There are different business structures in Illinois you may choose to form your new company. Perhaps you are considering a limited liability company or an LLC. If an LLC suits your priorities, you should think about what to name your new business. There are legal requirements that dictate what you can and cannot call an LLC.
The Illinois Secretary of State website describes some guidelines that any prospective LLC owner should know about before selecting a business name.
Choose a distinguishable name
Before you pick an LLC name, you should research other LLCs in the state to make sure you do not accidentally choose a name another business is using. The public should not confuse your name with that of another LLC. Looking through the records from the state Secretary of State office is a good place to verify the availability of a name.
You may have heard that an LLC has dissolved, so the name may be available. However, the state does not permit another business to use a dissolved LLC name until three years have passed since the dissolved business issued its notice of dissolution. If you have a question about availability, the Secretary of State office has the power to make a final determination about whether you can use the name.
Terms your name must contain
State law also mandates that your name must contain certain terms or words so that the public knows your business is an LLC. All you have to do is come with the name of your business and then add the words “Limited Liability Company” at the end. You may also choose the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
Terms your name cannot contain
Be aware that there are some words and terms your LLC name cannot have. This is to ensure that no one will confuse your LLC for a different business type. Your business cannot have the phrase “Limited Partnership” because it is not a limited partnership. Similarly, it cannot contain the terms “Corporation” or “Incorporated.” You also cannot use abbreviations of these terms.
The time you devote to researching an available and legal name may save you some legal trouble from picking the wrong name. This information may help you get off to a good start.