How to Check LLC Name Availability in Illinois

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

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

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

Need help forming your LLC? Check out our Best LLC Services review.

SKIP AHEAD:

Complete an Illinois LLC Search

Complete a Domain Name Search

Register Your Business Name


Illinois LLC Name Search

The Illinois 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).

What if my LLC name is already taken? Our AI-powered LLC name generator will give you thousands of new ideas.

How to Search Available LLC Names

You can search for an LLC name in Illinois via:

  • Online database
  • Phone

We recommend calling the Secretary of State for preliminary name approval, even if the online database shows that your name is available on the Illinois LLC Search.

Online Database

Once you know your corporation name meets Illinois business name guidelines, make sure it’s available by using the Illinois LLC Search tool

Phone

You can call the Illinois Secretary of State at (217) 524-8008 for a preliminary name availability screening.

How to Check Available Domain Names

When deciding on a name for your LLC, you should make sure that a similar or exact domain name is available. A matching URL will help potential customers find your LLC faster.

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 Illinois LLC guide to get started.

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

Reserve Your Name

You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Illinois for up to 90 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 by mail with the Illinois Secretary of State. The filing fee is $25.

Illinois Naming Requirements

Some key guidelines for Illinois LLC names include:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). If it is classified as a “low-profit LLC,” it must contain "L3C."
  • Your name must be the name under which your LLC conducts business unless you register for an assumed name.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Illinois 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.

Illinois also has the following restrictions for LLC names:

  • Your name cannot include any of the following terms: “Corporation,” “Corp.,” “Incorporated,” “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” “Co.,” “Limited Partnership,” or “L.P.”
  • Your name cannot contain any word or phrase (e.g. “trust,” “trustee,” “fiduciary”) that indicates or implies that your LLC is in the business of a corporate fiduciary unless permitted by the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation. If the LLC is organized to accept or execute trusts, the name must contain the word “trust.”
  • The name may not contain any word or phrase that is restricted by any other state statute (e.g., LLCs are not permitted to operate as banks or insurers in Illinois).

For more information, check out Illinois’ official state statutes.

Distinguishability

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

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

  • Business entity identifiers such as "limited", "liability" or "company" or an abbreviation of one of those words.
  • Articles
  • Conjunctions
  • Contractions
  • Abbreviations
  • Different tenses or number 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.

Illinois LLC Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Illinois LLC Search tool to see if your business name is available.

You can also call the Illinois Secretary of State at (217) 524-8008 for a preliminary name availability screening.

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 Illinois 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, Illinois LLC names cannot include any of the following terms:

  • “Corporation,” “Corp.,” “Incorporated,” “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” “Co.,” “Limited Partnership,” or “L.P.”
  • Any word or phrase (e.g. trust, trustee, fiduciary) that indicates or implies that your LLC is in the business of a corporate fiduciary
  • Any word or phrase that is restricted by any other state statute (e.g., LLCs are not permitted to operate as banks or insurers in Illinois)

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

Do I need to renew my business name in Illinois?

Illinois does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but LLC assumed names must be renewed every five years with the Secretary of State.

You can renew online or by mail. The filing fee is $150.

Learn more about assumed names with our Illinois DBA guide.

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

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 an assumed name in Illinois. 

In Illinois, LLC assumed names are filed with the Secretary of State.

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