One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Georgia LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Georgia is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Georgia businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Georgia LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Georgia, and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a Georgia LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Georgia.
Step 1: Follow the Georgia LLC Naming Guidelines
The first step is to ensure that your chosen name complies with the requirements of Georgia’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 Georgia 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,” “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, “Atlanta Auto Parts” is distinguishable from “Auto Parts of Atlanta.”
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 Georgia LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Georgia LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Georgia.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Georgia Business Name Search tool online 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 Georgia LLC Name
Along with your LLC Certificate of Formation, you need a Name Reservation Certificate in Georgia. In order to reserve a Georgia Limited Liability Company (LLC) name, you must file an Application for the Reservation of Name with the Corporations Division of the Georgia Secretary of State. The fee for reserving a name is $25.00 and must be paid when you file.
The application must include the desired name of the LLC, along with the signature of the individual filing the application. This can be filed online or by mail. If filing online, you will need to create an account with the Georgia Secretary of State.
It is also important to note that if you are applying for an existing LLC name, it will not be approved unless the original LLC has been dissolved.
You can reserve a business name for 120 days on the Georgia 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 120 days before it expires.
Using a Georgia DBA for Your LLC
In Georgia, a DBA (“doing business as”) name is known as a trade name. A Georgia trade name allows you to use a name other than your business’s legal name when operating.
If you want to keep your legal business name but conduct another business activity under a different name, you can usually create a DBA name and legally operate under a new name. The fee for getting a Georgia DBA Certificate varies by county.
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 Georgia 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 Georgia Secretary of State 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 Georgia Secretary of State. The filing fee for a Georgia Trade or Service Mark Application is $15.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Georgia, check out the steps on how to form a Georgia LLC.
Georgia Secretary of State Contact Information
2 MLK Jr. Dr. S.E.
Floyd W. Tower
Atlanta, GA 30344
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Phone: (404) 656-2817
Georgia LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Georgia LLC name search?
When forming a Georgia 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 Georgia Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Georgia Business Name Search tool on the Secretary of State website.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Georgia?
You can use the Georgia Business Name Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Georgia Secretary of State via phone at (404) 656-2817 or email at email@example.com for assistance on how to perform a Georgia LLC name search.
Can I renew a Georgia 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. Simply visit the Georgia State website to fill in or download your application.
Is the Georgia Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the Georgia State website 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.