How do you see if an LLC name is available in Arizona?
Limited Liability Company (LLC) name searches are available via the internet in Arizona. The Corporation Commission provides a searchable database of current corporations, LLCs, and professional LLCs. You can search the Arizona Corporation Commission entities at https://ecorp.azcc.gov/EntitySearch/Index.
There are statutory name requirements for corporations and LLCs. Corporations and LLCs must contain certain words while not containing other certain words. Additionally, the name must be distinguishable from other entity or trade names on file with the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Arizona Secretary of State.
For LLCs, as of the date of the writing of this blog post (October 20, 2020), Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) § 29-602 and § 29-804 set forth some requirements. A.R.S. § 29-602 requires any LLC, or ficticious name of a foreign limited liability company "shall contain the words "limited liability company" or "limited company" or the abbreviations "L.L.C.", L.C.", "LLC", or "LC". Additionally, the LLC shall not contain the words "association", "corporation", "incorporated", or an abbreviation of those words.
How do you determine if a LLC name is disguisable from another entity? According to the Corporations division website, "distinguishable" is a minimal standard. "A name is 'distinguishable' if it is different in any way from other entity and trade names, some differences to not count and are not considered in determining distinguishability." Add cite - https://azcc.gov/corporations/determining-distinguishablity. According to the Corporations division the following differences do not make a name distinguishable:
entity identifiers (Inc, LLC, Corporation, etc.)
spaces between words ("roll out now co." vs. "rollout now co.")
specific punctuation ("Great Expectations " vs. "Great Expectations!")
the case of the letters contained in the name ("TOO COOL" vs. "Too Cool")
the use of ampersand (&) versus "and" ("U & I Inc." vs. "U AND I Inc.")
the use of Arabic numerals (1,2,3,etc) and words representing these numerals ("One Stop LLC" vs. "1 Stop LLC")
the use of the articles "a", "an" and "the" (A Birdcage vs. The Birdcage)
Other things such as propositions or conjunctions may make a name disguisable according the Corporations Division. Also, words in different orders and even letters and numbers such as A-Z, %, $, +, =, and @ may make a name distinguishable. For more detailed information on distinguishability in entity names at https://azcc.gov/corporations/determining-distinguishablity.
A word of caution though that you could still infringe on naming rights such as trademark even though the Arizona Corporation Commission approved the name. Their act is considered ministerial and may not grant rights or interests in the name.
If you aren't ready to setup a LLC you can still reserve the name for 120 days. Name reservation costs $45 through the Corporation Commission. You can submit a name reservation online using their FILE feature. A link to check if the entity name is https://ecorp.azcc.gov/EntitySearch/Index and then if available in the upper right hand corner click File.