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One thing everybody seems to have figured out by the time they call us is the name of their company. They may not know what type of entity they’ll form or where they’ll get the money to do it, but one thing they always know is the name of the company. Now, you may think you have the greatest name for the most spectacular notion ever contemplated in the history of the world, but here are some things you may want to consider before naming your new Delaware company:
1. The start will lead you to the end. What I mean is, start with the foundation of it all, the type of entity, and figure out whether you are going to form a Corporation or an LLC. Many states, including Delaware, will require an entity specific word, or words, to appear on the end, or within, the company name. Below are the acceptable endings in Delaware for Corporations and LLCs:
• Corporation endings - association, club, company, corporation, foundation, fund, incorporated, institute, limited, society, syndicate, and union. A name may include abbreviations, with or without punctuation, such as, Inc., Co., Corp., and Ltd.
• LLC endings -Limited Liability Company, LLC, and L.L.C.
2. Don’t red flag me!!! Be careful not to include a word that is restricted by the State. Though Delaware is one of the more lenient states when it comes to naming your company, it does place some restrictions on the use of particular words.
• Corporations may not use the words bank, university or college, without being subject to additional scrutiny by those respective Delaware State departments. Also, corporations may not include the word trust.
• LLCs, like corporations, may not use bank, university or college with the additional scrutiny; however, unlike the corporation the LLC may use the word trust. Also, an LLC name may not include Corporation, Corp., Incorporated or Inc.
3. Make sure the name’s available. There’s nothing worse than thinking you have all the details figured out only to find out that someone else beat you to it, so once you have the specifics of the name be sure to check its availability. Delaware requires that a name be distinguishable from any type of entity already on record. This means that two companies, regardless of entity type, may not have the same name unless given written consent by the previously formed entity, which almost never happens. To make sure your company name is available in Delaware, take advantage of Harvard Business Services free name check service, https://www.delawareinc.com/name-check/
Remember, these rules and restrictions apply to Delaware so if you will be doing business in a state, or states, other than Delaware, be sure to check name availability and word restrictions in those states before forming your company.
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.