Do I Put A Comma Before LLC?
Should you use a comma before LLC in your business name? Short answer: it’s up to you. Naming your business involves plenty of considerations, like branding, following state statutes, and checking domain availability. But technically, it doesn’t require any particular punctuation. You still might want to include punctuation in your business’ official name. Let’s go over all the things you should consider before deciding if you want to put a comma before LLC when naming your business.
How To Name Your Business
Naming your business is one of the first things you’ll need to do when you start an LLC. Federally, there are no restrictions on how or what you name your business, but each state its own rules. The requirements and the process differs from state to state—for example, Alabama requires you to reserve your business name first and New York requires you to publish your LLC name in two newspapers.
While there may be some subtle variations in rules, most states require that your LLC name:
- Be entirely unique in your state or jurisdiction
- Not be misleading about the nature of your business entity or purpose
- Include entity qualifiers like “LLC” or “limited”
Notice anything missing? Yep. No state or U.S. territory requires any particular punctuation for business name registration.
Learn more about how to start a business.
Punctuation in Your LLC Name
Legally speaking, there’s no need to include any particular punctuation. For example, if you own a limited liability company that you want to call Tom’s Trucks, you can have it anyway you want as long as it follows the state’s legal requirements. This includes:
- Tom’s Trucks, LLC
- Tom’s Trucks LLC
- Tom’s Trucks, L.L.C.
- Tom’s Trucks L.L.C
- Tom’s Trucks, limited
- Tom’s Trucks limited
And so on. Using a comma in your LLC’s name is really up to your discretion. Corporations follow the same rule (or lack thereof). Just follow your state’s business naming guidelines and you’ll be good to go, comma or no.
Why Do Some Businesses Use A Comma Before LLC?
Most limited liability companies use a comma before LLC in their business name. There’s no one reason why a business should or should not use a comma (or any punctuation) in their business name. It’s all up to the business owner and what they think will work best for their business.
Familiarity is the most common reason businesses use a comma before LLC in their business’ name. Since most businesses use the comma, clients might think that your business seems more official or authentic by the use of the comma. Tom’s Trucks, LLC is just more visually familiar than Tom’s Truck’s L.L.C. This familiarity could make potential customers view your business as more reputable and trustworthy.
When Does It Matter To Use A Comma Before LLC?
Sometimes, it really matters that you use (or don’t use) a comma before LLC in your business’ name. Specifically, after formation. Whatever you write on your LLC Articles of Organization is the business’ official name. So you need to be consistent in all of your paperwork after that point.
If Tom decides on Tom’s Trucks, LLC and writes that on his Articles of Organization, he’ll need to use the comma every point going forward—including business cards, invoices, and marketing materials. Anything that is written differently could be considered a new business—so if he signs a contract under Tom’s Trucks L.L.C instead, a court could rule the contract void.
Note: Banks tend to be a little less finicky. Usually, a check written to Tom’s Trucks, Tom’s Truck’s LLC, or Tom’s Trucks, LLC, would all be considered fine—but it’s a good idea to check with your bank and have a thorough understanding of their check cashing rules before accepting client payments.