Why is Doing an Idaho LLC Name Search Important?
Planning to form a limited liability company in Idaho but aren’t sure of what to do? Then you’ve come to the right place. The first thing that any business owner needs to do when they start their business it choose a suitable Idaho business name. The LLC name chosem must be unique and distinguishable from other LLC names or business names registered in the state of Idaho.
Our article today will touch on important Idaho business name guidelines that all businesses in the state must follow as well as how business owners can perform an Idaho LLC name search to check if the business name they want is available for use.
Idaho Business Name Guidelines
While the Idaho state offers some flexibility on the choice of business names, there are still a few naming requirements that business owners will still need to comply with. One example of such requirement is that the business name must be distinguishable from other businesses registered in the state. On top of that, the business name must also comply with Idaho naming requirements stated below: .
- Company name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.)
- Company name cannot include words that would confuse the Georgia LLC with a government agency such as the FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.
- Restricted words like Bank, Attorney, and University may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your limited liability company.
Idaho Business Name Search
To check availability of Idaho business names, business owners can perform an Idaho business name search online through the Idaho’s Business Records Search.
To perform an effective business name search, you only need to type your desired LLC name excluding the entity identifiers like LLC, limited liability, or corporation as the business search site will automatically extract all the entity names registered.
It is recommended to perform an Idaho business search before officially registering your LLC or you might run the risk of having your Idaho LLC application rejected.
The Idaho business entity search can be performed via the following criteria:
- Search by Name
- Business ID
- Filing Number
Idaho Entity Name
Performing a business entity search for LLCs with their trade name is the most commonly used search method for obvious reasons, especially if your intention is to check if your preferred name is still available.
All you need to do perform the Idaho business search to enter the desired trade name into the search bar and click on Search for the website to begin generating entity names related to what you’ve typed.
When performing the Idaho business search, you don’t need to include phrases like LLC, Corp, or other naming designations as the site will generate results for every type of entity as long as it is registered with the state.
Search by Business ID
Another method to search for businesses via the Business Database is by searching the company registration ID. You can perform the Idaho business search the same method as searching by name, but instead of typing in the name, just key in the registration ID and click on “Search” for the page to begin generating results.
Search by Filing Number
Just like how each Idaho business entity comes with a unique business ID, they also have an associated filing number that business owners can run the Idaho business search with. To search by filing number, simply key in the filing number and tap on Search for the site to generate results.
Idaho Business Search Name Status
With more and more businesses opening up in Idaho, it is completely understandable for new business owners to find it tricky to come up with a unique business name that’s not already taken by another.
One way to come up with an idea for your business name is actually through the state’s business entity database. You can do a business search to check if there are any expired names available that you can use for your company.
For example, if you’re planning to open a pet shop, you just need to type in “Pet into the search bar and the site will give you a list of business names with the word “Pet” in them. From there you can check for business names that are still active or expired.
There might be a high chance that you could find a name you like that’s available. Nonetheless, we still recommend giving the Idaho secretary of state a call to confirm the name’s availability before submitting the application.
You might find that your desired business name is unregistered in the Idaho database, but it might not necessarily be available for use as there could be a registered trademark associated with it.
This is why it is important for business owners to also run a trademark search through the Trademark Electronic Search System before deciding on a company name. This simple step may seem extra but will prevent costly litigation in the future.
When running a trademark search, you should perform it on your desired business name, associated slogan, and logos through both Idaho Trademark Search and the US Patent Trademark Office’s electronic records to confirm that you’re not using something that’s federally registered.
One thing to note is that just because your desired company name is trademarked doesn’t mean you definitely cannot use it. You may still be able to use the name but you need to know who is using the name, the industry they’re in, as well as where they’re located to avoid inadvertently infringing on their intellectual property rights.
Reserve Business Entity Name
After having searched through the Idaho business entity database and deciding on a name for your LLC, it is now time for you to reserve that name to prevent another from taking it up. You can reserve the name for up to 4 months with Idaho’s Secretary of State that handles all LLC naming questions and requests.
The name reservation application must be filed online, by mail, or in person. You’ll need to pay a filing fee of $20 for name reservation and checks must be made out to the “Secretary of State.”
