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You’ve made the big decision to form a new Delaware company. As the excitement of the company formation process begins, you have several important decisions to make. One of the most important, in addition to choosing which entity type to form is determining your company name.
Clients ask us all the time, what should my company name be? Or how should my corporate ending appear in my company name?
When selecting your company name, you’re creating the foundation of your brand identity. You’ll want to consider many factors, including how your company name will appear on documents, on a logo and on other business materials. You’ll need to clarify the message you want to convey and the audiences you want to reach.
When deciding what company name is best for your brand, know that the Delaware Secretary of State requires that a company name include a Corporate ending.
Below, we have listed corporate endings that the state accepts for an LLC and Corporation:
For an LLC:
For a Corporation:
While options for corporate endings for LLCs are somewhat limited, the most popular corporate ending is ‘LLC.’ If you are forming a Non-Profit Corporation, you may be interested to know that many end with ‘Club’ or ‘Foundation.’ Sometimes, clients who form non-profit corporations do not want their company ending to appear too ‘corporate,’ and prefer that their company have a more fraternal or purposeful appearance. If you are forming a for-profit corporation, the most popular corporate ending is ‘Inc.’
You may not know that in Delaware, you can include the ‘corporate ending’ somewhere else in the company name. It’s true. If you’d like to form a company that will sell products on Amazon or Etsy, you can form with the company name, John’s LLC for Sporting Equipment. If you form a Corporation, you can register your company as Nicole’s Corporation for Office Supplies. The ‘corporate ending’ simply has to appear somewhere within your company name.
If your company name is deemed too similar to another that’s already registered in Delaware, there are several options. You can’t just change the company’s corporate ending, and get it approved by the Delaware Secretary of State. The company name must be different from all others, and the Division of Corporations does not consider the ‘corporate ending’ when determining if a name is available. What you can do is add another word to the name that will make it stand out from the crowd or rethink the name with a focus on your target audience.
If you have any questions, or if you want help deciding which company name is best, I will be happy to assist. I can also help by checking to see if your company name is available in Delaware. Feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or I can be reached directly at 1-800-345-2677 or 1-302-645-7400 ext. 6144.
THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG ARTICLE IS NOT A LAWYER AND HARVARD BUSINESS SERVICES, INC. IS NOT A LAW FIRM. THE ARTICLE ABOVE IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS LEGAL ADVICE. THIS SHORT ARTICLE IS STRICTLY TO MENTION SOME ASPECTS OF DELAWARE'S CORPORATION LAWS AND/OR LAWS RELATING TO OTHER FORMS OF ENTITIES WHICH YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONSULT WITH A LAWYER BEFORE FORMULATING A STRATEGY WHICH WILL BE SUITABLE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC CASE.