing to file to determine if it's available but it's a lot better to just pick a name that's available before you submit and submit the articles using a name already in use as i showed you because then the department just has to inform you it's not available based on those grounds so i hope this video has been helpful to you as you think about forming your own llc if it has consider giving it a like and subscribing to the channel so more people can see and benefit from this information as well thanks for tuning in and we'll see you next time
Thanks for your comment Cleo Pollack, have a nice day.
- Edgar Stare, Staff Member
the following information is provided for educational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal tax or financial advice for legal tax or financial advice specific to your business needs we encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney and/or CPA in your state the following information is copyright protected no part may be redistributed copied modified or adapted without prior written consent of the author in this video we are going to teach you how to research and choose your desired LLC name the purpose of this video is to help you avoid infringing upon someone else's name rights to help you differentiate your business name from existing entities and to make sure your desired LLC name is available for use in order to make sure your desired LLC name is available for use you will need to search it against the existing organized entities on the state's online database we will first walk you through some requirements and restrictions and then later we will show you how to perform your search name requirements your LLC name must end with the words limited liability company or the abbreviations LDL dot c dot or LLC using the abbreviation LLC is the most common for example Joe wants to start a company by the name Joe's landscaping services since he is formed an LLC he must file under the name Joe's landscaping services LLC again using the abbreviation LLC or the full word limited liability company is a requirement when forming an LLC name restrictions your LLC name cannot imply that it is a corporation you are not allowed to use the words corporation or incorporated or the abbreviations Corp or Inc anywhere in your LLC name let's look at our example again since Joe wants to form an LLC he cannot call his company Joe's landscaping services Inc LLC or Joe's landscaping services incorporated LLC your desired LLC name must also be distinguishable this means it cannot be too similar to the names of existing organized entities that are found in the results during the search of the database we will now illustrate several examples of distinguishability and we will provide examples you may see while performing your search differences in designators which are the identifiers x' at the end of a business name do not create distinguishability examples of designators would be ink or corp for corporations and LLC or LLC dot for limited liability companies there are other designators as well but these are the most commonly used for example your desired LLC name is Smith Investments LLC but during the search of the database let's say you found the business under the name Smith investments Inc in this example your desired LLC name would not be available for use you would have to think of an alternative name that is unique and different an example would be Smith Financial Group LLC grammatical differences the following do not create distinguishability differences in variables and singular plural and possessive forms of a word for example your desired LLC name is apple farm LLC let's just say during the search you found the business under the name apple farms LLC or let's say you also found a business under apples farm LLC with an apostrophe s both of these names although slightly different are too similar and therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use an example of an alternative name would be bob's apple orchard LLC the following do not create distinguishability differences in articles such as a and or the for example your desired LLC name is print shop LLC let's just say that during the search of the database you found a business called the print shop LLC or you found the business called a print shop LLC again although they seem different these names are all the same in the eyes of the state and therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use an alternative name would be printing solutions LLC the following also do not create distinguishability the use of conjunctions such as and or and the ampersand symbol let's say your desired LLC name is night and day LLC with the ampersand symbol but during your search you find a night and day LLC or you found at night day LLC again both of these examples are too similar and your desired LLC name is not distinguishable and therefore not available for use an example of an alternative name would be moon and sunshine LLC the following also do not create distinguishability the use of certain punctuation such as hyphens slashes periods commas etc let's say your desired LLC name is peter paul and mary studios LLC but during your search you found Peter - Paul - Mary Studios Incorporated or you found a Peter comma Paul comma and Mary studios Incorporated again both of these examples are too similar and therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use an alternative example would be ppm productions LLC alphanumeric differences in numerical or written numbers does not create distinguished ability for example let's say your desired LLC name is three teachers Consulting LLC with the number three spelled out but during your search of the database you found the company called three teachers Consulting LLC with the number three again these are deceptively similar the state does not look at these as any different and therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use an alternative example would be a few good teachers Consulting LLC deceptively similar names that are too similar to existing organized entities also do not create distinguished ability for example your desired LLC name is speedy delivery services LLC but during your search let's say you find a speed delivery services LLC or you find a super speedy delivery services LLC again these names are too similar therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use an example of an alternative would be at your door quick LLC takeaways as you can see just filing your paperwork with your desired LLC name is not as straightforward as you may have originally thought the most important takeaways from showing you all these examples are as follows it's important to make sure your name is truly unique and not too similar to the names of existing organized entities if your desired LLC name is unavailable for use either by its exact match already being used or by it being too similar to an existing name we recommend using some creativity and coming up with the variation of your original LLC name so that the name is now unique and is distinguishable and stands apart from other businesses some additional tips to think of when creating your LLC name are make your LLC name easy to spell you want to make sure people can find you when they're looking for you make your LLC name short shorter names are easier for people to remember make your LLC name have a positive connotation leave people with a good feeling when they hear about your business you are now ready to search your desired LLC name against the state's online database we showed you a number of examples where the desired LLC names were not available for use but don't worry in the next part of this video we will provide plenty of examples of names that are avai
Thanks Giuseppe your participation is very much appreciated
- Edgar Stare
About the author
I've studied spirituality at Westminster College, Pennsylvania in New Wilmington and I am an expert in brazilian history. I usually feel grumpy. My previous job was private nurse I held this position for 2 years, I love talking about decorating and investing. Huge fan of Danny Thomas I practice rock climbing and collect ephemera.
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