A unique business name is important for branding, but it’s easy to get lost in all the Nevada business name rules.
This page will teach you how to look up your LLC name and make sure it’s available to use.
Nevada LLC name
If you file your Nevada LLC paperwork with a name that is already used by another Nevada business entity – or that doesn’t meet the Nevada 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 Nevada Secretary of State’s rules, which we’ve broken down below.
How do I search the Nevada business entity name database?
You can use the business entity search to search your business name against the existing business entities registered in Nevada.
Note: This tool is sometimes called the Nevada Business Name Search or the Nevada Business Entity Search. They both refer to the same website and get you the same search records.
Visit the Nevada Business Search page:
Nevada Secretary of State: Business Search
- Select the search type “Contains“.
- Then enter your desired LLC name in the Name field.
- You can skip all the other options on this page. Simply click Search at the bottom.
Why use “Contains”? If you select “Starts With” or “Exact Match” instead, you might miss a similar name which adds a filler word. For example, if you searched “Rustic Ranch” using the “Starts With” setting, you’d miss the existing business called The Rustic Ranch Inc. You can’t name your company “Rustic Ranch LLC” if The Rustic Ranch Inc. already exists.
- 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.
Tip: It’s best to enter only the main part of your desired Nevada LLC name in the search bar. For example, if your desired LLC name is Riverwalk Studios LLC, first do a search for the words “Riverwalk Studio”. And then do a search for “Riverwalk”. This helps make sure that you see everything that is potentially similar.
How to interpret the Nevada 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.
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 Nevada 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.
Nevada Secretary of State Contact Information
You can call the Nevada Secretary of State to ask questions about whether your LLC name is available.
Representatives at the Nevada Secretary of State can’t check whether your specific LLC name is available. But they can help you use the Nevada Business Name Search.
The Commercial Recordings Division phone number is 702-486-2880. Their hours are 8am to 5pm Pacific time, Monday through Friday.
Nevada Limited Liability Company Name Requirements
As per Section 86.171 of the Nevada LLC Act, there are a few rules and requirements for naming a Nevada 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 Nevada.
What designators (endings) can I use in my LLC name?
Your Nevada LLC name must contain one of the following designators at the end:
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Company
- Limited Co.
- Ltd. Liability Co.
- Ltd. Liability Company
Note: Most people choose “LLC”.
The following designators are not allowed
Your Nevada LLC can’t make itself sound like a Nevada Corporation or any other business entity besides an LLC.
The following words and designators can’t be used anywhere in your LLC name:
What words are not allowed in my Nevada LLC name?
Your Nevada 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.
In Nevada, you can’t use the following words (among others) without prior approval:
- bail or bail bonds
- HOA or home owners association
- property owners
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.
For more information about restricted words for a Nevada business entity, please see this page: Nevada Secretary of State Restricted Word List.
Your Nevada business name must be distinguishable (unique)
When you search the Nevada 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.
The rules for business name distinguishability in Nevada are found in the Nevada Corporations Regulations.
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 Vegas Brewing LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found in the Nevada Business Name Search results:
- Vegas Brewing, Inc.
- Vegas Brewing, Corp.
- Vegas Brewing, L.L.C.
And adding certain “corporate words” doesn’t create distinguishability. See Nevada Admin. Code Section 78.020 part 1 for the full list of these “corporate words”.
If we keep using the example above (your desired LLC name is Vegas Brewing LLC), you can’t use it if these names already exist in Nevada:
- Vegas Brewing Company Inc.
- Vegas Brewing Ltd LLC
- Vegas Brewing Co LLC
Exception: However, there are some “corporate words” that do create distinguishability in Nevada. Said another way, the absence or presence of these words can make your name distinguishable from another business’s name. See Nevada Admin. Code Section 78.020 part 2 for the full list of these other words.
For example, let’s make your company Vegas Brewing LLC distinguishable from the other Vegas Brewing companies listed above. You could try these alternatives:
- Vegas Brewing Club LLC
- Vegas Brewing Unlimited LLC
- Vegas Brewing Organization LLC
Adding non-meaningful or filler words (the, a, an) won’t create distinguishability. And replacing words with symbols (and vs & or +) won’t create distinguishability.
