Q: I couldn’t use the word “institute” in the name of an LLC in another state. Does Delaware have the same restriction on the word “institute”?
Thanks to a client looking to open LLCs in multiple states for this question! Delaware does not restrict the use of the “institute” in LLC names. LLC naming requirements vary from state to state, and it’s essential to verify these rules before filing your LLC formation paperwork. Having your filing rejected for violating the rules is frustrating and wastes time. In this blog, we’ll review Delaware LLC naming requirements.
Delaware LLC Name Requirements
While there are some general guidelines for naming your LLC that apply across the board, you can find specific rules for naming a Delaware LLC in Delaware’s state statutes. Del Code tit. 6 § 18.102 lays out what must, can, and cannot be included in your Delaware LLC’s name.
Your Delaware LLC’s name must:
- Include one of the following identifiers:
- Limited Liability Company
- Be distinguishable from every other business entity name on record with the state
Your Delaware LLC’s name can:
- Contain the name of a member or manager
- Contain any of the following words (including abbreviations thereof):
- Public benefit
Your Delaware LLC’s name cannot:
- Contain the word “bank” or any variation of the word “bank” unless the LLC reports to and is under the supervision of the State Bank Commissioner of Delaware or is a subsidiary of a bank or savings association
Wondering how to use “LLC” in your name? Read Do I Put a Comma Before LLC? to find out more.
How to Check Name Availability
Because your LLC name must be distinguishable from other business names registered with the state, you’ll want to ensure that your desired name is available before submitting your Delaware Certificate of Formation. This will prevent your filing from being rejected.
To verify that your desired name is free, you can use the state of Delaware’s Name Availability Search.
Be sure to search for your exact desired business name as well as names that are very similar. In some states, adding a word like “the” or changing a word form does not make a name unique. For example, “Cake Queen” and “The Cake Queen” may not be considered distinguishable on the records. Delaware state statutes do not specify what makes a business name distinguishable from all other business names, so if you are unsure, contact the Delaware Division of Corporations.
Is there ANY way to use the same name as another business in Delaware?
Yes. According to Del Code tit. 6 § 18.102, you can use the name of another business entity if you get written consent from that business and file your written consent with the Secretary of State.
How to Reserve a Delaware LLC Name
If you know what name you’d like to use but aren’t ready to file your formation paperwork, you can reserve a name by submitting an Application for Reservation of Limited Liability Company Name with the Division of Corporations. Reserving a name costs $75 and last 120 days. You can renew your reservation for an additional 120 days by filing an Application for Re-Reservation of Limited Liability Company Name, which also costs $75.