Washington 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 Washington Business 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 Washington.

SKIP AHEAD:

1. Check Washington LLC Naming Guidelines

2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search

3. Complete a Domain Name Search

How to Search Available LLC Names in Washington

1. Check Washington 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 Washington LLC names include:

  • Your name must contain the words "limited liability company," the words "limited liability" and abbreviation "Co.," or the abbreviation "L.L.C." or "LLC.”

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

Additionally, Washington LLC names cannot include any of the following words or abbreviations: cooperative, partnership, corporation, incorporated, Corp., Ltd., Inc., LP, L.P., LLP, L.L.P., LLLP, L.L.L.P, or any words or phrases prohibited by any state statute.

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

2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search

Once you know your LLC name meets Washington guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by using the Washington Business Search tool.

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

In Washington, the following differences do NOT make a business name distinguishable:

  • Business entity type identifiers
  • Articles and conjunctions
  • Punctuation, capitalization, special characters
  • Abbreviations and plural forms of words

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 Washington, 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 Washington 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 by mail with the Washington Secretary of State. The filing fee is $30.

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. Washington provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Certificate of Formation.

Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, called a trade name in Washington, is a separate process that requires filing with the Department of Revenue.

Washington LLC Name Search FAQ

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

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

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 Washington 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, Washington LLC names cannot include any of the following words or abbreviations: cooperative, partnership, corporation, incorporated, Corp., Ltd., Inc., LP, L.P., LLP, L.L.P., LLLP, L.L.L.P, or any words or phrases prohibited by any state statute.

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. Washington 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 Washington?

No. Washington does not require LLCs to renew their legal name or any DBAs.

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

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 Washington.

In Washington, trade names are filed with the Department of Revenue.

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

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