Georgia 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 Georgia business name rules.

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

Georgia LLC name

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

How do I search the Georgia business entity name database?

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

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

Visit the Georgia Corporate Records Search page:

Georgia Secretary of State: Business Search

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

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

Leave the search set to “Contains” so that you can see any similar business names.

Why use “Contains”? If you select “Starts With” you might miss a similar name which adds a filler word. For example, if you searched “Gutter Guy” using the “Starts With” setting, you’d miss the existing business called The Gutter Guy Inc. You can’t name your company “Gutter Guy LLC” if The Gutter Guy Inc. already exists.

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 Georgia 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 Savannah” and “Riverwalk Shops”, then your name should be available.
Screenshot of sample results from the Georgia Business Entity Search
Example of Georgia 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 might not be available for use because another Georgia 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.

Georgia Secretary of State Contact Information

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

Representatives at the Georgia Secretary of State can help you use the Georgia Business Name Search. They can’t tell you whether your LLC name is available until you file the actual LLC paperwork, however.

The Corporations Division phone number is 404-656-2817. Their hours are 8am to 5pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Georgia Limited Liability Company Name Requirements

As per Section 14-11-207 of the Georgia LLC Act and Rule 590-7-20-.01 of the Rules and Regulations of Georgia, there are a few rules and requirements for naming a Georgia business entity that you need to know.

Character Limit

Your Georgia LLC name must be 80 characters or fewer. This includes spaces and punctuation.

Don’t worry – that’s still a lot of letters! Most normal business names are easily less than 80 characters long.

For example, the extremely long business name “The Best Limited Liability Company in Atlanta Formed for Any Lawful Purposes LLC” is 80 characters.

English language or English alphabet

Georgia has a rule that business names can only contain the following:

  • English alphabet letters
  • Arabic numerals (1, 5, 200)
  • Roman numerals (I, IX, MMVII)
  • Symbols on a standard English keyboard ($, #, “”)

So if your desired LLC name is in another language, it must be either:

  • translated into English
  • or written in letters of the English alphabet.

For example:

If your desired Georgia business name is प्राण योग Studio LLC, you must file it as Prana Yoga Studio LLC, using only English letters.

Or if your desired Georgia business name is Appétit Pâtisserie LLC, you must register it as Appetit Patisserie LLC. You could still use the correct accents in Appétit Pâtisserie on your business’s sign and website. But the documents filed with the Georgia Secretary of State can’t use those non-English letters.

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 Starry Skies LLC, you can file it as:

  • Starry Skies LLC
  • Starry Skies, LLC

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

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

Your Georgia 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 Georgia LLC can’t make itself sound like a Georgia Corporation or any other business entity besides an LLC. And you can’t use the acronym DBA (“doing business as”) or other variations of “DBA” in the business’s legal name.

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

  • Inc.
  • Corp.
  • Incorporated
  • Corporation
  • DBA
  • Doing Business As
  • AKA

What words are not allowed in my Georgia LLC name?

Your Georgia 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, an insurance company, 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 in Georgia, you can’t use the word “college” or “university” without approval from the Education Commission.

For more information about restricted words for a Georgia business entity, please see the Restricted Names section of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Name Reservation How-to-Guide.

Your Georgia business name must be distinguishable (unique)

When you use the Georgia Secretary of State Business 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.

Georgia Rule 590-7-20-.04 contains the rules for what makes a business name distinguishable.

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


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

If your desired LLC name is Tree Frog Company LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found in the Georgia Business Name Search results:

  • Tree Frog Company, Inc.
  • Tree Frog Company, Corp.
  • Tree Frog Company, L.L.C.

Filler Words

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

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

  • The Cherokee Farms LLC
  • A Cherokee Farm Inc.
  • Cherokee and Farms L.L.C.
  • Cherokee & Farms Corp

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 Patty’s Peaches LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • Pattys Peaches LLC
  • Patty’s Peach Inc.
  • Pattys Peach, Ltd. Co.

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. You also can’t replace a number with the equivalent Roman numeral (2 instead of II) to 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.
  • XXV Stars Corp.

Phonetic Spelling of the same name or word

Using a different spelling (a phonetic spelling) of the same name or word doesn’t create distinguishability.

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

  • Boyz Basketz LLC
  • Boiz Baskets Corp.
  • Boys Bassketts Ltd. Co.

Exception: Homophones

Homophones (words that sound the same but mean something different) can create distinguishability. However, if the LLC examiner in Georgia thinks the names are confusingly similar, your LLC name might still be rejected.

Homophones are words like berry and bury, or tail and tale. Because they have different meanings, business names using these words would be distinguishable.

For example:

  • Sole Studios, LLC (a shoe design company) is distinguishable from Soul Studios, LLC (a music recording business).
  • Point Break LLC (a pencil sharpener manufacturer) is distinguishable from Point Brake LLC (a car repair shop)

Abbreviation vs Complete Name or Word

Using an abbreviation instead of a complete word (or vice versa) doesn’t create distinguishability.

If your desired LLC name is New York Pizza Bros. LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • NY Pizza Bros, L.C.
  • NY Pizza Brothers, Ltd. Liability Co.
  • New York Pizza Brothers Inc.

Business Search Tips for Abbreviations

If you want to use an abbreviation, or a word that has a commonly-used abbreviation, make sure you search for the abbreviation and the complete word when you use the Business Entity Search to check availability.

