Tennessee LLC Name Search

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

Before you form an LLC, you will need to complete a business name search with the Tennessee Business Name Availability Search tool to check if your LLC name is available.

In our LLC Name Search guide, we will show you exactly how to look up available business names for free in Tennessee.

SKIP AHEAD:

1. Check Tennessee LLC Naming Guidelines

2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search

3. Complete a Domain Name Search

How to Search Available LLC Names in Tennessee

1. Check Tennessee LLC Naming Guidelines

Before you do a name availability search, it makes sense to check if your business name meets the basic state guidelines.

Some key guidelines for Tennessee LLC names include:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.), or words or abbreviations of the same meaning in a different language.

  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Tennessee 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.

Tennessee also has the following restrictions for LLC names:

  • Your name cannot contain the word "corporation" or "incorporated" or an abbreviation of either.

  • Your name cannot falsely imply that your LLC is organized as, affiliated with, or sponsored by any fraternal, veterans', service, religious, charitable, or professional organization.

  • Your name cannot imply that the LLC is organized for any unlawful purpose or one not outlined in its articles of organization.

For more information, check out Tennessee's official state statutes.

2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search

Once you know your LLC name meets Tennessee guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by searching the Tennessee Business Name Availability Search tool.

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

The following differences generally make a name distinguishable in Tennessee:

  • Different letters or words
  • Different order of letters or words
  • Singular versus plural forms of words

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

  • Business entity type identifiers
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Use of articles, conjunctions, and prepositions

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

What if my LLC name is already taken? If your LLC name is unavailable in Tennessee, it’s time to come up with some new ideas. 

Use this guide to naming your business to learn some brainstorming tips. You can also use our free LLC name generator to come up with some name ideas.

3. Complete a Domain Name Search

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.

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How to Reserve or Register Your Business Name

Reserve Your Name

You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Tennessee for up to four months 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 submitting Form SS-9425 - Application for Name Reservation to the Tennessee Secretary of State. The filing fee is $20.

Register Your Name

If you want to register a legal entity name for your LLC, you can do so at the time of formation filing. Tennessee provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Articles of Organization.

Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, called an assumed name in Tennessee, is a separate process that requires LLCs to file with the Secretary of State.

Tennessee LLC Name Search FAQ

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

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

How do I complete a Tennessee business name search?

You can use the Tennessee Business Information Search tool to look up existing businesses in the state.

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.

What words can’t be used in a Tennessee 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.

Your name also cannot contain the word "corporation" or "incorporated" or an abbreviation of either.

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.

Do I have to include LLC in my name?

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

Do I need to renew my business name in Tennessee?

No. Tennessee does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but assumed names must be renewed every five years. 

You can renew online or by submitting Form SS-4239 - Renewal of Registration of Assumed Name. The filing fee is $20.

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

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 assumed name in Tennessee. 

In Tennessee, LLC assumed names must be filed with the Secretary of State.

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 Tennessee DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Tennessee from the dropdown menu.

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