Arizona Business Name Search (LLC lookup) - 2024 Guide

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LLC names
A unique business name is important for branding, but it’s easy to get lost in all the Arizona business name rules.

This page will teach you how to look up your LLC name and make sure it’s available to use.

Arizona LLC name

If you file your Arizona LLC paperwork with a name that is already used by another Arizona business entity – or that doesn’t meet the Arizona name rules – your filing may be rejected.

The first step to checking if your LLC name passes is to make sure your name is not already taken by another business.

You can do this using the Business Entity Search. And you need to do this because two business entities in the state can’t have the same name or be too similar.

The second step is to make sure your LLC name follows the Arizona Secretary of State’s rules, which we’ve broken down below.

How do I search the Arizona business entity name database?

You can use the business entity search to search your business name against the existing business entities registered in Arizona.

Note: This tool is sometimes called the Arizona Business Name Search or the Arizona Business Entity Search. They both refer to the same website and get you the same search records.

Visit the Arizona Business Entity Search page:

Arizona Secretary of State: Business Entity Search

There are two ways to use the Arizona Business Entity Search to check whether your name is available. We recommend you use both methods to be sure your name is unique.

Name Availability Check

To use the Arizona Corporation Commission’s Name Availability check:

Enter your desired LLC name in the Entity Name field.

Then click the center button: “Name Availability Check“.

Screenshot with instructions on how to use the Arizona Business Entity Search

You’ll see a popup with one of these messages:

  • The name is available.
    • This means your business name is probably distinguishable and ok to use.
  • No search results were found.
    • This means your business name is probably distinguishable and ok to use.
  • The entity name is not available.
    • This means your business name is not distinguishable. You must try a different name.

Business Entity Search

You can use the full Business Entity Search to be sure that your Arizona LLC name is unique, or to see what names were similar enough to get “the entity name is not available” result.

Go back to the Business Entity Search page.

This time, enter your desired LLC name in the Entity Name field like before. But click the button on the left: “Search”. This will show you all the similar or matching business names in the state (including Trade Names (DBAs)).

Search tips:

  • Leave out “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, “Limited Liability Company”, etc., when doing your searches.
  • Leave out any commas, periods, apostrophes, etc.
  • You can search using uppercase or lowercase letters.


How to interpret the Arizona LLC search results

If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your Limited Liability Company name is available for use.

  • Let’s keep using the example above. If your desired name is Riverwalk Studios LLC, and the only similar names you saw were “River Walk Development” and “Riverwalk Studio Starters”, then your name should be available.
Screenshot of sample results from the Arizona Business Entity Search
Example of Arizona Business Entity Search results

If no results show up, that means your LLC name is unique and it should be available for use. To be safe, run your search again using only part of your LLC name (to double-check that there are no similar names).

  • For example, search just the word “Riverwalk” instead of Riverwalk Studios.

If your exact LLC name appears in the list of search records, your LLC name is not available for use because another Arizona business entity is already using it.

If the results show a name that is very similar to yours, your LLC name may not be available for use.

  • If your desired name is Riverwalk Studios LLC, and the search results show a “Riverwalk Studio”, then your name is not available.

What if my desired LLC name isn’t available?

If your name is not unique, you’ll need to come up with a variation or a different name for your LLC.

Tip: Wait until your LLC is approved before you apply for your LLC EIN Number or purchase any other marketing materials. This way you don’t spend money on business supplies you can’t use because your business name isn’t available.

Arizona Secretary of State Contact Information

You can call the Arizona Secretary of State to ask questions about whether your LLC name is available.

Representatives at the Arizona Secretary of State can help you use the Arizona Business Name Search. They can’t guarantee that your LLC name will be available when you file, however.

The Secretary of State phone number is 907-465-2550. Their hours are 8am to 5pm Mountain Time, Monday through Friday.

Arizona Limited Liability Company Name Requirements

As per the Arizona LLC Act, there are a few rules and requirements for naming a Arizona business entity that you need to know.

Do I have to use a comma in my LLC name?

No, you don’t have to. You can file your LLC name with or without a comma. Both versions are accepted by the Secretary of State.

For example: If your desired business name is Tradewind Bar, you can file it as:

  • Tradewind Bar LLC
  • Tradewind Bar, LLC

Or, instead of having “LLC” as your designator (ending), there are a few other options in Arizona.

What designators (endings) can I use in my LLC name?

Your Arizona LLC name must contain one of the following designators at the end:

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

The following designators are not allowed

Your Arizona LLC can’t make itself sound like a Arizona Corporation or any other business entity besides an LLC.

The following words and designators can’t be used anywhere in your LLC name:

  • Inc.
  • Corp.
  • Incorporated
  • Corporation
  • Association

What words are not allowed in my Arizona LLC name?

