One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Missouri LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Missouri is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Missouri businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Missouri LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Missouri, and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a Missouri LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Missouri.
Step 1: Follow the Missouri LLC Naming Guidelines
Check that your selected name conforms with the Missouri LLC naming criteria:
- Your name must include the term “limited liability company” or one of the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
- Your name cannot include words falsely implying you have a business relationship with a government entity (FBI, Treasury, Real Estate Commission, etc.).
- Your company’s name cannot contain words that suggest it is a financial institution, corporation, financial institution, or other types of activity under deception.
- You are not authorized to use phrases that indicate your organization is formed for any cause other than those authorized. Therefore, if you use terms like “clinical” or “legal,” you may need to file supplemental documentation to verify that your LLC includes a relevant licensed professional.
- Your LLC name cannot include terms like “Region,” “Municipality,” or “Provincial,” which suggest that your firm is a governmental institution.
- You shall not use terms such as “treasury,” “trust,” and “stakeholder” unless you receive approval from the Financial Commission or Commissioner.
- Specific laws vary by state, but organization types other than LLC, such as “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” and “Limited Partnership,” are often banned.
- Your LLC must be unique and easily distinguishable from another business entity registered in your state.
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 Missouri LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Missouri LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Missouri.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Missouri Taxable Entity Search or the Business Registration Online Portal to check if your chosen business name is available. You aren’t required to pay a fee when using the name search. 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 Missouri LLC Name
You are required to file for a Name Reservation Certificate in addition to your LLC Certificate of Formation. The name reservation filing fee is $25 for most business entities.
You can reserve a business name for 60 days with the Missouri Name Reservation application online or by mail using the Application for Reservation of Name.
Name reservation renewals must be completed 30 days before expiration if you do not establish your LLC within a specific period or according to Missouri’s guidelines. Reservations can extend for a maximum of 180 days.
Using a Missouri DBA for Your LLC
A DBA (“doing business as”) name is referenced as a fictitious name in Missouri. With a DBA, you can conduct business under a different name than your company’s official name.
You can also use a DBA and legally operate under a new name if you want to preserve your LLC but engage in another commercial activity. The fee to obtain a Missouri Fictitious Name Certificate is $7.
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 Missouri LLC Trade or Service Mark
You can search a mark on the federal trademark database to determine if someone has registered your business name.
You can file a request for a trade or service mark after you confirm the availability and reservation of your LLC name.
By notifying everyone in the state that they cannot use your mark for any purpose, you can distinguish the products or services your firm offers by registering your LLC’s business “mark” (which relates to trade and service marks) with the Missouri Secretary of State (such as brand name, slogans, and logos).
These factors are crucial for an LLC owner to file a mark registration with the Missouri Secretary of State. The filing fee for a Missouri Trade or Service Mark Application is $55 per class (“class” means goods and services).
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Missouri, check out the steps on how to form a Missouri LLC.
Missouri Secretary of State Contact Information
Missouri Secretary of State, Business Services
P.O. Box 778
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0778
Secretary of State, Business Services
600 W. Main St.
Missouri State Information Center, Room 322
Jefferson City, MO 65101-0778
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (573) 751-4153
Missouri LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Missouri LLC name search?
When forming a Missouri 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 Missouri Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Missouri Taxable Entity Search or the Business Registration Online Portal tool on the Secretary of State website. You aren’t required to pay a fee when using the Missouri name search.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Missouri?
You can use the Missouri Taxable Entity Search or the Business Registration Online Portal tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Missouri Secretary of State via phone at (573) 751-4153 or email at email@example.com for assistance conducting a Missouri LLC name search.
Can I renew a Missouri LLC name reservation?
Yes. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application during the 30-day period before your last name reservation expires. Download and fill out the Application for Reservation of Name.
Is the Missouri Secretary of State LLC name search tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the Missouri Business Registration Online Portal for free to find a name for your LLC. Enter the desired name for your LLC to determine its availability.