Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is Washington State’s Secretary of State page includes a name availability checker. Check out LLC Name Search to learn more.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
How to Name an LLC in Washington State
Time needed: 5 minutes.
There are guidelines to follow in doing a Washington State 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.
- Check Name Availability
Search the Business Entity Records in Washington State’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.
- 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.
- 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 $30 filing fee (plus tax for online).
File your Certificate of Formation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Washington State. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to Secretary of State Corporation Division 801 Capitol Way S P.O. Box 40234 Olympia, Washington 98504-0234.
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 Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Washington
First, you need to determine whether the name you want is already taken. You can perform a business name search on the Secretary of State website, hand deliver your application in Olympia, and pay $5 to reserve the name you want. It’s best to reserve your name early, so that your business can get the best possible name. Once you have decided on a company’s corporate identity, you’ll need to decide on its business name.
The first step in reserving an LLC name in Washington is to fill out the form for incorporation. The documents you need to complete and file in this state include the business name and a registered agent. The registered agent is required to be a resident of the state. You must provide the address of a registered agent in order to register your LLC in Washington. The registered office of your company will be responsible for maintaining the company’s records and filing all legal paperwork.
Once you have decided on a name, you’ll need to pay $30 to reserve the name in the state’s database. You’ll need to pay the fee before the Washington Secretary of State holds onto the name. You’ll have 180 days to use the name before it’s available to someone else. You can also request an expedited service, which may require additional paperwork. It’s best to pay the fee upfront, so that you can be sure your business will be legal.
A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.
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.
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.