Fee: $20, plus an additional $20 processing fee if filing by mail.
Office of the Secretary of State
450 N 4th Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0080
Other Considerations and What To Do Next?
After having reserved your desired Idaho LLC name, you can now start to look into other important considerations before officially filing your Idaho LLC. Examples of considerations include running a social media name check and domain name availability to ensure that you have full, unrestricted use of your desired business name across different platforms online.
Check Domain Name Availability
Many businesses today have started acknowledging the importance of establishing a business online presence regardless of the type and size their business is. This is because many customers will run to Yelp or Google Review online to check what others say about you before visitng your store.
However, this would also mean that more and more .com website domains are being taken up by businesses. Here is where your creativity and innovation in coming up with a unique domain name that’s available and easily searchable by customers would come in handy.
When checking domain names, you can use tools like Namechkr and GoDaddy to help you confirm your desired name availability. A good thing about using these tools is that they will even come up with useful suggestions just in case your desired domain name is not available.
Another thing to know is that while the .com domain extension is the most popular extension, it’s not the only one available. There are actually several other domain extensions that you can consider using for your website such as .co, .net, and .io.
Since more and more .com domain names are taken, these extensions are slowly gaining popularity and can be quite useful for your business name should your preferred name be unavailable with the .com extension.
Check Social Media Name Availability
A website is not the only thing you need for online presence, you’ll also need to open up social media pages to connect with your customers. Hence, you’ll need to run a business search and name check on social media pages.
Here are a few important tips for your business social media page:
- You need to maintain an active social media presence even if you believe that your business is small with a straightforward business structure. As mentioned earlier, social media is a powerful tool that business owners can rely on to connect with customers directly, especially for smaller companies. A good social media page can boost organic presence online without spending too much money, attract potential customers, and even create awareness among the community on the existence of your business.
- You should run a social media handle availability check across different social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest even if you don’t intend on using those yet. If you use the same social media handle as another business on another platform, it might cause some unnecessary confusion for your customers when they look you up from another platform.
- To check for social media name availability, you can either run a simple search on each major site manually one by one just to see if they’re still available or use a tool like Namechkr that will perform the search across all platforms simultaneously to save you time.
- You should register an account with your desired social media handle if you find out that it is indeed available even if you don’t plan on starting the page yet. Registering an account with the name will ensure that someone else will not take it up before you decide to use it in the near future.
Register Your Business Entity
Once you’ve confirmed that your preferred trade name is available in Idaho with no associated trademark registered and a suitable social media / domain name, you can proceed to register your business entity with the state.
Yes, you file your Idaho LLC online on your own, but you need to be prepared to deal with a bunch of paperwork involved. The sheer amount of paperwork can get you flustered, especially if it is your first time. This is where companies like ZenBusiness, Incfile, and Northwest Registered Agent step in to help business owners do the necessary filings.
Register Company Tax ID/EIN with the IRS
Your business will be assigned a unique six digit tax ID that business owners must register with the IRS for tax purposes. The company EIN can be viewed similarly like a person’s social security number. Luckily, the registration process with the IRS can be performed quickly online.
Create a Company Logo
Other than a business name, a logo is also very important for a company. A well thought out logo design will accurately reflect the business’ mission and values as well as deliver the right message that owners want their customers to receive. Business owners can head to sites like Fiverr to connect with a freelancer that can help you get a logo design completed in as such as 24 hours.
Open a Business Bank Account
The final consideration on our list is to create a business bank account after starting your business. While there are businesses out there that mix personal with business finances, we highly recommend splitting them.
Not only will having a dedicated business account for business transaction save you future accounting headaches, it can help you build business credibility with banks for easier loan applications in the future.
The first step business owners need to take when starting a business is to come up with a suitable business name that reflects their company values and services. In addition to ensuring that your desired business name is distinguishable from others, you also need to check that the name you want fits Idaho’s naming requirements.
After reserving the name, you can proceed to check for social media and domain name availability. Once everything is set, you’ll finally be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.
Starting a business correctly doesn’t have to be difficult. With over 15 years of experience consulting new businesses and start ups, Matthew is probably the best person to help you set a strong foundation for your business.