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3 Tips for Choosing a Company Name   

how to choose a company name
Form a Delaware LLC

Choosing a company name can be a daunting task. Since there are certain guidelines you must follow for an incorporated company, it's important that you know how to choose a name for your start-up company. Once you have a name in mind, Harvard Business Services, Inc. can do a free name check for you to see if it is available. Here are three tips for choosing a company name:

Form a Delaware Corporation
Form a Delaware LLC

Keep in mind there are different name regulations for Delaware corporations than for Delaware LLCs. .

What Is Required

The name of your Delaware corporation must contain one of the following corporate endings:

  • Association 
  • Company 
  • Corporation 
  • Club 
  • Foundation 
  • Fund 
  • Incorporated
  • Institute
  • Limited
  • Society
  • Union 
  • Syndicate
  • or abbreviations thereof, with or without punctuation, or words that are recognized corporate endings in other countries.

If the name of your corporation contains words from any language other than English, you must submit an English translation of the name upon filing.

The name of your Delaware LLC must contain one of the following endings:

  • LLC
  • L.L.C.  
  • Limited Liability Company

The name of your Delaware public benefit corporation must contain one of the following endings:

  • Public Benefit Corporation
  • PBC
  • P.B.C.
  • Association 
  • Company 
  • Corporation 
  • Club 
  • Foundation 
  • Fund 
  • Incorporated
  • Institute
  • Limited
  • Society
  • Union 
  • Syndicate
  • or abbreviations thereof, with or without punctuation, or words that are recognized corporate endings in other countries.

What Is Prohibited

Corporations:
Your Delaware corporation's name cannot contain the words "bank," "trust," "university" or "college," unless you get pre-approval from the Delaware Banking Commissioner or the Delaware Secretary of Education.

Your corporation's name cannot contain any words that may, in the judgment of the Delaware Secretary of State, be degrading, vulgar or unacceptable. The Secretary of State has full veto power over any name deemed unacceptable.

Your corporation's name must not be the same as any other company name that is formed or reserved in the state of Delaware. However, even the slightest variation can qualify. If you want to form a corporation using all the words in another company's name, you can simply add a Roman numeral or another word to make your name unique.

Limited Liability Companies:
Your Delaware LLC name must not contain the word "bank" or any variation thereof without prior approval of the Delaware Banking Commissioner. It cannot contain a word that purports to do banking business that might mislead the public, in the judgment of the Secretary of State.

Your LLC name cannot contain any words that may, in the judgment of the Secretary of State, be degrading, vulgar or unacceptable. The Secretary of State has full veto power over any name deemed unacceptable.

Your LLC name must not be the same as any other company name that is formed or reserved in the state of Delaware. However, even the slightest variation can qualify. If you want to form an LLC using all the words in another company's name, you can simply add a Roman numeral or another word to make your name unique.

What Is Wise

For Both LLCs and Corporations:
Choosing a company name when starting an LLC or corporation can be a time-consuming and difficult task. There are many things you have to think about because, when you select the name for your company, you create the foundation of your brand identity. You should consider how your company name will look, not only in print but also on a logo, on a sign, on business cards and on social media. Consider what the name evokes or implies; you want it to be professional but also meaningful to your potential customers/clients. Are you communicating the correct philosophy, culture or message to your target audience?

Before you finalize your company name, make sure you can buy the domain name as well; if your company name and your website URL don't match, you could have problems marketing your brand. Your URL address should be as close to your company name as possible, so your customers can easily find you online.

Once you decide on your company's name, Harvard Busines Services, Inc. can complete a free Delaware name check for you to make sure it is available.

Form a Delaware Company
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Disclaimer: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is a document filing service that provides general information. We cannot render legal or financial advice and your use of this site is subject to additional terms and conditions. HBS is not affiliated with Harvard University.

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