Oregon 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 Oregon business name rules.

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

Oregon LLC name

If you file your Oregon LLC paperwork with a name that is already used by another Oregon business entity – or that doesn’t meet the Oregon 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 Name Search (aka Business Registry Database). 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 Oregon Secretary of State’s rules, which we’ve broken down below.

How do I search the Oregon business entity name database?

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

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

Visit the Oregon Business Name Search page:

Oregon Secretary of State: Business Name Search

It’s simple: enter your desired LLC name in the search bar.

Under “Search Methods”, first run your search with “Exact words in any word order” selected (the default). And then run your search again with “Extended search” selected. This will help ensure you see all Oregon business names that are potentially similar to your desired Oregon LLC name.

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

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.

Matt Horwitz, founder of LLC University®
Don’t use “Business Name Availability Check”

There is a “Business Name Availability Check” feature on the Business Name Search page. We don’t recommend using this option. That’s because the Business Name Availability Check feature will say a name is available even if the name is used by an inactive company. But the Secretary of State might not approve your Articles of Organization with that name.

This is because an inactive company isn’t necessarily permanently shut down. That means the inactive business’s name might still be reserved – and therefore it’s unavailable for you to use.

It’s better to use the regular Business Name Search to ensure your name is truly unique. That’s the best way to ensure your Articles of Organization is approved with your desired LLC name.

How to interpret the Oregon 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.
Screenshot of sample results from the Oregon Business Entity Search
Example of Oregon 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 is not available for use because another Oregon 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.

Oregon Secretary of State Contact Information

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

Representatives at the Oregon Secretary of State can help you use the Oregon Business Name Search. They can’t guarantee that your LLC name will be available when you file, however.

The Secretary of State phone number is 503-986-2200. Their hours are 8am to 5pm Pacific time, Monday through Friday.

Oregon Limited Liability Company Name Requirements

As per Section 63.094 of the Oregon LLC Act, there are a few rules and requirements for naming an Oregon business entity that you need to know.

English language or English alphabet

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

  • English alphabet letters
  • Arabic numerals (1, 5, 200)
  • Roman numerals (I, IX, MMVII)
  • Punctuation and symbols

Oregon Secretary of State Rule 160-010-0011 has a list of which punctuation and special characters are allowed.

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 Oregon.

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

Your Oregon LLC name must contain one of the following designators at the end:

  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • Limited Liability Company

The following designators are not allowed

Your Oregon LLC can’t make itself sound like an Oregon Corporation or any other business entity besides an LLC.

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

  • Inc.
  • Corp.
  • Incorporated
  • Corporation
  • Cooperative

What words are not allowed in my Oregon LLC name?

Your Oregon 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.

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.

If you have questions about restricted words for an Oregon business entity, you can call the Secretary of State at 503-986-2200.

Your Oregon business name must be distinguishable (unique)

When you search the Oregon Secretary of State Business Name 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.

First, we’ll explain some ways to make your Oregon LLC name distinguishable from other companies. After that, we’ll discuss the rules and examples of which names are not distinguishable.

How to make your Oregon business name distinguishable

In Oregon, there are several ways to make your LLC name distinguishable from other businesses.

Creative or Unusual Spelling

Using a different spelling (like a phonetic spelling) of the same name or word can create distinguishability. You could also use a creative spelling, such as replacing a letter with a symbol.

Let’s say your desired LLC name is Girls Goals LLC but there’s already an Oregon company called Girls Goals Inc. You could use one of these spellings instead:

  • Girlz Goalz LLC
  • Girl$ Goal$ LLC
  • G1rls G0als LLC

Numerals or Spelled Out Numbers

Using numerals (like 5 or 101) instead of spelling out the number (like “five” or “one hundred and one”) can create distinguishability. Similarly, you could use a Roman numeral (like “V” for 5, or “MMXIX” for 2019)

Let’s say your desired LLC name is 25 Stars LLC but there’s already an Oregon company called 25 Stars Corp. You could use one of these instead:

  • Twenty-Five Stars LLC
  • Twenty 5 Stars LLC
  • XXV Stars LLC

Homophones (Words spelled differently that sound the same)

In Georgia, the Secretary of State looks at how the words in a business name are written, not how they are pronounced. This means that words which sound the same but are spelled differently create distinguishability. However, it also means that words that sound different but are spelled the same don’t create distinguishability.

Here are some examples to help explain.

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)

On the other hand, some wounds are said differently but spelled the same. Because they are written the same, business names using those words aren’t distinguishable.

For example:

  • Lead On LLC (a coaching service, using “lead” pronounced leed and meaning an example for others to follow) isn’t distinguishable from Lead On LLC (a plumber, using “lead” pronounced led and meaning a type of metal)


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

If your desired LLC name is Beaver Boutique LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found in the Oregon Business Name Search results:

  • Beaver Boutique, Inc.
  • Beaver Boutique, Corp.
  • Beaver Boutique, L.L.C.

Punctuation, Symbols, Spaces

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

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

  • Swallow-tail-Soap-store Inc.
  • Swallowtail/Soapstore, Limited Liability Co.
  • Swallow tail Soap store, L.L.C.
  • Swallowtail “Soap” Store Inc.


Differences in capitalization don’t create distinguishability.

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

  • square dance LP
  • sQuaRe DaNcE 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.

Filler Words

Adding non-meaningful or filler words won’t create distinguishability.

In Oregon, “filler words” means any of these:

  • articles (a, an, the)
  • prepositions (at, by, for, in, plus, to, with)
  • conjunctions (and, or, but)
  • symbols for words (&, @, +)

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

  • The Hazelnut Farms LLC
  • By Hazelnut Farms Inc.
  • Hazelnut and Farms L.L.C.
  • Hazelnut & 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 Peter’s Pears LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found:

  • Peters Pears LLC
  • Peter Pear Inc.
  • Peter’s Pear, L.L.C.

What if my Oregon business name is rejected?

If you file your Oregon Articles of Organization (the document that creates your Oregon 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 45 days, you won’t have to pay the state fee again. If you wait longer than 45 days to refile, the state will keep your filing fee and you have to start over. You can’t get a refund of the filing fee.

Oregon Business Name FAQs

Do I need a name reservation in Oregon?

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

Yes. Your Oregon LLC name must contain one of the allowable designators at the end. The most commonly used designators are:

  • LLC
  • Limited Liability Company
  • L.L.C.
Does my Oregon LLC need a DBA?

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

A DBA (known as a Trademark or Trade Name in Oregon) 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 Assumed Business Name Registration online or by mail. You’ll pay an additional fee of $50 to the Secretary of State. Check out the Secretary of State Assumed Business Name Guide for more information on this process.

If you are going to file a Trademark for your Oregon 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 Crater Lake Park Tours LLC, but you also want to use a friendlier, catchy name, like Crater Tours. In this case, your LLC would need to file a Trademark Registration to use the name Crater Tours.

If you don’t file a Trademark Registration for a different name, you can only use your legal entity name of Crater Lake Park Tours LLC.

Similarly, if you want to do business under the name Crater Lake Park Tours, just without the letters “LLC” in the name, you will need to file a Trademark for Crater Lake Park Tours.

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 Meadowlark Landscapers LLC. But there is already a business in another town called Meadowlark Landscapers, Inc. Because your desired LLC name is the same as that existing Oregon 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 Oregon 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 Oregon entity?

No. You can’t use the same name as another Oregon 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 “inactive” status on the Oregon Secretary of State website. The “inactive” label can mean several different things.

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 Oregon.

How to start an LLC in Oregon?

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Oregon:

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