Pennsylvania Business Name Search

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

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

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

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

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Complete a Pennsylvania Business Entity Search

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Pennsylvania LLC Name Search

The Pennsylvania Department 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 Pennsylvania Business Entity 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 Pennsylvania LLC guide to get started.

Registering a DBA in Pennsylvania (also known as a fictitious name) is a separate process that requires filing with the Department of State.

Reserve Your Name

You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Pennsylvania for up to 120 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 Pennsylvania Department of State. The filing fee is $70.

Pennsylvania Naming Requirements

Some key guidelines for Pennsylvania LLC names include:

  • Your name must include “company,” “limited,” or “limited liability company;” an abbreviation of one of those terms; or words or abbreviations with the same meaning.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Pennsylvania 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.

Pennsylvania also has the following restrictions for LLC names:

  • Your name cannot include any words implying that it is a business corporation, such as “corporation” or “incorporated” or an abbreviation of these terms.
  • You may need approval from the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, the Department of Education, the Department of Banking and Securities, the Insurance Department, or the Public Utility Commission to include certain restricted words.

For more information, check out Pennsylvania’s business registration guidelines.

Distinguishability

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

Business entity type identifiers (e.g., LLC, Corporation) do NOT make a name distinguishable in Pennsylvania.

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.

Pennsylvania LLC Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Pennsylvania Business Entity 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 a Pennsylvania 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.

Additionally, you may need approval from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, the Department of Education, the Department of Banking and Securities, the Insurance Department, or the Public Utility Commission to include certain restricted words.

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

Do I need to renew my business name in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania doesn't require LLCs to renew their name.

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

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 fictitious name in Pennsylvania. 

In Pennsylvania, LLC fictitious names are filed with the Department of State.

Learn more about fictitious names with our Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Pennsylvania from the dropdown menu.