The first step to forming an LLC in Georgia is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it’s available for use.
Georgia LLC Name Requirements
Before searching your LLC name in Georgia, 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 Georgia.
Differences in designators (the identifiers at the end of a business name) and differences in grammar do not create distinguishability.
- 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 Georgia Name Database
1. Go to the Business Search page:
2. Enter your desired LLC name in the “Business 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. (Ex: if your desired LLC name is “Johnny Apple Farm LLC”, just enter “Johnny Apple”).
3. Leave the rest of the boxes blank.
4. Click the “Search” button and browse the list of existing Georgia businesses:
- If a “No data found“ pop-up appears, that means your desired LLC name is available for use.
- If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your desired LLC name is available for use.
- If your desired LLC name appears in the list exactly as you want it, 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.
You’ll find many different statuses in the name database. See below to find out which of these statuses mean a name is available and which are not available. Generally speaking, it’s best to stay on the safe side and not use a name which is already in the database.
Tip: If you’re not 100% sure that your desired LLC name is distinguishable, just file your paperwork with Georgia anyway. If your name is not available, the state will send back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.
Statuses of Available Names:
- Disapproved Filing
- Expired Name Reservation
- Inactive Limited Partnership
- Judicially Dissolved
- Manual Administrative Dissolution/Revocation
- Non Qualified
Statuses of Names That Are Not Available:
- Active Name Reservation
- Active/Owes Current Year A/R
- Admin. Dissolved
- Automated Administrative Dissolution/Revocation
- Do Not Use Disapproved
- Election to LLC/LP
- Involuntary Dissolution
- Merged Name Reservation 90 Days
- Name Reservation Rejected
- See Notepad
- To Be Dissolved
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: Georgia Registered Agent.
And check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.
Georgia Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Georgia Secretary of State (8am – 5:30pm) at 404-656-2817.