Your Arizona LLC name can’t contain words and abbreviations that are restricted by law.

For example, you can’t make your LLC name sound like it’s a bank, part of the government or a government agency, or anything else that misleads the public.

You also can’t use words that are reserved for licensed professionals. These vary by state, but some common examples are accountants, architects, attorneys, dentists, and engineers.

For more information about words you can’t use in the name of an Arizona LLC, look at the Arizona LLC Act Section 29-3112 (item E).

Your Arizona business name must be distinguishable (unique)

When you search the Arizona Secretary of State Business Entity Search, you will compare your desired LLC name to existing businesses in the state.

If your name is not unique, you’ll need to come up with a variation or a different business name.

Below are rules and examples of LLC names that are not distinguishable.

Designators

Differences in designators (endings) don’t create distinguishability.

If your desired LLC name is Jose’s Fishing LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found in the Arizona Business Name Search results:

  • Jose’s Fishing, Inc.
  • Jose’s Fishing, Corp.
  • Jose’s Fishing Limited Liability Company

Capitalization

Differences in capitalization (using capital letters or lowercase letters) won’t create distinguishability. This rule applies to all parts of the business name, including the designator.

If your desired LLC name is Bell Bundle LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • BELL BUNDLE INC.
  • bell bundle llc
  • Bell bundlE, Inc.
  • Bell BUNDLE Limited Liability COMPANY

Filler Words

Adding non-meaningful or filler words (the, a, an, and, &) won’t create distinguishability.

If your desired LLC name is Palo Verde Farms LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • The Palo Verde Farms LLC
  • A Palo Verde Farm Inc.
  • Palo Verde and Farms L.L.C.

Plural or Singular Words and Possessive Words

Arizona rules are a little tricky when it comes to plural words and possessive words.

Adding an apostrophe to make a word possessive isn’t distinguishable from the plural word. Said another way, Arizona ignores punctuation like apostrophes.

But, adding a letter “s” to make a word plural might create distinguishability. That is, the plural word is different from the singular word.

If your desired LLC name is Jim’s Jeans LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • Jims Jeans LLC
  • Jim’s Jean’s Inc.

But if the only business name found was Jim Jean LLC, the name Jim‘s Jeans LLC would be available to use.

Note that this type of distinguishability isn’t a guarantee that your name will be accepted. It’s up to the individual LLC examiner that reviews your paperwork.

Numerals or Spelled Out Numbers

Using numerals (like 5 or 101) instead of spelling out the number (like “five” or “one hundred and one”) doesn’t create distinguishability.

If your desired LLC name is 25 Stars LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • Twenty-Five Stars LLC
  • Twenty 5 Stars Inc.

Roman Numerals – Special Rule

However, replacing numbers with Roman numerals does create distinguishability in Arizona.

Using the example above (where 25 Stars LLC is not available), you could use XXV Stars LLC instead. XXV is the Roman numeral for 25. And XXV is distinguishable from 25 and Twenty-Five under Arizona law.

Symbols and Spaces

Adding or removing spaces between words in a business name doesn’t create distinguishability.

Similarly, adding symbols doesn’t create distinguishability.

If your desired LLC name is Cactus Flowers LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • Cactus* Flowers* LLC
  • Cactus “Flowers” Corp.
  • CactusFlowers Inc.
  • Cactus…Flowers L.L.C.
  • Cactus Flowers! Inc.

For a full list of all the symbols that won’t create a distinguishable name, see the AZCC Determining Distinguishability page.

Replacing a Word with a Symbol

If you replace an entire word with a symbol (other than replacing and with &), the name might be distinguishable.

For example:

  • Games At Home LLC and Games @ Home LLC are distinguishable.
  • But Cork and Fork LLC and Cork & Fork Inc. aren’t distinguishable.

Note that this type of distinguishability isn’t a guarantee that your name will be accepted. It’s up to the individual LLC examiner that reviews your paperwork.

What if my Arizona business name is rejected?

If you file your Arizona Articles of Organization (the document that creates your Arizona LLC) and the business name is not available, don’t panic. The state will notify you and tell you why your filing was rejected.

You will just need to file again with a variation of your LLC name or a different LLC name.

Arizona Business Name FAQs

Do I need a name reservation in Arizona?

No, a name reservation isn’t required to form an LLC in Arizona. It’s an unnecessary step and a waste of money.

You can just file your LLC’s Articles of Organization with your desired LLC name.

Does Arizona require LLC in the name?

Yes. Your Arizona LLC name must contain one of the allowable designators at the end. The most commonly used designators are:

  • LLC
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
Does my Arizona LLC need a DBA?

No, you’re not required to file a DBA (“Doing Business As”) for your business entity in Arizona.

