How to Search a Utah LLC Name

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LLC namesA unique business name is important for branding, but it’s easy to get lost in all the Utah business name rules.

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

Utah LLC name

If you file your Utah LLC paperwork with a name that is already used by another company, or that doesn’t meet the Utah 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 Availability Search. And you need to do this because two businesses 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 state rules, which we’ve broken down below.

How do I search the Utah business name database?

You can use the Utah Business Name Search to check your business name against the existing businesses registered in Utah. This search shows you every Corporation, Limited Liability Company, and other business entity in Utah.

Visit the Utah Business Entity Search page:

Utah Division of Corporations: Business Name Availability Search

Type your desired LLC name in the “Search by Entity Name” field.

This screenshot of the Utah Business Name Availability Search Tool has a blue arrow pointing to the Business Name search field.

Search tips:

  • Leave out “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, etc., when doing your searches.
  • Leave out any commas, periods, apostrophes, etc.
  • You can search using uppercase or lowercase letters.

How to interpret the Utah business name search results

This screenshot from the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code shows an example of business name search results using the search term "red moon" as the business name.

If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your LLC name is available for use.

  • Let’s keep using the example above. If your desired name is Red Moon Artists LLC, and the only similar names you saw were “Red Moon Entertainment” and “Red Moon Art and Crafts“, 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 business name search again using only part of your LLC name (to double-check that there are no similar names).

  • For example, search just the word “Red Moon” instead of Red Moon Artists.

If your exact LLC name appears in the list, your LLC name is not available for use because another business 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.

  • For example, if your desired name is Red Moon Artists LLC, and the search results show a company named “Red Moon Artist“, 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 LLC name.

The Utah Business Entity Search is free to use, so you can keep checking your new LLC name ideas until you find a unique one.

When in doubt, call the Division of Corporations

We also recommend calling the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code to confirm that your LLC name is available.

Not all states offer this service, but the representatives in Utah will tell you whether or not you can use your business name. They can also help you use the Utah business entity search.

Their phone number is 801-530-4849. Their hours are Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm Mountain Time.

Utah LLC name requirements

As per Section 48-3a-108 of the Utah LLC Act, there are a few rules and requirements for naming a Limited Liability Company that you need to know.

English language or English alphabet

Utah has a special rule that business names must be in English. 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 Utah business name is प्राण योग Studio LLC, you must file it as Prana Yoga Studio LLC.

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 state.

For example: If your desired Utah business name is Grandpa Joe’s LLC, 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 Utah.

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

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

  • LC
  • L.C.
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • Ltd. Co.
  • Ltd. Company
  • Limited Co.
  • Limited Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Company

The following designators are not allowed

Your Utah LLC can’t make itself sound like a Utah Corporation or any other legal entity besides an LLC.

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

  • Inc.
  • Corp.
  • Corporation
  • Incorporated
  • Association
  • Limited Partnership
  • LP
  • Cooperative (unless your LLC will register as a nonprofit agricultural cooperative)

What words are not allowed in my Utah LLC name?

Your Utah 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 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 effective 2022, you can’t use the number sequence “911” in your Utah LLC name.

For a full list of words restricted in Utah, please see this page: Utah Division of Corporations: Business Name Policies.

Your Utah business name must be distinguishable (unique)

When you search on the Business Name Availability 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.

How to make your name distinguishable

In Utah, there are several ways to make your business name distinguishable from other businesses.

The definition of “distinguishable” in Utah is that the name contains one or more different words, letters, or numerals from the other name.

If your name is similar to another business’s name, you can try these methods:

  • Use the words in a different order.
    • For example: “Candy Stripes” is distinguishable from “Stripes Candy“.
  • Use a different or creative spelling.
    • For example: “Creative Fixes” is distinguishable from “Cre8tive Fixes“.

And Utah lets you use a business name where the word is similar but has a different meaning.

For example: “Moonstone Manors” is distinguishable from “Moonstone Manners“. And “Venturi Capital” is distinguishable from “Venturi Capitol“.

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

Designators

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

If your desired LLC name is Jake’s Fishing Company LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found in the database search results:

  • Jake’s Fishing Company, Inc.
  • Jake’s Fishing Company, Corp.
  • Jake’s Fishing Company, Limited Liability Co.

Filler words

Adding non-meaningful or filler words (the, a, an, and, &, plus, +) won’t create distinguishability. The Division of Corporations considers an ampersand (&) and the word “and” to be the same thing.

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

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

Capitalization

Differences in capitalization don’t create distinguishability.

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

  • drum and bass Inc.
  • drum and BASS LP
  • dRuM aNd BaSs 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.