If your desired LLC name is Desert Farms LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:
- The Desert Farms LLC
- A Desert Farm Inc.
- Desert and Farms L.L.C.
- Desert + Farms Corp
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.
Differences in capitalization don’t create distinguishability.
If your desired LLC name is Blue and Silver LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:
- BLUE and SILVER Inc.
- bLuE and SiLvEr LP
- blue and silver LLC
Said another way, you’re allowed to use any capitalization you want. It just doesn’t make your name distinguishable from an existing company with the same name.
How to make your name distinguishable
In Nevada, there are several ways to make your business name distinguishable from other businesses.
If your name is similar to another business’s name, you can try these methods:
Use a different or creative spelling.
- For example: “Smart Picks” is distinguishable from “Sm4rt Pix“.
Use a variation of the word (add a prefix, suffix, or use different form of the word).
- For example: “Silver Creations” is distinguishable from “Silver Creates” or “Silver Creativity“.
Add a preposition (such as: of, in, by, with, for)
- For example: “Bluebirds of Reno” is distinguishable from “Bluebirds by Reno” or “Bluebirds Reno“.
Use an abbreviation instead of a complete word (or vice versa).
- For example: “NY Pizza Bros” is distinguishable from “New York Pizza Brothers“.
Use a numeral (like 5 or 101) instead of spelling out the number (like “five” or “one hundred and one”). You could also use Roman numerals (like “II” instead of “2”, or “MMXVI” instead of “2016”).
- For example: “88 Dancers” is distinguishable from “Eighty Eight Dancers“.
Translate the business name into a foreign language.
- For example: “Little Prince Printing” is distinguishable from “Petit Prince Printing“.
What if my Nevada business name is rejected?
If you file your Nevada Articles of Organization (the document that creates your Nevada 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.
Nevada Business Name FAQs
Do I need a name reservation in Nevada?
No, a name reservation isn’t required to form an LLC in Nevada. 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 Nevada require LLC in the name?
Yes. Your Nevada LLC name must contain one of the allowable designators at the end. The most commonly used designators are:
- Limited Liability Company
- Ltd. Liability Co.
Does my Nevada LLC need a DBA?
No, you’re not required to file a DBA (“Doing Business As”) for your business entity in Nevada.
A DBA (also known as a Fictitious Firm Name in Nevada) 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 registration of the Fictitious Firm Name with the County Clerk where your LLC is located. The fee varies depending on which county (or counties) you register your DBA in. You can use this page to find County Clerk Information.
There is no limit to the number of DBAs 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 Skytree Cruise Lines LLC, but you also want to use a friendlier, catchy name, like Sky Cruises. In this case, your LLC would need to file a DBA with the County Clerk to use the name Sky Cruises.
If you don’t file a DBA for a different name, you can only use your legal entity name of Skytree Cruise Lines LLC.
Similarly, if you want to do business under the name Skytree Cruise Lines, just without the letters “LLC” in the name, you will need to file a DBA for Skytree 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:
Find a domain name
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 Bighorn Sheep LLC. But there is already a business in another town called Bighorn Sheep, Inc. Because your desired LLC name is the same as that existing Nevada 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 Nevada 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:
- First, write down the features of your company and things that you want to be associated with.
- 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.
- Now go back and read through them. Write down any variations that come to mind.
- 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.
- Read the whole list out loud. If you want, get input from friends, business partners, and family.
- Repeat the process: sleep on the ideas, write down new variations, read them out loud again.
- 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.
Can I use the name of another Nevada entity?
No. You can’t use the same name as another Nevada 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” or “expired” status on the Nevada Secretary of State website.
But if a business 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 Nevada.
How to start an LLC in Nevada?
Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Nevada:
- Choose an LLC name and make sure it’s available
- Choose who will be your Nevada Registered Agent
- File the Nevada LLC Articles of Organization
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS
- Open an LLC bank account
- Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Nevada
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.