A DBA (known as a Trademark or Trade Name in Arizona) lets your LLC conduct business under a name which is different from its true and legal name (the name on your Articles of Organization).

If you want your LLC to do business under a name that’s different from its true and legal name, you have to file a Trade Name Application and pay an additional fee of $10 to the Secretary of State. Check out the Secretary of State Trade Name Registration page for more information on this process.

If you are going to file a Trade Name for your Arizona LLC, it must also be distinguishable from existing business names in the state.

There is no limit to the number of Trade Names an LLC can have.

For more information, please see Does my LLC need a DBA?

When would my LLC use a DBA?

Let’s say you form an LLC called Arizona Gila Tour Company LLC, but you also want to use a friendlier, catchy name, like Gila Tours. In this case, your LLC would need to file a Trade Name Application to use the name Gila Tours.

If you don’t file a Trade Name Application for a different name, you can only use your legal entity name of Arizona Gila Tour Company LLC.

Similarly, if you want to do business under the name Arizona Gila Tour Company, just without the letters “LLC” in the name, you will need to file a Trade Name Application for Arizona Gila Tour Company.

How do I get a business domain name?

Once you’ve found a business name that you like, it’s a good idea to check if your domain name is available before forming your LLC.

You can search for available domain names with GoDaddy:

What does “distinguishability” mean?

Each business entity name must be “distinguishable upon the records” of the Secretary of State.

This means that no two businesses can operate with the same exact name. Said another way, if a business already exists with your desired LLC name, you can’t register your LLC with that name.

For example, let’s say you want to form an LLC called Brittlebush Landscapers LLC. But there is already a business in another town called Brittlebush Landscapers, Inc. Because your desired LLC name is the same as that existing Arizona Corporation, it is not distinguishable. You can’t use it and must choose another name.

How do I come up with a business name?

Business names are important for branding and recognition. The name of your Arizona LLC can be your company’s brand name, but it doesn’t have to be (please see the FAQ about DBAs above). Either way, picking a good LLC name is an important decision.

Here are some quick tips for coming up with business names:

  1. First, write down the features of your company and things that you want to be associated with.
  2. Then list out as many business names as you can think of. Don’t edit or analyze them. Just get as many names on the page as you can.
  3. Now go back and read through them. Write down any variations that come to mind.
  4. Next, set the list aside. Do something else, like go for a walk or get groceries, or sleep on it for the night. Then come back and review the list of names. As you go through it, write down additional ideas and variations.
  5. Read the whole list out loud. If you want, get input from friends, business partners, and family.
  6. Repeat the process: sleep on the ideas, write down new variations, read them out loud again.
  7. The best business name will often “rise off the page” and present itself. If it doesn’t, you can try this trick: Close your eyes and count to 10. When you get to 10, you must choose a name. When you open your eyes, force yourself to make a decision. Sometimes we know the best name deep in our subconscious, and this trick can help it come out. Trust yourself and go with what feels best.

For more tips, please see How to Choose an LLC Name.

Can I use the name of another Arizona entity?

No. You can’t use the same name as another Arizona business.

And it doesn’t matter what entity type it is – your LLC can’t have the same entity name as another corporation, LLC, or any other entity type. You can’t use the same name as another company’s DBA, either.

You can’t use another business’s name even if the entity is in “delinquent” status on the Arizona Secretary of State website.

But if the business entity is dissolved or administratively dissolved, they no longer have rights to that name. This means you can form an LLC with the same name.

How do I change my LLC name?

You can change your LLC’s name later by filing an Amendment form with the Secretary of State.

We have step-by-step instructions on how to change an LLC name in Arizona.

How to start an LLC in Arizona?

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Arizona:

  1. Choose an LLC name and make sure it’s available
  2. Choose who will be your Arizona Registered Agent
  3. File the Arizona LLC Articles of Organization
  4. Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS
  6. Open an LLC bank account
  7. Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Arizona
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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4 comments on “Arizona Name Search”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. I am attempting to form a multi member LLC in Arizona with two members. When filing for my EIN, it tells me that because there are only two members, I must file a corporation. Is that true?

    Gary

    • Hi Gary, that is incorrect. You are likely incorrectly interpreting the message in the EIN Online filing. It states, “Since you are a Multi-Member LLC, we must initially classify you as a Partnership. If you do not wish to accept the default classification of Partnership, you can…” and then it tells you that you can file Form 8832 to have your LLC taxed as a C-Corporation or you can file Form 2553 to have your LLC taxed as an S-Corporation. We also recommend checking out how will my LLC be taxed? Hope that helps!

  2. Awesome!! The most concise website with the most concise instructions! Thank you, Matt!

    • Thank you so much for the kind words!! You’re welcome :)

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