How to Search an Illinois LLC Name in 2024 - How to Start my LLC

Illinois LLC Name Search

Written by:

Carolyn Young has over 25 years of experience in business in various roles, including bank management, marketing management, and business education.

Reviewed by: Sarah Ruddle

For over 15 years, Sarah Ruddle has been a noteworthy leader in the business and nonprofit world.

Illinois LLC Name Search

Illinois LLC Name Search

Nailing down a great name for your Illinois LLC can be challenging. 

You want the name to be unique and easy to remember while conveying what your business does. You also want it to be SEO-friendly so that it can easily be found on Google. That’s a lot of boxes to check. 

And even if you’ve already found the perfect business name, you need to make sure it’s available. That takes several steps, as detailed in this handy guide.

Illinois LLC Entity Search 

The most important consideration when choosing an LLC name in Illinois is to make sure it’s available and legally acceptable. Here’s how to confirm you can use your preferred business name. 

1. Check for availability in Illinois

Go to the Illinois secretary of state website and enter your business name. 


You should also search for similar business names, as you don’t want a name that can be easily confused with other businesses.

2. Check Illinois’ LLC name regulations

In Illinois, your LLC name must include “limited liability company” or an abbreviation (LLC or L.L.C.) and cannot have words that could confuse your Illinois LLC with a government agency.

Additionally, your business name must be distinguishable from all other business names in the state and cannot include words like bank, insurance, or university without state approval or imply that the LLC is a corporation or partnership.

3. Check Trademarks

Check with the US Patent and Trademark Office to ensure the name has not been trademarked and is thus available nationally. 

4. Check domain name availability

You’ll want to make sure the domain name is available. You can check at a site like and use .com or .org, as those give your business more credibility.

5. Google it

Do a Google search to ensure the name is not being used in the U.S. or internationally. This is particularly important if you plan to have a strong online presence for your business.  

Once you’ve confirmed these, it’s a good idea to reserve the name with the state. 

How to File an Illinois LLC Name Reservation

To reserve an LLC name in Illinois, start by visiting the Illinois Secretary of State website to download the name reservation form. Unfortunately, you cannot file your name reservation online, only by mail.


You’ll just need your proposed business name and your name and address.

Enter all of the required information and mail the form, with the $25 fee, to:

Secretary of State
Department of Business Services
Limited Liability Division
501 S. Second St., Rm. 351 
Springfield, IL 62756

Once your application is processed, your LLC name will be reserved for 90 days.

Doing Business As (DBA)

You may want to do business under a name other than your LLC name. You’ll need to register a “doing business as”  or DBA name. There are two main reasons you might want to use a DBA.

  • Suppose you want to add new product lines. For example, if your business name is “JJ’s Waffles,” you want to expand and offer “JJ’s Muffins.” You can have multiple DBAs under the umbrella of your one LLC. 
  • When you have a DBA, you can have a business bank account under that name. So if you add “JJ’s Muffins,” customers can pay “JJ’s Muffins,” and you can deposit those payments into the bank account with that name.

In Illinois, a DBA is known as an assumed name. To register an assumed name in Illinois, go to the Secretary of State’s website. You’ll need your LLC file number to register. 

The following applies to assumed names:


  • The right to use an assumed name is effective from the date the application is filed by the Secretary of State’s office until the first day of the company’s anniversary month in the next calendar year, evenly divisible by five. After that, the assumed name is renewed for five years.
  • In good standing, domestic and foreign limited liability companies may electronically adopt an assumed name.


  • $150 — for each year or part thereof ending in 0 or 5
  • $120 — for each year or part thereof ending in 1 or 6
  • $90 — for each year or part thereof ending in 2 or 7
  • $60 — for each year or part thereof ending in 3 or 8
  • $30 — for each year or part thereof ending in 4 or 9
  • A payment processor fee will be assessed for all transactions.
  • Payment must be in the form of a credit card — Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.

Two types of processing are offered. Non-expedited service will be reviewed within ten days of submission. Expedited service requests will be reviewed within 24 hours (excluding weekends and holidays).

For more information, please email the Department of Business Services, Limited Liability Division, or call 217-524-8008 ext. 7736

In Closing

Choosing a business name is crucial to entrepreneurial success, so if you’ve found a good one, don’t let somebody else get it! Instead, just take the steps detailed above to ensure it’s available and legally acceptable before nailing it down. 

You don’t want to run into an issue later that could impact the success of your business.