How to Check LLC Name Availability in Kentucky

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 Kentucky Name Availability Search tool to see if your name is unique.

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

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

SKIP AHEAD:

Complete a Kentucky Name Availability Search

Complete a Domain Name Search

Register Your Business Name


Kentucky LLC Name Search

The Kentucky 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 Kentucky via:

  • Online database
  • Email
  • Phone

We recommend calling or emailing the Secretary of State for preliminary name approval, even if the online database shows that your name is available on the Kentucky Name Availability Search.

Online Database

You can check your business name availability by searching the Kentucky Name Availability Search online database.

Email

You can email the Kentucky Secretary of State through their website form for a preliminary name availability screening.

Phone

You can call the Kentucky Secretary of State at (502) 564-3490 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 Kentucky LLC guide to get started.

Registering a DBA in Kentucky (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 Kentucky 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 via hard copy with the Kentucky Secretary of State. The filing fee is $15.

Kentucky Naming Requirements

Some key guidelines for Kentucky LLC names include:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or "limited company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or LC.). The word “Limited” may be abbreviated as "Ltd." and the word "company" may be abbreviated as "Co."
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business name on record in the state.

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. Additionally, Kentucky LLC names cannot include the word “cooperative” without approval.

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

Distinguishability

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

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.

Kentucky LLC Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Kentucky Name Availability Search tool to see if your business name is available.

You can also call the Kentucky Secretary of State at (502) 564-3490 or contact them through their web form 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 a Kentucky 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, Kentucky LLC names cannot include the word “cooperative” without approval.

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

Do I need to renew my business name in Kentucky?

Kentucky does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but LLCs must renew their Certificate of Assumed Name every five years with the Secretary of State.

You can renew online or by mail. The filing fee is $20.

Learn more about assumed names with our Kentucky DBA guide.

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

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 Kentucky. 

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

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