One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Kentucky LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Kentucky is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Kentucky businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Kentucky LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Kentucky, and how to reserve and register your business name.
Interested in forming an LLC? We recommend using an LLC formation service in order to ensure that you do not accidentally file your business name incorrectly and have your application denied.
How to Search for a Kentucky LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Kentucky.
Step 1: Follow the Kentucky LLC Naming Guidelines
To get started naming your business, the first step is to choose a name that is made in accordance with the requirements set by state law. These requirements include the following.
- Your business name must include the words “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “limited liability company.”
- You may not use restricted words without approval. These words include terms such as “attorney” or “bank” and require additional paperwork before they can be used.
- You cannot use words that would make your LLC sound like a government agency, such as “treasury” or “FBI.”
- You should have a distinguishable name that isn’t easy to confuse with other companies.
You cannot name your business anything that isn’t currently available. To find out, you have to perform a business name search.
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.
Have a Professional Handle your Filing
More than 72% our readers form their LLC using a professional filing service. Our recommended service provider is:
Step 2: Look Up Kentucky LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Kentucky LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Kentucky.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Kentucky Business Entity Search or Name Availabilty Search to check if your chosen business name is available. There is no fee to search for entity names through these systems. 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 Kentucky LLC Name
Along with your business formation documents, you’ll need to reserve your business name. To do this, you can file an application by mail and reserve your chosen name for up to 120 days. The filing fee for the reservation is $15.
Click here to download the Kentucky Application for Reservation of a Business Entity Name, and mail it to the Division of Business Filings upon completion.
If you don’t get your LLC filed and established in the 120-day window, you can renew your business name reservation. You can renew the reservation 30 days before it expires.
Using a Kentucky DBA for Your LLC
In Kentucky, a DBA (“doing business as”) name is known as an assumed name. The assumed name is like an alias, and it is a legal name, but it is not your business’s true name. For example, your business name could be “Business A, LLC” but your DBA could be “Business.”
Use the Certificate of Assumed Name to get your DBA. The fee is $20 in Kentucky.
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 Kentucky LLC Trade or Service Mark
When you want to register a trademark or service mark, you need to look for it in the federal trademark database. This database will let you know if someone else is already using the mark or your business information.
Make sure to take the time to verify that your LLC name is available and to secure it. Once you do, you can apply for your trade or service marks.
When you register your service or trademark with the state, you’re letting other businesses know that they cannot use them. That means you’ll be taking steps to protect your slogans, branding, and more. It’s worth doing to make sure your brand isn’t impacted by others.
Check Kentucky’s trademark records first to see if your preferred marks are already in use. Then, check the federal database. File an application with the Secretary of State to register your mark. Each new filing has a fee of $10 per class, $5 per assignment, and $5 per renewal.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Kentucky, check out the steps on how to form a Kentucky LLC.
Kentucky Secretary of State Contact Information
700 Capital Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601
700 Capital Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Phone: (502) 564-3490
Kentucky LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Kentucky LLC name search?
When forming a Kentucky 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 Kentucky Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Kentucky Business Entity Search or Name Availability Search tool on the Secretary of State website. There is no fee for using either one of these services.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Kentucky?
You can use the Kentucky Business Entity Search or Name Availability Search tool to check if your business name is available.
You may also contact the Kentucky Secretary of State via phone at (502) 564-3490 to ask for help with the name searches. You can also reach out through the online contact form or go in person for support.
Can I renew a Kentucky LLC name reservation?
Yes. You are able to renew your name reservation within 30 days before the end of your 120-day window. You will need to pay another fee of $15 and to fill out form Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name (Domestic or Foreign Entity).
Is the Kentucky Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. You can go online to the Kentucky Secretary of State website to use the Name Availability Search for free. You can choose to show only active businesses as well as inactive businesses.