Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Indiana. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Quick Note: If you’ve already found the ideal business name and would like to secure it quickly by starting the LLC, online LLC services can do it for you. No need to navigate confusing state-website portals or file anything yourself.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
No, you aren’t required to reserve your business name before forming your LLC. There are states where name reservation is a mandated part of the process, but Indiana is not one of them. You can simply file your Articles of Organization, which will register your name.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Indiana LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $10 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve an Indiana business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does an Indiana Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Indiana can reserve an entity name. The upside: you can essentially reserve a business name for as long as you’d like. The downside: you’ll have to pay a fee each time you renew it.
Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of Indiana gives you 120 days of sole ownership over that name. But if you’re not ready to officially form your LLC in that period, you’re allowed to file a Reserved Name Renewal for an additional $10 fee to extend the reservation.
You can cancel your reservation at any point. So if you had a stroke of genius and came up with a better name, simply file a Reserved Name Cancellation.
All of these forms can be found at the INBiz website link below.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in Indiana?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability. The Secretary of State’s INBiz website makes it easy. Go to the Business Search and input your desired name. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Indiana (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
Paper forms are not available for name reservations. You must file online. But don’t worry! The online filing process is quick and painless. Go to the INBiz web portal. First, you need to create an account by clicking “Login” at the top right. You’ll be presented with a series of options. Choose “Secretary of State Business Service Division,” then “Name Reservation.” Follow the onscreen instructions to input your information and you’ll have your name reserved in no time.
The $10 name reservation fee can be paid via credit card. Just enter your payment information when prompted as part of the online filing process. The Indiana Secretary of State accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Indiana to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $10 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $100 Indiana LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $10 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of Wyoming.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.