Phoenix Office
Arizona Corporation Commission
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Corporations Division
Patricia L. Barfield - Director


(602) 542-3026
1-800-345-5819 (in Arizona only)


Tucson Office
Arizona Corporation Commission
400 W. Congress, 2nd Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701


Corporation and LLC Name Requirements and

Arizona Corporation Commission Naming Standards

To check the availability of a specific name or reserve a name for 120 days, click here.

 

STATUTORY NAME REQUIREMENTS

Corporation and limited liability company (LLC) names must contain certain words and cannot contain other words, and must also be distinguishable from other entity or trade names on file with the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Arizona Secretary of State. Continue reading below for the statutory criteria and the explanation for how distinguishability is determined. 

 

Corporations            LLCs             Distinguishable

 

CORPORATIONS

All corporations.  If the corporation name contains any of the following words, prior written approval must be obtained from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions before registration is allowed:  Bank; Banker; Banking; Banc; Banco; Banque; Credit Union; Deposit; Savings Association; Building Association; Savings and Loan Association; Building and Loan Association; Savings Bank; Thrift; Trust; or Trust Company. See A.R.S. §§ 10-401, 10-1506, 10-3401, and 10-11506. Statutes are available on the Arizona Legislature’s website, www.azleg.gov, by following the link for Arizona Revised Statutes.

 

For-profit corporations.  The for-profit corporate name must satisfy the requirements of A.R.S. §§ 10- 401 and/or 10-1506. Statutes are available on the Arizona Legislature’s website, www.azleg.gov, by following the link for Arizona Revised Statutes. The minimum requirements under Arizona law for the name of a for-profit corporation or fictitious name of a for-profit foreign corporation are that it:

 

shall contain the word “association”, “bank”, “company”, “corporation”, “limited”, or “incorporated”, or an abbreviation of one of those words.  If the existing corporate name or the fictitious name adopted for use in Arizona does not contain one of those words or an abbreviation of one of those words, then one of those words or an abbreviation of one of those words must be added to it; 

AND

shall not contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.”, “L.C.”, “LLC” or “LC”, in uppercase or lowercase letters. 

 

Professional corporations.  The name of a professional corporation shall not conflict with any of the above, and shall contain the words “professional corporation”, “professional association”, “service corporation”, “limited” or “chartered” or one of the following abbreviations:  “P.C.”, “P.A.”, “S.C.”, “Ltd.”, “Chtd.”, “PC”, “PA”, “SC”, “Ltd”, or “Chtd”.  See A.R.S. § 10-2215. 

 

Nonprofit corporations.  The nonprofit corporate name must satisfy the requirements of A.R.S. §§ 10-3401, 10-3301, and/or 10-11506 and must not conflict with the requirements for professional corporations (A.R.S. § 10-2215) or other corporations (A.R.S. §§ 10-1506 and 10-401). Statutes are available on the Arizona Legislature’s website, www.azleg.gov, by following the link for Arizona Revised Statutes. Note that other requirements may apply if you are forming a nonprofit corporation under Chapter 19 of Title 10, Arizona Revised Statutes (cooperatives). 

 

LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES

All LLCs.  If the LLC name contains any of the following words, prior written approval must be obtained from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions before registration is allowed:  Bank; Banker; Banking; Banc; Banco; Banque; Credit Union; Deposit; Savings Association; Building Association; Savings and Loan Association; Building and Loan Association; Savings Bank; Thrift; Trust; or Trust Company. See A.R.S. §§ 29-602, 29-804. Statutes are available on the Arizona Legislature’s website, www.azleg.gov, by following the link for Arizona Revised Statutes

 

LLCs (non-professional).  The LLC name must satisfy the requirements of A.R.S. § 29-602. Statutes are available on the Arizona Legislature’s website, www.azleg.gov, by following the link for Arizona Revised Statutes. The minimum requirements under Arizona law for the name of a limited liability company or fictitious name of a foreign limited liability company are that it:

 

shall contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.”, “L.C.”, “LLC”, or “LC”. If the existing limited liability company name or the fictitious name adopted for use in Arizona does not contain one of those words or an abbreviation of one of those words, then one of those words or an abbreviation of one of those words must be added to it. 

