Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is Maryland’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 Maryland or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
How to Name an LLC in Maryland
Time needed: 5 minutes.
There are guidelines to follow in doing a Maryland 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 Maryland’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 $25 filing fee (plus tax for online).
File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Maryland. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Department of Assessments and Taxation, 301 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.
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 Maryland LLC Online Name Search
As a part of the LLC registration and establishment procedure, it is important to have a suitable name for your LLC in accordance with the requirements of the State. While selecting the name for your LLC, you also need to run a check to see whether the proposed name is available for registration in the State or not. The name of your LLC should be unique and in compliance with the naming guidelines of the State of Maryland.
Before you establish your LLC in Maryland, you must know if the proposed name of your LLC is unique and available to use. You can check and file the LLC name online. Here’s how to do that.
Access the Business Entity Search Tool of the State of Maryland
The State of Maryland provides a Business Entity Search Tool to assist you in deciding the uniqueness of your proposed business name. This tool is very helpful in deciding whether the proposed business name is available for usage in the State or not. Keep a list of backup names ready, so you can select the final name in a few attempts.
Run the Search
After you navigate to the search page, you will find two different types of search filters that you can execute to find a relevant name for your business. You can perform the search either by the “Business Name”, or “Department ID”.
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 business using the same name. You may exclude identifiers such as “LLC” while running the search to gain wider search results from every form of business structure in Maryland. Conduct thorough research of the name by using the provided filters before filing it with the Authorities.
If you are also planning to take your business online by setting up a website, you should also check if a similar domain name is available or not for your business.
If you also wish to use a Trademark for the distinct identity of your business in the State, you can run a trademark search on the Trademark Database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see whether the chosen name is already in use by any other business entity.
How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Maryland
To reserve an LLC name in Maryland you need to submit a name reservation request form to the Maryland Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $25. It can be expedited by paying an additional amount.
When starting a business in Maryland, one of the first crucial steps is to select an appropriate name for your business that effectively represents your brand and the value it provides. Naming an LLC in Maryland can be a tricky process; one must comply with state regulations while still selecting a unique name. Many entrepreneurs find it daunting to navigate this process, but it’s essential to ensure the name you choose is in no way infringing upon any copyright or trademark litigation and does not conflict with any active business entity.
The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website hosts a streamlined process that outlines the steps for LLC naming, reservation, and registration. This site will be one of the most reliable sources of data that an entrepreneur could consult when they decide it is time to protect their proposed LLC name.
The first concrete step is checking with Maryland’s current listing of business entity names in the system. This quick search will determine if any semblance of a proposed name already exists in use. Businesses should refrain from using names that are similar to these listed entities to avoid misleading consumers and infringing upon existing Intellectual Property, which will earn accusations of legal conflict and damaged reputations. The search function is a crucial avenue considered before ever beginning the process of trying to reserve the name.
Once you have determined that your name is unique, it becomes time to secure your business entity’s brand positioning by filing the right form with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. It is the Registered Agent who proposes the reserved name under Form 1- by sending a reservation request with payment to the Department of Assessment’s expedited service, stating the vendor’s primary name. Taking this stratagem will consent to legally claim and lock down the unique LLC name you would like once the department certifies it. As per state requirements, Maryland officials hold the completion of this process invalid for at least 60 days after receipt.
Since LLC names last for an extended period, it is essential to choose a unique LLC name that has significant appeal to your brand. Entrepreneurs can also modify the reserved LLC name. This option, also accessed on the same site mentioned earlier by submitting form 1, enables the option to make and define a modified version of the business name, which retains enough flexibility to supports business transactions. Adjustments largely attempt to eliminate relative conflicts with keywords that could be proving infringing in situations that should be avoided with a distant shot.
Maryland implemented versatile data technology where discoveries about a suggested LLC or business stance are open in bulk scenarios for general public browsing together with line searching potential. Whenever in doubt about naming criteria or more details than the regular documentation process, numerous aids can typically be obtained via Department resources. It’s crucial not to stress about putting this matter to bed, as conducting the related procedures within a decent time frame (albeit via forms submitted electronically) can go a long way to preserving hard-won branding within your target markets.
Naming your LLC in Maryland may seem like a hassle in the beginning, but not conducting due diligence in this domain can affect your business’ future viability negatively. With Maryland’s stringent legal requirements for naming an LLC, it is of uttermost importance to abide by the accurate submission steps and guidelines mentioned when filing to ensure your reserve bid does not stay strangled upon your application’s submission. Fill in the requisite paperwork accurately, thoroughly, and comply fast to get things moving. Remember, once your LLC name is booked, you can’t make any changes to it that apply to eligibility so tread carefully and thoroughly plan every move.
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.
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