Arkansas 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 Arkansas business name rules.

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

Arkansas LLC name

If you file your Arkansas LLC paperwork with a name that is already used by another Arkansas business entity – or that doesn’t meet the Arkansas 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 Arkansas Secretary of State’s rules, which we’ve broken down below.

How do I search the Arkansas business entity name database?

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

Note: This tool is sometimes called the Arkansas Business Entity Search, Arkansas Business Name Search or the Arkansas Corporate Name Availability Search. They all refer to the same website and get you the same search records.

Visit the Arkansas Business Entity Search page:

Arkansas Secretary of State: Business Entity Search

It’s simple: enter your desired LLC name in the Name field and click Search.

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

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 Arkansas 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 “Riverwalk Rentals” and “Riverwalk Studio Starters”, then your name should be available.
Screenshot of sample results from the Arkansas Business Entity Search
Example of Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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.

Arkansas Secretary of State Contact Information

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

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

The Business and Commercial Services Division phone number is 501-682-3409. Their hours are 8am to 4:30pm Central Time, Monday through Friday.

Arkansas Limited Liability Company Name Requirements

As per Section 4-38-112 of the Arkansas LLC Act, there are a few rules and requirements for naming a Arkansas 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 Grandpa Joe’s, you can file it as:

  • Grandpa Joe’s LLC
  • Grandpa Joe’s, LLC

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

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

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

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

The following designators are not allowed

Your Arkansas LLC can’t make itself sound like an Arkansas 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

What words are not allowed in my Arkansas LLC name?

Your Arkansas 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.

And you can’t use the words Razorback or Razorbacks without permission from the University of Arkansas.

Names of Non-Members

Arkansas has a special rule that your LLC name can’t contain the name of people who don’t own the company. If you want to use a person’s name in the LLC name, they must be an LLC Member.

This means you can’t start a company called Brad Pitt’s Barber, LLC or Abraham Lincoln LLC. (Unless, of course, one of your business partners is named Brad Pitt or Abraham Lincoln.)

The only exception to this rule is if you start a company and use a Member’s name in the name, but the Member later dies or leaves the company, you can keep the name. So if you started Marley & Moffitt LLC and Ms. Moffit passes away, you can keep using the Marley & Moffitt LLC name.

Source: Arkansas Code 4-38-112

Your Arkansas business name must be distinguishable (unique)

When you search the Arkansas 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. For a full list of what does and doesn’t create distinguishability, check out the Arkansas Secretary of State Name Availability Guide.

Designators

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

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

  • Great Granola, Inc.
  • Great Granola Corp.
  • Great Granola Limited Liability Co.

Filler Words

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

Arkansas has quite a long list of filler words that don’t create distinguishability. This includes:

  • articles (a, an, the, and, &)
  • prepositions (of, for, by, with, on, to)
  • pronouns (I, you, we, me, he, she)
  • using contractions (can’t vs cannot)

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

  • The Peachtree Farm LLC
  • A Peachtree Farm Inc.
  • My Peachtree Farm L.L.C.
  • For Peachtree Farm Corp

The Word “Arkansas”

Adding the word “Arkansas” (or the abbreviations AR or Ark.) won’t create distinguishability.

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

  • AR Calm Waters Inc.
  • Calm Waters Arkansas LLC

The Words “American” or “USA”

Adding the words “America” and similar words might not create distinguishability. The following words fall under this rule:

  • America
  • American
  • US
  • USA
  • National
  • International

The Arkansas Secretary of State says these words don’t create distinguishability “in certain contexts.” So you should call them to check whether your desired name is okay.

The Same Word, Written Differently

Arkansas is pretty strict about what makes similar names distinguishable. In other states, a different spelling might be enough to make the name distinguishable. But not in Arkansas.

The following changes don’t create distinguishability:

Unique spelling

A unique spelling, or a different spelling where the words are still pronounced the same, doesn’t create distinguishability.

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

  • Thom’s Timber, Inc.
  • Tom’s Timbre, LLC
  • T0m’s T1mber Corp.