                                                              AND

shall not contain the words “association”, “corporation”, “incorporated”, or an abbreviation of those words. 

 

Professional LLCs.  The professional LLC name must satisfy the requirements of A.R.S. § 29-845. Statutes are available on the Arizona Legislature’s website, www.azleg.gov, by following the link for Arizona Revised Statutes. A professional limited liability company name shall not conflict with any of the above, and shall contain the words “professional limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations:  “P.L.L.C.”, “P.L.C.”, “PLLC”, or “PLC”, in upper or lower case letters.

 

DETERMINING DISTINGUISHABILITY OF ENTITY NAMES

Effective 08/12/2005; Revised 12/23/2005

 

Laws 2005, chapter 253, amended the naming statutes for corporations and LLCs to require that entity names only be “distinguishable” from other entity and trade names on file with the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Arizona Secretary of State. “Distinguishable” is a minimal standard. A name is “distinguishable” if it is different in any way from other entity and trade names, however, some differences do not count and are not considered in determining distinguishability.  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)

 

The following are guidelines to be used in determining whether a name is “distinguishable.”

 

1.   Name Length: the STARPAS Database limits the number of characters for a full entity name to sixty (60). Please note that the system will truncate (cut off) any names longer than sixty characters.

 

2.   Words and abbreviations that are required to identify the type of entity (called “identifiers”) are disregarded when considering whether or not a name is available and do NOT qualify a name as distinguishable. This includes abbreviated forms of the identifiers as well as foreign language equivalents.

 

IDENTIFIERS: “corporation”, “corp”, “company”, “incorporated”, “limited”, “association”, “co.”, “Ltd.”, “Inc.”, “limited partnership”, “limited liability company”, “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, “limited company”, “LC”, “L.C.”, “LLP”, “L.L.P.”, "limited liability limited partnership", "L.L.L.P", "LLLP",“P.C.”, “professional corporation”, “professional service corporation”, “PSC”, “PLLC”, “PLC”, “professional association", "P.A.", "service corporation", "S.C.", "chartered", "Chtd.", "Arizona Close Corporation", and "A.C.C."

 

EXAMPLES:  “Fox Co.” is NOT distinguishable from “Fox LLC”

                 “Los Gatos S.A., Inc.” is NOT distinguishable from “Los Gatos Inc.”

 

3.   A name may NOT be comprised only of identifiers listed above.

EXAMPLES:   "Service Corporation, Limited" would NOT be a valid name.

                  "Arizona Service Corporation, Limited" WOULD be a valid name.

 

4.   All spaces between words are eliminated and do NOT make a name distinguishable.

EXAMPLE: “Right Now Co.” is NOT distinguishable from “Rightnow Co.”

 

5.   Certain symbols, punctuation marks and special characters are eliminated prior to searching for name availability, and do not qualify a name as being distinguishable. The following marks are removed prior to searching name availability:

  

“ “ (quotation marks)

. (period)

; (semicolon)

! (exclamation)

‘ (apostrophe)

\ (back slash)

| (pipe)

? (question mark)

( ) (parenthesis)

/ (forward slash)

- (hyphen)

… (ellipsis)

, (comma)

~ (tilda)

[ ] { } <> (brackets)

__ (underscore)

^ (carrot)

: (colon)

` (accent)

--- (dotted line)

* (asterisk)

> < (greater than/less than)

# (pound sign / number)

 

 

           

            EXAMPLES:  Mission: Mars” is NOT distinguishable from “Mission Mars”

“Bob’s” is NOT distinguishable from “Bobs”

“We Rule” is NOT distinguishable from “We Rule!”

 

6.   The possessive form of a word is NOT distinguishable from the plural.

EXAMPLE:    “Bob’s” is NOT distinguishable from “Bobs”

 

7.   All names are reviewed in upper case letters. The use of upper and lower case letters does NOT make a name distinguishable.

