Does an LLC Have to Have LLC in the Name?

December 24, 2021

Does an LLC Have to Have LLC in the Name?

You’re about to read a complete guide to naming your LLC. We have collected the most accurate information on this topic. Continue reading to learn the solutions to common questions.

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find on this page:

  • Does an LLC have to have LLC in the name?
  • Are there alternatives?
  • Do I have to put LLC on everything?
  • Does LLC have to be in your logo?
  • Should you put LLC on your business card?
  • What happens if you fail to use your full LLC name?

Let’s dive right in.

Key Takeaways on Whether an LLC Needs to Have LLC in the Name:

  1. Requirement for 'LLC' in Business Name: Most states require the inclusion of 'LLC' or a variation (such as 'Limited Liability Co.', 'Ltd.', 'L.C.', etc.) in the official legal name of an LLC. This is to indicate the business's status as an LLC.
  2. State-Specific Naming Rules: The specific rules and allowed abbreviations for 'LLC' can vary by state. It's important to check with state laws for precise naming requirements.
  3. Business Name Availability: States maintain records of business names, and no two businesses can have the same name. It's necessary to check the availability of your desired business name before filing.
  4. 'LLC' in Business Logo: There is no definitive answer as to whether 'LLC' needs to be included in a business logo. Some legal experts suggest including it to clarify the company's legal status, while others argue it's not necessary as a logo is more about branding than legal representation.
  5. 'LLC' on Business Cards: It's recommended to include the full legal name of the business, including 'LLC', somewhere on the business card. This helps in avoiding confusion about the legitimacy of the business.
  6. Consequences of Not Using Full LLC Name: Failing to use the full LLC name in business operations can put the liability protection of the LLC at risk. It may lead to personal responsibility for debts or liabilities if a court finds that the business did not operate as an LLC.
  7. LLC Naming Rules:
  8. Businesses like insurance companies and banks cannot form LLCs, and certain words related to these industries may be restricted in LLC names.
  9. LLC names should not imply government affiliation.
  10. Misleading names or names suggesting illegal activities are prohibited.
  11. Each state has specific laws regarding the naming of LLCs.

These takeaways provide guidance on the legal requirements and considerations for naming an LLC, emphasizing the importance of adhering to state-specific rules and the potential implications of business naming choices.

Register Your LLC - Company Registration


If you’re asking this question, you’ve probably decided to form an LLC and the next step in the process is to name your business. For this reason, you ask the question “Does an LLC have to have LLC in the name?” The short answer? You need some sort of variation of “LLC” in your business name.

Whether it is an abbreviation (LLC) or fully spelled out (Limited Liability Company), you need this in your business name, legally. We regret being the ones to tell you that naming your business may not be as easy as naming your pet hamster. There are a few legal requirements that you must follow when naming your business.

Does 'LLC' Need To Be In The Name?Your state’s law decides what options you have when creating your LLC. The rules may be different depending on the state. Most states though require some terminology form of ‘Limited Liability Company’ in its name.

Many states allow:

  • LLC
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Limited
  • Co.
  • Ltd.
  • L.C.
  • L.L.C.
  • LC

For you to use in your LLC’s official legal name. This will show that your business has an LLC status. Be sure to check your state’s laws for more specific rules for naming your LLC.

Please be advised

All states keep records of all the business names. 2 businesses cannot share the same name. For that reason, there are ways to check if your preferred name is available to use.

Let’s check out Ohio: Let’s say you wanted to name your LLC “Target”.

does an llc have to have llc in the name

You may be disappointed but…

does an llc have to have llc in the name

It’s already taken!!

Let’s try another name – Bryan Bakery Batch.

does an llc have to have llc in the name

And to your delight…

does an llc have to have llc in the name

Your name is available to you for use!!

Do I Have To Put 'LLC' On Everything?

It would be IMPOSSIBLE for us to put a number to how many times you ask us “Do I have to put LLC on everything?”

You want to know:

  • Do you have to put LLC on your logo?
  • Do you have to put LLC on business cards?

Let’s talk about them one-by-one.

Does 'LLC' have to be in your logo?

After a WHOLE bunch of research, we came out with the best answer possible; NOBODY KNOWS!

There are attorneys that say you do need to include LLC in your logo. However, there are attorneys who believe that using LLC in your logo is NOT necessary. The attorneys who believe that you NEED to include LLC in your logo understand as follows:

You should not leave any doubt for the consumers to figure out if your company is an LLC or not. For that reason, you should include LLC in your logo.

On the other hand, we mentioned that there are attorneys who believe that it is NOT necessary to add LLC to your business logo.

They believe as follows:

A logo is only an extension of your business’s trade name. It is not a direct representation of your business. For this reason, you do NOT need to add LLC to your logo. What we think it really boils down to, is whether or not your logo is a legal representation or not. If that’s the case, then in most situations your logo is NOT a legal representation of your business.

Instead, a logo is a BRANDING representation of your company. Branding departments do not need legal recognition. For this reason, we do NOT recommend you to include LLC in your logo. In fact, including LLC in your logo could even be BAD for you. It may ruin the imagery of your logo, in terms of its design.  

This is the case for branding purposes.

HOWEVER, this does NOT apply to invoices, contracts, leases, legal records, tax returns, letterhead, or any legal documentation.


Should you put ‘LLC’ on your business card?

Whether or not you should put LLC on your business card is dependentant on whether or not it is for branding purposes or for legal documentation. For this reason, many legal experts suggest including your business’s full legal name somewhere on the business card. If you do this, then you do not need to incorporate LLC in your business card’s logo. By doing this, you will refrain from any chance of confusing people in regard to your business being legit.

Failure To Use Full LLC Name

We get it. Sometimes you may not want to use ‘LLC’ in your business name. This is not a choice worth making. It may put your LLC in DANGER. A judge may use this to show that your business did NOT operate as an LLC. If this happens, the members of your LLC may be personally responsible for any debts or liabilities. This would be a HUGE bummer.

The entire purpose of you making your business an LLC was to protect your personal possessions. Be sure you do research to make sure that your business name follows your state’s laws.

LLC Naming Rules: 5 Things To Consider

Rule #1

According to the IRS, certain types of businesses CANNOT form LLCs.

The following:

  • Insurances
  • Banks

Are examples of businesses that cannot incorporate LLCs. For this reason, there are some states that made it illegal to use the word “bank” or “insurance” when naming an LLC. Special exceptions might be granted if you fill out special paperwork.

Rule #2

You CANNOT include a word that will confuse the public into thinking your LLC is a government unit or entity. This is regardless if it’s done directly or indirectly. The list includes (but isn’t limited to): FBITreasury State DepartmentUnited StatesCity Borough

Rule #3

Additionally, you CANNOT include in your LLC’s name something that will mislead others into thinking that your business provides something it does not.

Rule #4

Words that promote illegal activity.

Rule #5

Be sure to research your state’s specific laws of naming LLCs.


You asked the question “Does an LLC have to have LLC in the name?” The answer, basically YES! Or at least some sort of abbreviation of “LLC”. Please note: you should NOT use this portion of the site as legal advice. Instead it is for informational purposes ONLY. Be sure to research your state’s rules and regulations for legal information.