One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Alabama LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Alabama is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Alabama businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Alabama LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Alabama, and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for an Alabama LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Alabama.
Step 1: Follow the Alabama LLC Naming Guidelines
The first step is to ensure that your chosen name complies with the requirements of Alabama’s LLC naming guidelines as listed below:
- Your business name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC.”
- Ensure that the business name you settle on does not contain any words which could clash with an existing government entity. This could result in legal implications when you try to file your LLC.
- Before deciding on a name, always use the LLC name availability checker to ascertain whether your business name is completely unique in the state.
- If you want to use any words that may be restricted or that may create an impression of specific qualifications, you must ensure that you first have a license that correlates with that word usage. For instance, if you use the word “doctor” in your business name and your business relates to the medical industry, you’ll need to ensure that you have a qualified and licensed doctor on staff.
Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.
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Step 2: Look Up Alabama LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct an Alabama LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Alabama.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Alabama Business Entity Records on Alabama’s Official Secretary of State page to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
- Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.
To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.
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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.
Step 3: Reserve Your Alabama LLC Name
In order to register your business name, you will require a Name Reservation Certificate as well as a Certificate of Formation. Name reservations can be made online, by mail, or in person. A $28 filing fee needs to be paid if you file online.
You can file for your Certificate of Name Reservation and Formation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Alabama.
Using an Alabama DBA for Your LLC
You can register a “trade name,” with the Alabama Secretary of State, which is the state’s name for a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. A trade name gives you the option of using a name that is different from the official business name that you will choose when you create your LLC.
LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.
Step 4: Register an Alabama LLC Trade or Service Mark
To register a trade name in Alabama, an application must be filed with the Lands & Trademarks Department of the Alabama Secretary of State. Trademark registrations remain effective for five years.
Renewal of trade names can be done by submitting an application for renewal, including one copy of the application as well as the renewal fee. If the trademark owner changes after a legal transfer of the trademark, then a notarized statement of assignment must be included with the fee.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Alabama, check out the steps on how to form an Alabama LLC.
Alabama Secretary of State Contact Information
Business Entities Division
P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36103-5616
RSA Plaza – Suite 580
770 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 242-5324
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm
Division Director Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alabama LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do an Alabama LLC name search?
When forming an Alabama LLC, you will be required to choose a name.. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the Alabama Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can search the Alabama Business Entity Records on the Secretary of State website.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Alabama?
You can use the Alabama Business Entity Records tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Alabama Secretary of State via phone at (334) 242-5324 for assistance on how to perform an Alabama LLC name search.
Can I renew an Alabama LLC name reservation?
Yes. You can renew your reservation by mail or online through the Secretary of State Online Services page. Renewal fees are $28 for online renewal and $25 for mail renewal. The renewal request must be filed no later than 90 days before the initial reservation expires, and the fee must be paid with each renewal request.
Is the Alabama Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the Alabama Business Entity Records tool to find and reserve a name for your LLC. Simply enter the desired name for your LLC.