Plural or Singular Words

Plural or singular words don’t make a business name distinguishable.

If your desired LLC name is Big Pine Sled Company LLC, its not available to use if you find any of the following in the business name search results:

  • Big Pines Sled Company LLC
  • Big Pine Sleds Company LLC
  • Big Pines Sleds Company LLC

Punctuation and Special Characters

Adding punctuation and special characters won’t create distinguishability. The Division of Corporations has a full list of the punctuation and special characters on the Business Name Policies page, including: ‘ [ ] : , – – ! ( ) . * \ { } ^ @ ¢ $ = < > # % + _ ~

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

  • $$$ Sean’s Nail Salon Inc.
  • Seans Nail Salon LC
  • Sean$ Nail Salon L.L.C.
  • Sean’s Nail-Salon Inc.
  • Sean’s <Nail> Salon LLC

Abbreviations and Spaces Between Words

Differences in the spaces between words or using abbreviations doesn’t create distinguishability.

If your desired LLC name is Mountain Outfitters LLC, it’s not available to use if any of the following are found in the database search results:

  • MountainOutfitters, Inc.
  • Mtn Outfitters Corp.

What if my Utah business name is unavailable?

If you file your LLC Certificate of Organization (the document that creates your Utah 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 Certificate of Organization within 60 days, you won’t have to pay the state fee again.

Utah Business Name FAQs

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

A DBA (also known as a Business Name Registration in Utah) lets your LLC conduct business under a name which is different from its true and legal name (the name on your Certificate 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 DBA registration with the Utah Division of Corporations. You can file the Business Name Registration Form online or by mail. The fee is $22.

If you are going to file a DBA for your Utah business, it must also be distinguishable from the names of existing businesses in the state.

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 Brandi’s Hair Salon LLC, but you also want a friendlier, catchy name, like Brandi’s Braids. In this case, your LLC would need to file a DBA Application to use the name Brandi’s Braids.

Similarly, if you want to do business under the name Brandi’s Hair Salon, just without the letters “LLC” in the name, you will need to file a DBA for Brandi’s Hair Salon.

Once you’ve found a business name that you like, it’s a good idea to check if the domain name is available before forming your LLC.

You can search for your domain name with GoDaddy:

If another business entity has the same name (or your desired business name is trademarked), then the name is taken and you can’t use it.

Wondering how to see if a business name is taken in Utah? Just use the Utah Business Entity Search to look for businesses with the same name (instructions are above on this page). If your desired name appears in the business entity search results, then it’s taken and you can’t use it.

Business entity names must be “distinguishable upon the records” of the Utah Division of Corporations.

This means that no two businesses can operate with the same exact name. Said another way, if a business entity 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 Brandi’s Hair Salon LLC. But there is already a business in another town called Brandi’s Hair Salon, Inc. Because your desired LLC name is the same as that existing Utah Corporation, it is not distinguishable. You can’t use it and must choose another name.

You can change the name of your Utah LLC by filing an Amendment to the Certificate of Organization. Make sure you check your new LLC name in the Utah business entity search to make sure it’s available before filing this form.

You can download the PDF form here: Amendment to the Certificate of Organization.

The filing fee is $37.

You must enter your LLC’s current name and entity number. Then provide the new LLC name. You can leave the section blank for “The Certificate of Organization is amended as follows”.

You’ll also need to change your LLC name with the IRS, as well as with your bank and the Utah State Tax Commission. You’ll also want to update your credit or debit card(s) and your accountant.

The name of your Utah LLC can be your company’s brand name, but it doesn’t have to be (please see the DBA section above). Either way, picking a good LLC name is an important decision.

Here are some quick tips:

  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.

No, a name reservation isn’t required to form an LLC in Utah. It’s an unnecessary step and a waste of money.

You can just file your LLC’s Certificate of Organization with your desired LLC name.

Exception: If you file your LLC using OneStop, a name reservation is part of the process. However, we don’t recommend filing your LLC with OneStop. We recommend using Shopping Cart instead, and we have instructions on our website.

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Utah:

  1. Choose an LLC name and make sure it’s available
  2. Choose who will be your Utah Registered Agent
  3. File the Utah LLC Certificate of Organization
  4. Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  6. Open a business bank account
  7. Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Utah

Next Step: Utah Registered Agent

Once you find a Utah business name that is unique, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: Utah Registered Agent.

Matt Horwitz


Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
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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How to form a US LLC

Non-US residents: If you want to form an LLC in the US, we recommend hiring doola.

doola specializes in forming US LLCs for international entrepreneurs.

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Hope that helps!

Matt Horwitz founder of LLC University
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator
LLC University®