One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Delaware LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Delaware is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Delaware businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Delaware LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Delaware, and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a Delaware LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Delaware.
Step 1: Follow the Delaware LLC Naming Guidelines
The first step is to ensure that your chosen name complies with the requirements of Delaware’s LLC naming guidelines as listed below:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot include words that falsely imply you are affiliated with a government entity (FBI, Treasury, Real Estate Commission, etc.).
- You must not include the words, “Olympic,” “Olympiad,” or “Citius Altius Fortius,” or a combination of these words or use a trademark, trade name, or symbol of the International Olympic Committee or the United States Olympic Committee.
- You cannot use restricted words, such as “College,” “University,” “School of Medicine,” “Medical School,” “Health Science Center,” “School of Law,” “Law Center,” or “Law School,” unless approved by the Delaware Higher Education Coordinating Board.
- You must not include the words “Veteran,” “Legion,” “Foreign,” “Spanish,” “Disabled,” “War,” or “World War” if your business is created for the benefit of war veterans and their families, without written approval issued from a veterans organization.
- You must not use the words “bank,” “bank and trust,” “trust,” or “trust company” unless approved by the Banking Commissioner.
- You must use a name that is distinguishable with a difference of at least one keyword or keyphrase. For example, “Dover Auto Parts” is distinguishable from “Auto Parts of Dover.”
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 Delaware LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Delaware LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Delaware.
- LLC Name Search: Use the Delaware Division of Corporations Name Search tool 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 Delaware LLC Name
Along with your LLC Certificate of Formation, you need a Name Reservation Certificate in Delaware. The name reservation filing fee is $75.
You can reserve a business name for 120 days on the Delaware State website.
If you do not form your LLC in time, you will be able to renew your name reservation as long as you do so within the 120-day time limit.
Using a Delaware DBA for Your LLC
In Delaware, a DBA (“doing business as”) name is known as an assumed name. A Delaware assumed name allows you to use a name other than your business’s legal name when operating.
To get a DBA name for a Delaware LLC, you will need to complete the process of registering your LLC with the Delaware Division of Corporations. This requires filing an LLC Certificate of Formation, which can be done online or by mail.
Once that is completed and approved, you can then apply for a DBA name. The fee for registering a DBA with the Delaware Division of Corporations is $25 per name in every county you wish to register in.
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 a Delaware LLC Trade or Service Mark
Doing a name search on the federal trademark database will tell you whether another business or person has already “marked” your name.
Once you verify the availability of your LLC name and secure it, you can choose to apply for a trade or service mark for your business.
Registering your LLC business “mark” (refers to trade and service marks) with the Delaware Division of Corporations not only distinguishes the goods or services your business provides, but also creates a statewide notice that any entity or person cannot use any of your marks (such as brand name, slogans, and logos).
For these reasons, it is important for an LLC owner to register a mark with the Delaware Division of Corporations. The fee for filing the application is $25.00, and the fee for the Certificate of Registration, which will be issued by the Secretary of State, is $10.00.
Checks must be made payable to the “Delaware Secretary of State.” Once registered, the mark will be effective for 10 years from the date of registration, unless you choose to cancel it. You can renew your registration six months before it expires if you do so within the 10-year period. Find the form online here.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Delaware, check out the steps on how to form a Delaware LLC.
Delaware Secretary of State Contact Information
Division of Corporations
P.O. Box 898
Dover, DE 19903
Express Mailing Address
Division of Corporations
John G. Townsend Bldg.
401 Federal St., Suite 4
Dover, DE 19901
401 Federal St., #4
Dover, DE 19901
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Phone: (302) 739-3073
Delaware LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Delaware LLC name search?
When forming a Delaware 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 Delaware Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Delaware Division of Corporations Name Search tool on the Secretary of State website.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Delaware?
You can use the Delaware Division of Corporations Name Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Delaware Secretary of State via phone at (302) 739-3073 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance on how to perform a Delaware LLC name search.
Can I renew a Delaware LLC name reservation?
Yes. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application during the 120-day period before the expiration of your last name reservation.
Is the Delaware Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the Delaware Division of Corporations Name Search tool to find and reserve a name for your LLC. Simply enter the desired name for your LLC. If the name is available, you can reserve it for 120 days.