The first step to forming an LLC in Idaho is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it’s available for use.
Idaho LLC Name Requirements
Before searching your LLC name in Idaho, there are a few requirements you need to know:
1. Your LLC name must have the proper ending, referred to as a designator. As per Section 30-21-302 of the Idaho Business Organizations Code, the allowable designators in the state are:
- LLC (most common)
- Ltd. Co.
- Ltd. Company
- Limited Co.
- Limited Company
- Ltd. Liability Company
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
If you’re forming a Professional LLC, your the allowable designators are very similar, however, you must place a “P” in front of any abbreviation or the word “Professional” in front of any group of words. For example, PLLC (most common) or Professional Limited Company.
2. Because an Idaho LLC is not a Corporation, your desired LLC 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 Idaho.
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 Idaho Name Database
1. Go to the Business Search page:
Idaho Secretary of State: Business Search
2. Enter your desired LLC name and click search.
- Leave out the ending “LLC” and any punctuation.
- Capitalization doesn’t matter.
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 Idaho LLC name is “Johnny Apple Farm LLC”, just enter “Johnny Apple”).
To be even more thorough, you can enter just a part of the first word. (Ex: if your desired Idaho LLC name is “Print Shop & Supplies LLC”, just enter “print”).
You can leave all other boxes blank (except for “Business Entity Name”).
3. Click the “Search” button and browse the list of existing Idaho businesses:
- If no business names appear, 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 see different statuses on the results page. While some of these names sound like they are available for use, we recommend avoiding them and coming up with something unique.
Tip: And don’t worry, if you’re not 100% sure that your desired Idaho LLC name is distinguishable, just file your paperwork with the state. If your name is not available, the state will send back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.
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: Idaho LLC Registered Agent.
And check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.
Idaho Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Idaho Secretary of State at 208-334-2301. Their hours are Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm Mountain Time.
Idaho LLC Act: Section 30-21-301 Permitted Names
Idaho LLC Act: Section 30-21-303 Reservation of Name
Idaho LLC Act: Section 30-21-304 Registration of Name
Idaho Secretary of State (Access Idaho): Business Entity Search Hints
Idaho LLC Act: Section 30-21-302 Name Requirements for Certain Types of Entities