Tennessee LLC Name Search

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

Tennessee LLC Name Search

One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Tennessee LLC.

Checking the LLC name availability in Tennessee is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Tennessee businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.

Our Tennessee LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Tennessee, 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.

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How to Search for a Tennessee LLC Name

Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Tennessee.

Step 1: Follow the Tennessee LLC Naming Guidelines

First, make sure that your chosen name complies with the LLC naming guideline requirements for Tennessee which include:

  • Your business name must include the abbreviation “LLC” or the full phrase “Limited Liability Company.” 
  • The business name you decide on must not create any impression that there is a link to an existing government entity. If you use any phrase such as the FBI, CIA, or anything similar, you may find yourself facing lawsuits when you attempt to file your LLC paperwork.
  • Always use the LLC name availability checker to make sure that your business name is unique when compared to any existing businesses.
  • There are also words that may create the impression that you are a specially licensed company. These include words such as “doctor,” “lawyer,” and other professions. Avoid using words like this or make sure you have the correct license(s) first to avoid any complications.

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:

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Step 2: Look Up Tennessee LLC Name Search Availability

The next step is to conduct a Tennessee LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Tennessee.

  • LLC Name Search: Search the Tennessee Business Information Search 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 Tennessee LLC Name

If you’re in Tennessee and you want to reserve an LLC name you will need to submit a name reservation request form to the Tennessee Secretary of State either online or by mail and you must pay a filing fee of $20.

Reserving a name is a good first step if you’re thinking about forming a business in Tennessee. This will help you to make sure the name you choose to use is available when you’re ready to form your LLC. In addition, you may be able to save some money by filing a name reservation.

There is no rule that states you have to reserve your business name before you file the Articles of Organization, but the entire process can take up to four months. Because of this, you do risk getting to the end of the process and finding out someone else has used the name you wanted during that period. If you reserve the name in advance, you can avoid this and also avoid the extra fee to file your Articles of Organization again.

Using a Tennessee DBA for Your LLC

In Tennessee, a DBA (“doing business as”) name is known as an assumed name. A Tennessee assumed name gives you the opportunity to use a name other than your business’s actual legal name when conducting business.

If you want to retain your registered business name but also conduct other business activity under a different name, you can create an assumed name and legally operate under the new name. The assumed name filing fee is $20, and there may be an online service fee.

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 Tennessee LLC Trade or Service Mark

To check whether another person or business has already registered your chosen business name, you can do a name search on the trademark/service mark search database

Once you’ve verified the availability of your LLC name and secured it, you can then start the process of applying for a service or trademark for your business.

Registering your LLC business “mark” (which in this case means a service or trademark) with the Tennessee Secretary of State will distinguish the services or goods your business provides. Additionally, this creates a notice statewide that no other person or entity is authorized to use any of your marks (including brand name, slogans, and logos).

It is for these reasons that it is vital that an LLC owner register a mark with the Tennessee Secretary of State. The filing fee for a Tennessee Trade or Service Mark Application is $20 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 Tennessee, check out the steps on how to form a Tennessee LLC.

Tennessee Secretary of State Contact Information

Mailing Address

Business Services
Tennessee Secretary of State
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
6th Floor, Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243-1102

Physical Address

Business Services
Tennessee Secretary of State
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave.
6th Floor, Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243-1102

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Email: TNSOS.CORPINFO@tn.gov

Phone: (615) 741-2286

Tennessee LLC Name Search FAQ

Why do I need to do a Tennessee LLC name search?

When forming a Tennessee 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 Tennessee Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Tennessee Business Information Search tool on the Secretary of State website. This tool is free to use.

How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Tennessee?

You can use the Tennessee Business Information Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Tennessee Secretary of State Business Services via phone at (615) 741-2286, email at TNSOS.CORPINFO@tn.gov, or send a message for assistance on how to perform a Tennessee LLC name search.

Can I renew a Tennessee LLC name reservation?

Yes. In Tennessee, you can renew a name reservation by filing a new application before your last name reservation expires. Simply download and fill out the Name Reservation form.

Is the Tennessee Secretary of State LLC name search tool free to use?

Yes. You can use the Tennessee Business Information 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 then file to reserve it for 120 days.

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