California LLC Name Search – How to Name Your LLC

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Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is California’s Secretary of State page includes a name availability checker. Check out LLC Name Search to learn more.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning more about starting a California LLC or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.

How to Name an LLC in California

Time needed: 10 minutes.

There are guidelines to follow in forming an LLC. To learn more, check out LLC Naming Guidelines or read Foreign LLC Application for Registration if you’re planning to register a foreign LLC.

  1. Check Name Availability

    Search the Business Entity Records in California’s Official Secretary of State page to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your trademark, business, or domain name on any search engine to generate businesses with similar names and to ensure your trademark is unique and meets the state’s requirements.

    Check out How to File a DBA to learn more about registering a DBA or trademark. For social media pages, use Social Searcher to avoid using similar page names.

  2. Check Domain Availability

    If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name using Namecheap, Google Workspace, or other domain name sites. So customers can easily find your business over the Internet. Use the Kinsta app to manage your domains efficiently.

  3. File Name Reservation

    A Name Reservation Certificate is required along with a Certificate of Formation. You can reserve a name online, by mail, or in-person with a $10 filing fee (plus tax for online).

    File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of California. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to Secretary of State Business Services P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, California 36103-5616.

Guidelines to Follow in Naming LLC

  •  Use a business name with the abbreviation “LLC” or the phrase “Limited Liability Company.” 
  • Your decided business name must not coincide with any existing government entity. Otherwise, you might have to face legal lawsuits when filing your LLC.
  • Use the LLC name availability checker to ensure your business name is unique.
  • Get a license first if you plan on using restricted words to avoid any complications.

Note that you must put adequate effort into naming your LLC because this name will be with your business for a long time. Making your LLC name unique is vital as it would prevent people from confusing your business with others, not to mention it would be easier for them to recall your business, products, or services.

How To Do a California Name Search Online

LLC name is one crucial part of forming an LLC in California. To continue with the name you have decided for your LLC, you need to go to the Business Entity Search website to check for the business name availability.

There are three ways you can search for business entity names online while forming a California LLC. Here are the following ways,

Search by Corporation Name

The first option you will get is to Search by “Corporation Name”. In here, enter the corporation name you are looking for in the ‘Search Criteria’ box. You can select the ‘Exact’ option or ‘Keyword’ to find that particular name in California. Hit the ‘Search’ button to get the list of Entities with the same/similar names in California. 

California Name Search 1

Search by LP/LLC Name

The next option to search business name is ‘LP/LLC Name’ search. Enter the LLC name you are searching for in the box given and hit the search button to get the list of entities with the same/similar names in the state. Like Corporation Name search, you can select whether to search by ‘Exact’ name, ‘Keyword’ or ‘Begin with’ the name you are looking for.

California Name Search 2

Search by Entity Number

Entity number is the unique identification number given to the formed entity in California. It is an alpha-numeric 8-digit number starting with the letter ‘C’. To search by Entity Number, you have to enter the exact number to search. 

California Name Search 3

In these three ways, one can go for Business Entity Search in California. Once the name search is done, you can register your LLC name in California by getting the Name Reservation Request Form. 

How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in California

To reserve an LLC name in California you need to submit a name reservation request form to the California Secretary State by mail, in person or online by paying a filing fee of $10.

Choosing a unique business name is one of the most important steps you can take to form a California LLC. The name you choose for your business should not be similar to any existing business in California or infringe on any trademarks. It is also important that your business name is easy to remember. Naming your business can be an easy and inexpensive process. The California Secretary of State website has a free online tool that will help you find available business names in California. You can also request a business name reservation.

Business name reservation in California is an easy way to make sure that your business name is not taken. You can reserve your business name for up to 60 days before you register it with the Secretary of State. This process can be done in person, over the telephone, or online. When you have reserved your business name, you will be able to use it exclusively until you file your Articles of Organization. This process will also allow you to prevent other companies from registering the same name. However, you will not be able to renew the reservation if there are other businesses in California that have reserved the same name.

In addition to reserving your business name, you can also use the California Secretary of State’s online business search database to see if there are any existing business names that are similar to yours. However, you should not rely on this database to ensure that your business name is unique. This is because the California Secretary of State only checks business names against entities that are registered with the California Secretary of State. Therefore, you will need to do a trademark search to ensure that the business name you choose is unique. You will also need to limit the use of the name to bank accounts and legal documents.

In order to reserve a business name in California, you will need to submit a Name Reservation Request Form to the California Secretary of State. You can get this form online or from the Secretary of State’s office. A $10 filing fee is also required for reserving a business name in California. The form can be delivered in person, or it can be mailed to the Secretary of State. You can also use the California Secretary of State’s Prepay Priority Telephone Service to file a business name reservation by phone.

The California Secretary of State’s business programs page offers a free AI-powered LLC Name Generator to help you choose the perfect name for your business. Once you have decided on a name, you can then request a business name reservation from the California Secretary of State. The form is easy to fill out and the filing fee is affordable. You will then have 60 days to file your business formation documents with the California Secretary of State.

California state law governing naming business entities is very clear. However, there are also specific rules that apply to LLCs. For example, if your business name contains a restricted word, you will need to obtain a license from the California Secretary of State.


What is a Trade Name?

A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.

Is having a domain name necessary?

Having a domain isn’t necessary, but it is recommended. If you have a domain name, customers will find you more accessible through online means with your online website.

What if my name is unavailable?

For domestic LLC, you can simply brainstorm for another name if the one you pick is no longer available. For foreign LLC, you must think up a “fictitious name,” which you’ll use only in the state.

In Conclusion

LLC names are important as it is the main identity of your business. While naming your LLC make sure to choose the one that suits the nature of your business. Follow the naming guidelines before you start filing your LLC name

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