EXAMPLE:    “CRAZY cat” is NOT distinguishable from “Crazy Cat”

 

8.   “&” and “And” are NOT distinguishable.

EXAMPLE:    “Tom & Joe’s Place” is NOT distinguishable from “Tom and Joe’s Place”

 

9.   Arabic numbers are NOT distinguishable from words representing the numbers.

EXAMPLES:  “Circle Two” is NOT distinguishable from “Circle 2” or "Circle #2"

“Nineteenth Hole” is NOT distinguishable from “19th Hole”

 

10.  The Articles “a”, “an” and “the” do NOT make a name distinguishable (note that this does not apply to these articles in any language other than English).

EXAMPLES:  “The Lighthouse Inn” is NOT distinguishable from “Lighthouse Inn”

“A House Apart” is NOT distinguishable from “The House Apart

"Deck the Halls" is NOT distinguishable from "Deck Halls"
 

Note: If the letter “A” is intended to be used in a name as something other than an article, make sure that it is followed (without any spaces) by a period (.), dash (-) or another letter.

 

The following items DO make a name distinguishable from another name on the record:

 

11.  Prepositions and conjunctions are not eliminated prior to searching for name availability and are considered distinguishable.

EXAMPLES:  “Into the Deep Co.” is distinguishable from “To the Deep Co.”

“Of Mice and Men Inc.” is distinguishable from “Mice and Men Inc.”

 

12.  The same words in a different order may make a name distinguishable.

EXAMPLE:    “House Party” is distinguishable from “Party House”

 

13.  Words that are spelled differently or creatively are considered distinguishable.

EXAMPLES:  “Crispy Cream” is distinguishable from “Krispy Kream”

“Capitol Finance” is distinguishable from “Capital Finance”

 

14.  Abbreviations and unabbreviated versions of the same words are distinguishable. In addition, acronyms are distinguishable from the words that the acronym represents.

EXAMPLES:  “Computer Solution Technology” is distinguishable from “Computer Solution Tech.”
“Arizona Boot Barn” is distinguishable from “AZ Boot Barn”
“ACMA” is distinguishable from “Arizona Candy Makers Association”

 

15.  The following letters and specific symbols are NOT converted to the word/number equivalent and may make a name distinguishable.
 

A-Z

%

$

+

=

@

 

EXAMPLE:    “Dollar Store” is distinguishable from “$ Store”   

 

16.  Roman Numbers are distinguishable from words representing the numbers.

EXAMPLE:    “Bookstore III” is distinguishable from “Bookstore Three” or

“Bookstore 3” (note that “Bookstore Three” is NOT distinguishable from “Bookstore 3”)

 

17.  The use of the word “Arizona” may make a name distinguishable.

EXAMPLE:    “Arizona Pet Food Specialists Inc.” is distinguishable from “Pet Food

Specialists Inc.”

 

18.  The plural form of a word may make a name distinguishable.

EXAMPLE:    “Good Deed Inc.” is distinguishable from “Good Deeds Inc.”

 

19.  Words in a foreign language are not translated into English, but must consist of letters in the Roman alphabet, Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, etc.), or symbols capable of being readily reproduced by the Division.

EXAMPLES:  “Rio Verde” is distinguishable from “Green River

Evangelical Church” is distinguishable from “Evangelico Church
“El Burrito” is distinguishable from “The Burrito” or “Burrito”

 

IMPORTANT: The Arizona Corporation Commission’s (ACC’s) role in determining whether or not an entity’s name is distinguishable is ONLY ministerial. Registering or filing a name with the ACC does not grant rights or interests in that name. The ACC does not have the power to determine or settle competing claims to a name under other statutes or under common law. Even though the ACC approved a name as being distinguishable from the names of existing entities or trade names (based on the above criteria), you could still be infringing on the naming rights of other parties. In particular, if the name you select is similar to a name already protected by a federal trademark filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you could be forced to stop using the name and possibly to disgorge profits. This can also be the case if another entity is already using a similar name in a related field, even if they do not own a federal registration. To search the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, go to: http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm

 

Please also note that the Arizona Corporation Commission does not register 'Doing Business As' or d/b/a names.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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