Ohio Business Name Search

A laptop with a search engine open that says "LLC Name Search"

Before you form an LLC, register a trade name, or start a corporation, you'll need to complete a business name search with the Ohio Business Search tool to see if your name is unique.

In our Ohio Business Name Search guide, we'll show you exactly how to check LLC name availability in Ohio.

Recommended: ZenBusiness will register your business name when they form your LLC for $39 (plus state fees).

SKIP AHEAD:

Complete an Ohio Business Search

Complete a Domain Name Search

Register Your Business Name


Ohio LLC Name Search

The Ohio Secretary of State requires all business names to be distinguishable from other business entities in the state.

It's also important to search for a matching domain name (URL).

How to Search Available LLC Names

You can check your business name availability by searching the Ohio Business Search online database.

Recommended: If you don’t have a business name yet or find that yours is taken, use our LLC Name Generator.

How to Check Available Domain Names

When choosing a business name you'll need to find out whether or not a good web domain name is available. Having a URL that clearly matches your business name is important. This small step can make a big difference in how prospective customers find your business.

The best way to determine if your desired URL is available is to search for it using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.

Find a Domain Now

How to Register Your Business Name

Register Your Name

An LLC name is officially registered when you file your LLC application documents and form an LLC.

Ready to register your LLC name? Use our Ohio LLC guide to get started.

Registering a DBA in Ohio (also known as a trade name) is a separate process that requires filing with the Secretary of State.

Reserve Your Name

You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Ohio for up to 180 days before you officially register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you have the opportunity to register it yourself. 

Name reservations can be filed online or by mail with the Ohio Secretary of State. The filing fee is $39.

Ohio Naming Requirements

Some key guidelines for Ohio LLC names include:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the following: LLC, L.L.C., limited, ltd., or ltd. 
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Ohio reserved names.

Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

Ohio also has the following restrictions for LLC names:

  • Your name cannot contain profanity or words or phrases that are generally considered a slur against an ethnic group, religion, gender, or heredity.
  • Your name cannot incorrectly or improperly imply that the business is affiliated with a government agency.
  • Your name cannot include any of the following words without prior approval from the superintendent of financial institutions: bank, banker, banking, trust, or words of similar meaning in any other language.
  • Your name cannot include the following unless the LLC is registered as a cooperative: cooperative, coop, co-operative, or co-op.

For more information, check out Ohio’s official state statutes.

Distinguishability

It is important that your name be distinguishable from all other business names. In Ohio, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all other existing or reserved business names in the state.

The following differences will make a name distinguishable in Ohio:

  • The use of numbers in a name, including using numerals versus spelled out numbers
  • Addition of letters
  • Different order of words
  • Spelling variations
  • Different forms of base words

The following differences do NOT make a name distinguishable in Ohio:

  • Use of punctuation, contractions, or abbreviations
  • Use of articles
  • Business entity type designators
  • Different tenses or singular/plural forms of the same word

Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.

Is your name already taken? Our free AI-powered LLC name generator will generate thousands of new ideas.

Ohio LLC Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Ohio Business Search tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the How to Search Available LLC Names section.

Should I name my LLC after myself?

While there’s no rule against naming an LLC after yourself, most experts advise against doing this. 

One of the benefits of starting an LLC is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.

To explore other naming options, use your free AI-powered LLC Name Generator.

What words can’t be used in an Ohio LLC name?

Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.

Ohio prohibits the use of profanity and the following words: bank, banker, banking, trust, or words of similar meaning in any other language.

Learn more about LLC naming requirements in the Ohio Naming Requirements section.

Should I use an LLC name generator?

If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your LLC, an LLC name generator can help you come up with some ideas.

What is a brand name?

A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.

Learn more about branding with your business entity name with our How to Name an LLC guide.

Do I have to include LLC in my name?

Yes. Ohio requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.

Learn more about LLC naming requirements in the Ohio Naming Requirements section.

Do I need to renew my business name in Ohio?

Ohio doesn't require LLCs to renew their legal name, but trade names must be renewed every five years. 

You can renew online or by mail. The filing fee is $25.

Learn more about trade names with our Ohio DBA guide.

Can my business name be different from my LLC name in Ohio?

Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or a trade name in Ohio. 

In Ohio, LLC trade names are filed with the Secretary of State.

Learn more about trade names with our Ohio DBA guide.

Does my LLC need a DBA name?

Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about Ohio DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Ohio from the dropdown menu.