Variations of the same word

A variation of a word, which removes or adds letters to the same root word, doesn’t create distinguishability.

If your desired LLC name is A1 Fishing LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • A1 Fishin’ Inc.
  • AA11 Fishing LLC
  • A1 Fishers Inc.

Plural or Singular Words and Possessive Words

Adding a letter “s” to make a word plural or possessive doesn’t create distinguishability.

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

  • Scotts Sliders LLC
  • Scott Slider Inc.
  • Scott’s Slider, L.L.C.

Adding Numbers or Variations of Numbers

Numerals or 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.

Adding Numbers

As a general rule, adding a number to a name doesn’t create distinguishability.

For example, 25 Gym Stars LLC is not distinguishable from Gym Stars LLC.

But the addition of a number can make a name distinguishable in certain situations:

Same Owner, Additional Company. If you already own an LLC and are opening a second LLC, you could use the same name plus a number.

For example, if you already own Pizza Truck LLC, you could name your new company “Pizza Truck 2 LLC”. Those two companies are distinguishable because you own them both.

But if Pizza Truck 2 LLC was being opened by a competitor, the Secretary of State wouldn’t allow it. The owner on file for the other company must match the new LLC being filed.

Street Address of the Company. If the number in the LLC name is part of an address used on the Certificate of Organization, the number can create distinguishability.

For example, let’s say there’s already a company called Main Street Management Inc. And you want to create 356 Main Street Management LLC, which is headquartered at 356 Main Street in Little Rock, AR.

The addition of “356” would make your LLC distinguishable from the other company in this case because it’s a significant identifying number for your company. It isn’t just something being added randomly to try and create distinguishability.

Numbers as Key Words. If the number or number word being added has significant meaning, the name will be distinguishable. Basically, this means the number is so important to the name that customers won’t confuse the new company with existing companies.

For example: Second Baptist Church LLC is different from First Baptist Church LLC. And 2020 Bentonville Baseball Boosters LLC is different from Bentonville Baseball Boosters Inc.

What if my Arkansas business name is rejected?

If you file your Arkansas Articles of Organization (the document that creates your Arkansas 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.

Arkansas Business Name FAQs

Do I need a name reservation in Arkansas?

No, a name reservation isn’t required to form an LLC in Arkansas. 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 Arkansas require LLC in the name?

Yes. Your Arkansas 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 Arkansas LLC need a DBA?

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

A DBA (known as a Fictitious Name in Arkansas) 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 an Application for Fictitious Name and pay an additional fee of $25 to the Secretary of State.

You can file the Application for Fictitious Name for Domestic LLC online or by mail (online filings are processed faster and are a little cheaper).

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

There is no limit to the number of Fictitious 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 Mockingbird Mountain Tours LLC, but you also want to use a friendlier, catchy name, like Mockingbird Tours. In this case, your LLC would need to file an Application of Fictitious Name to use the name Mockingbird Tours.

If you don’t file a Fictitious Name Application for a different name, you can only use your legal entity name of Mockingbird Mountain Tours LLC.

Similarly, if you want to do business under the name Mockingbird Mountain Tours, just without the letters “LLC” in the name, you will need to file a Fictitious Name for Mockingbird Mountain Tours.

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 Honeybee Landscapers LLC. But there is already a business in another town called Honeybee Landscapers, Inc. Because your desired LLC name is the same as that existing Arkansas 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 Arkansas 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 Arkansas entity?

No. You can’t use the same name as another Arkansas 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 another business’s name even if the entity is in “delinquent” status on the Arkansas Secretary of State website.

But if the business entity is 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 Arkansas.

How to start an LLC in Arkansas?

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Arkansas:

  1. Choose an LLC name and make sure it’s available
  2. Choose who will be your Arkansas Registered Agent
  3. File the Arkansas 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 Arkansas

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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2 comments on “Arkansas 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. Thank you so much Matt!!! I live in Arkansas and was able to understand how to set up my LLC with your help. Again thank you!

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