Nailing down a great name for your Nebraska LLC can be challenging.
You want the name to be unique and easy to remember while being legally acceptable and 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.
Nebraska LLC Entity Search
The most important consideration when choosing an LLC name in Nebraska 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 Nebraska
Go to the Nebraska 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 in Nebraska.
2. Check Nebraska LLC name regulations
In Nebraska, your LLC name must include “limited liability company” or an abbreviation (LLC or L.L.C.) and cannot have words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency. Additionally, the business name must be distinguishable from all other business names in Nebraska.
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 GoDaddy.com 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 a Nebraska LLC Name Reservation
To reserve an LLC name in Nebraska, start by visiting the Secretary of State’s website to download the form. You cannot reserve a name online, only by mail. You’ll mail the form to:
Robert B. Evnen, Secretary of State
P.O. Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509
The cost to file a name reservation in Nebraska is $30. Once your application is processed, your LLC name will be reserved for 120 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 Nebraska, a DBA is known as a trade name. To register a trade name in Nebraska, go to the Secretary of State’s website to download the form.
You’ll mail the form, and the $110 fee, to:
Secretary of State’s Office
Business Services Division (Corporations)
P.O. Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509
You’ll also need to take the following steps:
“1) You are required by law to publish one legal notice in a newspaper stating you have registered a Trade Name with the Secretary of State’s Office. The newspaper must have a general circulation in the city or village where the business is to be located or if there is no newspaper in the city or village, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
2) As soon as you have received the duplicate copy of the filed Trade Name application back from the Secretary of State’s office, we suggest that you immediately take this duplicate copy of your application to the newspaper so that the newspaper has the exact information to publish the required legal notice of the Trade Name.
3) You should verify that the information in the legal notice is an exact duplicate of the information on the Trade Name application, either by double-checking the notice the day it is published in the newspaper or by asking the newspaper for a proof of the notice prior to publication. If the legal notice was published with incorrect or incomplete information, you will need to re-publish the legal notice again, as soon as possible, so that you are still able to get proof of the publication from the newspaper to the Secretary of State’s Office filed properly within the statutory 45 day timeframe.
4) After the newspaper has published the legal notice, the newspaper will provide a notarized Affidavit of Publication.”
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.