Delaware Name Search

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Delaware LLC Name Search

The first step to forming an LLC in Delaware is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it’s available for use.

Delaware LLC Name Requirements

Before searching your LLC name in Delaware, there are a few requirements you need to know:

1. The abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must be used at the end of your name. The abbreviation “LLC” is the most common.

2. Because an LLC is not a Corporation, your desired name cannot use the word “Corporation”, “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations (“Corp.”, “Inc.”).

3. Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable. This means it must be different and unique from all other businesses registered in Delaware.

Differences in designators (the identifiers at the end of a business name) and differences in grammar do not create distinguishability.

For example:
• LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
• singular, plural, and possessive
• A, An, The
• and, or, &
• hyphens, slashes, periods, commas
• three vs. 3

The following examples are NOT distinguishable:
– Smith Investments, LLC vs. Smith Investments, Inc.
– Apple Farm, LLC vs. Apple Farms, LLC
– Print Shop, LLC vs. The Print Shop, LLC
– Night & Day, LLC vs. Night and Day, LLC
– Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC vs. Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Inc
– Three Teachers Consulting, LLC vs. 3 Teachers Consulting, LLC

Searching the Delaware Name Database

Delaware has 2 ways to search and make sure your LLC name is distinguishable and available for use.

You can use the “Name Availability Search” which gives you an immediate “yes/no” answer.

Or you can use the “General Information Name Search” to browse existing businesses and determine distinguishability yourself.

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(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

Name Availability Search

Note: You’ll see a lot of language about name reservation, which can be a little confusing. Don’t worry, you don’t need to reserve your LLC name. It is not a requirement.

1. Go to the Name Availability Search page:
https://icis.corp.delaware.gov/Ecorp/NameReserv/NameReservation.aspx

2. Check off the disclaimer box, agreeing to the terms.

3. In the “Entity Kind” drop down list, select “Limited Liability Company (LLC)”.

4. In the “Entity Ending” drop down list, select your desired ending. The ending “LLC” is the most common.

5. Enter your desired LLC name. Do not enter enter any endings. (Ex: if your desired LLC name is “ABC Widgets LLC”, just enter “ABC Widgets”).

6. Click the “Search” button (do not press the “Enter” button on your keyboard as it will take you to the wrong page).

• If the results shows “The name ‘{your name} LLC’ is available. The cost for this reservation is $75.00”, that means your desired LLC name is available for use. You can just click “No” after the “Do you want to reserve this name?” question.

• If the results shows “The name is not available for reservation“, that means your desired LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.

General Information Name Search

1. Go to the General Information Name Search page:
https://icis.corp.delaware.gov/Ecorp/EntitySearch/NameSearch.aspx

2. Enter your desired LLC name in the “Entity Name” box. Leave out the ending “LLC” and any punctuation. Capitalization doesn’t matter.

Tip: To be thorough, just enter the first word or two of your LLC name to ensure you see everything that is potentially similar.

Leave the “File Number” box blank.

3. Click “Search” and browse the list of existing Delaware businesses:

• If your desired LLC name does not appear in the search results (or you see “No Record found), that means it’s available for use.

• If your desired LLC name appears in the list exactly as you want it (regardless of the entity type), your desired LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.

• If the results show a name that is deceptively similar to your desired LLC name, your desired LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.

Next Step

Once you find an LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: Delaware Registered Agent.

Delaware Secretary of State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the Delaware Division of Corporations (Delaware Secretary of State) at 302-739-3073. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm Eastern Time.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
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.

2 Comments

  1. Ian January 1, 2019

    Hi Matt, if the name of the LLC is available i have to pay for it or its free?
    BEST regards
    Ian

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 6, 2019

      Hi Ian, there is no extra fee for the name of the LLC. You can think of it as being “included” when you file your Certificate of Formation. Hope that helps.

      reply

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