When starting a limited liability company (LLC), you have to decide what to call it. The most common option is to use the name of the business owner, but this isn't the only option.

You can also choose to operate your LLC under a personal name. In this article, we'll discuss the pros and benefits of using a personal name as the name of an LLC.

Using A Personal Name For An LLC

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There are a few things to keep in mind when operating an LLC using a personal name. First, you'll need to use your full legal name as the business name.

You can't use a nickname or shortened name. You'll also need to register your business with the state and get a business license.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you'll need to open a separate bank account for your LLC. You can't use your checking account for business transactions.

This will help you keep track of your business finances and avoid confusion about which funds are for business and personal expenses.

Operating an LLC using a personal name can be a great way to start a business. It's less expensive and easier to set up than other business entities, and it can provide some personal liability protection.

Just remember to use your full legal name as the business name, register your business with the state, and set up a separate bank account for your LLC.

Pros and Cons of Using a Personal Name for an LLC

There are a few pros and cons to using a personal name for an LLC.

Pros:

Cons:

  • You'll need to use your full legal name as the business name
  • You'll need to register your business with the state
  • May be more difficult to find customers or clients who are not familiar with the personal name of the LLC owner.

It is important to consider all the pros and cons before deciding on using a personal name for an LLC. If you're unsure which option is best for you, consult with an attorney/law firm or accountant specializing in small business law.

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Business Name Restrictions

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When operating an LLC using a personal name, there are a few business name restrictions to keep in mind. First, you'll need to use your full legal name as the business name.

You can't use a nickname or shortened name. You'll also need to register your business with the state and get a business license.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can't use your personal name for an LLC in states where it's not allowed.

For example, you can't use the name "John Smith" if you live in California because there is already a business operating under that name.

You'll also need to make sure your personal name is available to use as the business name. You can do a business name search to see if your personal name is already used.

If you're operating an LLC using a personal name, make sure you familiarize yourself with the business name restrictions in your state.

How to Check if an LLC Name Is Taken

If you're operating an LLC using a personal name, you'll need to make sure your personal name is available to use as the business name.

You can do a business name search to see if your personal name is already used.

To check if an LLC name is taken, you need to do an LLC lookup by firstly visit the website of the Secretary of State for the state in which you want to register your LLC.

Then, select the option to search for business names. You'll need to enter your personal name into the search tool and see any results.

If there are no results, that means your personal name is available to use as the company name of your LLC. If there are results, that means there is already an existing LLC registered with that name. You'll need to choose a different name for your LLC.

Using a DBA for an LLC

In some cases, you may need to file a "Doing Business As" (DBA) form for your LLC. This is typically only necessary if you're using a name other than your personal name. For example, if you want to use the LLC name "John Smith Enterprises," you'll need to file a DBA.

You can usually file a DBA online through the Secretary of State website. The process and fees will vary depending on your state.

If you're operating an LLC using a personal name, you likely won't need to file a DBA. But it's always a good idea to check with your Secretary of State office to be sure.

LLC name vs. Trademark

Woman pointing at document seriously

If you're operating an LLC using a personal name, you may be wondering if you need to trademark the name.

A trademark is a registered symbol, word, or phrase used to identify the source of a product or service.

If another business has already registered a trademark for a name that's similar to yours, they could sue you for trademark infringement.

The answer is no; you don't need to trademark the name of your LLC. A trademark is only necessary if you plan to use the LLC name for branding purposes and want to protect it from being used by other businesses.

If you're operating an LLC using a personal name, there are a few legal documents and legal services you'll need to consider. First, you'll need to create an Operating Agreement. This document outlines the responsibilities and rights of each owner of the LLC. It's important to have an Operating Agreement in place to prevent disagreements and protect your business.

You'll also need to register your LLC with the state. You can usually do this online through the Secretary of State website. The process and fees will vary depending on your State.

You may also need to file a DBA for your LLC in some cases. This is typically only necessary if you're using a name other than your personal name for the LLC.

You'll also need to obtain a business license. The process and fees for this will vary depending on your state and the type of business you're operating.

If you're operating an LLC using a personal name, make sure you understand all of the legal documents and services you'll need to obtain. This will help you stay compliant and protect your business.

FAQs

Can I Change My Business Name?

Yes, you can change your business name. The process for doing so will vary depending on the state in which your business is registered.

Generally, you will need to file a name change notification with the Secretary of State's office and update all of your business licenses and registrations. You may also need to publish a notice of the name change in a local newspaper.

What is an LLC?

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the personal assets of the owners are protected if the company issued.

LLCs are popular among small business owners because they are relatively easy to set up and maintain, and they offer some degree of protection for the owner's personal assets.

Do I Need a Separate LLC Bank Account?

You don't need a separate LLC bank account, but it can be helpful to have one. When you set up your LLC, you'll need to choose a registered agent - this is the person or company who will receive important legal and tax documents for your business.

You can ask your registered agent about opening a business bank account for your LLC. This will make it easier to track your business finances and separate your personal finances.

Can You Use Your Name as an LLC Name? (The Bottom Line)

Overall, the LLC business structure is very flexible to name. You can use any name you want as long as it is available and the state allows it.

If you are still undecided about using your personal name for your LLC, you can consult an attorney for advice.

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