DC 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 adhere to the guidelines. The great thing is DC’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 an LLC in DC or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.

How to Name an LLC in DC

Time needed: 5 minutes.

There are guidelines to follow in doing a DC LLC name search. 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 DC’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 $50 filing fee (plus tax for online).

    File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of DC. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations Division, PO Box 92300, Washington, DC 20090.

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 DC LLC Online Name Search

As a part of the registration process, it is important to have a suitable name for your LLC in accordance with the guidelines of the State. When you are selecting a name for your LLC, you need to search on the DC State website if the chosen name is unique and available for registration or not. Look at the following points and know about them.

Register your Account

Visit the official page of the District of Columbia Secretary of State. Register your account on the DCRA CorpOnline Web Portal by selecting the “sign-up” option. Or click on “Sign-in with Access DC” if you have already registered your account with DC.gov.

After clicking on the “Sign-up” option, the page for registration of your account will look like this. Fill in your details for user registration such as your name and address and confirm your username and password and submit the form.

Enter the name

After you navigate to the search page, type your proposed name in the “Inquiry” box. You can also choose among the different available filters and conduct a broad search or narrow down your search entry by applying filters by choosing radio buttons.

Perform the Search

Search the availability of the chosen name on the website. If the proposed business name is already in use, the page will display the relevant details of the competing business. Upon performing any name search on the given page, a list of entities with the relevant name, their file number, effective date, status, locale, and qualifier shall pop up on the screen. Conduct thorough research of the name by using the provided filters such as entity name, business ID, etc. before filing it with the Authorities.

You can also visit the D.C. Trademark records or the USPTO’s Federal Electronic Records to search if your business name is already in use by some other trademark slogans or logos in the DC.

After selecting a name, you can file an application for reservation of your LLC Name for 120 days with the DCRA.

How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in District of Columbia

To reserve an LLC name in District of Columbia you need to submit a name reservation request form to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $50.

Before you form an LLC, you may be wondering how to reserve an LLC name in District of Columbia. If so, this article will teach you how. You can also file a name reservation application with the Secretary of State. The application is easy to fill out, and the filing fee is not expensive. The name reservation is valid for 120 days, so there’s no need to worry if it’s taken.

When naming your LLC, you want to choose a unique and catchy name. To find out whether your chosen name is available, you can search online databases and other records to make sure it’s not already registered. The official website of the District of Columbia has an online database of business entities. Once you have your business name, you can go to the D.C. government’s website and look it up.

The name you choose must be different from any other business entity in District of Columbia. It must not contain words or phrases that are restricted in DC. For example, the word “bank” is not permitted in an LLC’s name. If your name is already registered as a corporation in the District, you must file a separate application for an LLC name. In addition, you should check the database of business entities on DCRA’s website for any similar names.

The DCRA’s CorpOnline portal can also be used to search for business names. You must first create an account with DCRA in order to search the name and file all the paperwork to form an LLC. Additionally, if someone else has already registered a business name in DC, you must get their consent to use it. This is a hassle, but it’s not impossible. You can even obtain consent to use the name in question.

After you have a registered agent, you need to fill out Articles of Organization, which are the official documents that create an LLC. These documents must be filled out correctly and are public records. You should also choose a business name that includes the LLC indicator. Finally, you should choose a registered agent with a DC street address. If you have more questions, contact a registered agent. After all, it is better to have an agent than no agent at all.

After determining the name for your LLC, you should file your Articles of Organization in District of Columbia. The Articles of Organization, a document filed with the DC Corporations Division, is necessary to incorporate the business. You can submit the form online, by mail, or in person. You must then file an LLC name registration application with the DC Corporations Division. For the most complete information about LLC registration and licensing, visit the DC Corporations Division.

Once you’ve reserved your LLC name, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization for a Domestic Limited Liability Company, or DLC-1, in the District of Columbia. The filing fee is $220 and you can file your LLC name online, mail it in, or file it through a service. Once you’ve chosen your name, you can continue the process to fill out the rest of the documents and pay the fees.


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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