For example: If you wanted to use the word “February” in your business name, make sure you also search for the business name using “Feb” instead. Or if you wanted to use the abbreviation “GA” for Georgia, make sure you also search for “Georgia”.

Punctuation, Symbols, Spaces

Adding or removing punctuation, symbols and spaces doesn’t create distinguishability.

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

  • Honeybee-Soap-Store Inc.
  • Honeybee/Soapstore, Limited Liability Co.
  • Honey Bee Soap Store, L.L.C.

Suffixes, Derivations or Deviations

Using the same word, just with a suffix or a different derivation, doesn’t create distinguishability. This rule can be tricky, because sometimes a different version of a word has a different meaning and would be distinguishable. Really, it all depends on the opinion of the LLC examiner who reviews your paperwork.

If your desired LLC name is Azalea Creations LLC, it might not be available to use if any of the following are found:

  • Azalea Creatives LLC
  • Azalea Creates Inc.
  • Azalea Creativity, Ltd. Co.

Want to watch a video tutorial instead?

The video below shows you how to search LLC names in Georgia.

The video starts with LLC name rules in Georgia. Then at the 7:45 minute mark, you can see LLC searches being completed.

Georgia LLC - Name Search

What if my Georgia business name is rejected?

If you file your Georgia Articles of Organization (the document that creates your Georgia 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. If you re-file your Articles of Organization within 60 days, you won’t have to pay the state fee again. If you wait longer than 60 days to refile, the state will refund your filing fee and you have to start over.

Georgia Business Name FAQs

Do I need a name reservation in Georgia?

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

Yes. Your Georgia 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 Georgia LLC need a DBA?

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

A DBA (known as a Trade Name in Georgia) 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 Registration with the Clerk of Superior Court in the county or counties where your business operates. Check out the Secretary of State Trade Name Guide (PDF download) for more information on this process.

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

There is no limit to the number of Trademarks or 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 Tybee Island Cruise Lines LLC, but you also want to use a friendlier, catchy name, like Tybee Cruises. In this case, your LLC would need to file a Trade Name Registration in your county to use the name Tybee Cruises.

If you don’t file a Trade NameRegistration for a different name, you can only use your legal entity name of Tybee Island Cruise Lines LLC.

Similarly, if you want to do business under the name Tybee Island Cruise Lines, just without the letters “LLC” in the name, you will need to file a Trade Name for Tybee Island Cruise Lines.

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 Peachtree Landscapers LLC. But there is already a business in another town called Peachtree Landscapers, Inc. Because your desired LLC name is the same as that existing Georgia 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 Georgia 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 a Business Name or check out TRUIC’s Business Name Generator.

Can I use the name of another Georgia entity?

No. You can’t use the same name as another Georgia 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 “administratively dissolved” status on the Georgia Secretary of State website. But you can form a new LLC with the same name as a withdrawn or cancelled business.

There are a lot of different “status” options you’ll see on the Georgia Business Entity Search. Here’s a full list of which statuses mean that the name is available for you to use, and a list of which statuses mean that the name is not available.

Statuses that mean the name is available:

  • Abandoned
  • Cancelled
  • Disapproved Filing
  • Diss./Cancel/Terminated
  • Expired Name Reservation
  • Inactive
  • Inactive Limited Partnership
  • Judicially Dissolved
  • Manual Administrative Dissolution/Revocation
  • Non Qualified
  • Revoked
  • Void
  • Withdrawn
  • Withdrawn/Merged

Statuses that mean names is not available:

  • Active Name Reservation
  • Active/Compliance
  • Active/Non-compliance
  • Active/Owes Current Year A/R
  • Admin. Dissolved
  • Automated Administrative Dissolution/Revocation
  • Consolidated
  • Converted
  • Do Not Use Disapproved
  • Election to LLC/LP
  • Flawed/Deficient
  • Involuntary Dissolution
  • Merged Name Reservation 90 Days
  • Name Reservation Rejected
  • Pending
  • Redeemed
  • See Notepad
  • To Be Dissolved
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 Georgia.

How to start an LLC in Georgia?

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Georgia:

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

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. 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 “Georgia 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. Evening,

    I have a question in regards to the status of an already established LLC. In the status field it says active/non-compliance with the last annual registration in 2017. At what point does that LLC name become available or does it?


    • Hi Kyle, that depends on how the LLC is dissolved. If it’s the owner who voluntarily dissolved the LLC, then the name becomes available immediately. However, if it is the Georgia Secretary of State who initiates the dissolution process (called administrative dissolution), then you’ll have to wait for five years from the date of dissolution before the name becomes available. However, it’s often risky using the name of a dissolved LLC since the owners can always later try to make a claim on the name. Hope this helps.

  2. Hi Matt,

    I reserved a name and forgot the LLC behind the name. I got the approval email though. When I File Articles of Organization and Transmittal Forms do I need to add the LLC or without? Do not want to waste $100. THanks in advance

    • Hi Jonathan, you pretty much reserved the “wrong” name. You should have “LLC” in the name reservation. However, if you ran a name search and there are no business names identical (or deceptively similar) to yours, then you can just form the LLC using your full intended name, including the “LLC” designator (and don’t worry about the name reservation). You can’t form an LLC without including its designator. Hope that helps.

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