what's a good name for an LLC?

60 Replies

Depending on if you want to use the name of your company for advertising, and what the purpose of the company is for. If you are using this LLC for acquisition, something that clearly defines your business purpose (ie. Diane Buys Houses, LLC) would make sense.

If your purpose is anonymity and asset protection, I wouldn't put my name in there. For what purpose is your LLC, Diane? What will be the business model?

For my commercial property holds, I loosely reference the address or building name so I can ID it easier when I pay bills and stuff. 

For my mgt corp, it's completely generic and sounds like something you kind of might of heard of.  Anonymity is important to me though and has served me well as a DIY self-manager that drives a beater.

Make sure you really need an LLC before you get one. For many real estate investors (especially those just starting out with few assets) it is an unneeded complication. However, if you are convinced you are going to start one do not put property, real estate, or anything similar in the name if you think you will ever be seeking bank financing. Banks lend preferentially to certain types of companies--it is sometimes very difficult to get financing if you are perceived to be in the "wrong" industry. Real estate and rental properties has been the "wrong" industry for several years. It is better to choose a generic name, X Group, X Associates, or no descriptor (i. e. Banana (another fruit served a computer company well)) would be better than using Real Estate, Properties, or other names that quickly identify that you are investing in real estate.

If you wish a cuter name for your business cards, etc., you can always file a DBA (doing business as) and revert back to the LLC name for official business.

Does anyone like my LLC name "Two L One C LLC" it's used for fix and flips so no

advertising. My wife hates it I laugh every time I use it. LOL

Almost anything will work. You cant' use one that is already taken, that should be easy to find out in any state you live in. If you use a lawyer to set it up they can look for you. As for what to call it depends what you are trying to use it for. @Jordan Redar and @Steve Vaughan have good points. I just plan on having same name only different Diane LLC, Daine Investments, Daine Propertys Etc.

If I told you the name of my LLC, it would defeat one of the purposes for which it was formed :)

If it is intended as a passive holding company, and not an active business, then the name does not matter. If it is intended as an active business, where you will market the name and service(s) provided by that business, then a LLC may NOT be your best choice of legal entity.

Wow!  Thanks for the responses everybody!  I ask a question and everybody asks me more questions.   I kinda like that, but now I have to go think some more.   

I'm interested in an LLC for asset protection. I want to buy and hold single family homes. I want to rent them out. I might want to keep it all separate from personal assets because of state laws here.

I took my wife's name and spelled it backwards, Steb Properties. Using your name as part of the LLC's name defeats the purpose. The geographical location of the properties is always a good choice.

I needed an LLC right away at a time when CA was moving very slow. The best thing to do would have been submit 3 potential names and then have the state research whether any were already in use. That was going to take 6 weeks which I didn't have. My other option was to apply for the LLC and hope that no one else had the same name. I ended up choosing the street number and name of the property bc it was unlikely that someone else would already be using it. If I'd had more time I'd have chosen a shorter and more anonymous name.

@Debra R. doesn't California have online search tools for LLC and DBA names. I found this tool with a quick search:

http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/

@Diane Stinebaugh as others suggested I would not use your name in the LLC. Use the address or something simple like Home Properties LLC or Best Properties or even DS Properties. Anything easy and generic. It is not like a company that sells consumer goods where you may need a good name for marketing. Obviously search and make sure the name is not being used.

Here is an Arkansas name search tool:

http://www.sos.arkansas.gov/corps/search_all.php

@Diane Stinebaugh are you planning to finance your purchases? The reason I ask is that before you setup an LLC, you should figure out what type of financing want and determine if you can get the loan with an LLC. Conventional mortgages cannot be held by LLC.

When I first got into rental properties, I setup an LLC then quickly found out I couldn't use it to buy or hold properties. It turned out to be a big waste of time and money for me.

You need to build a financial history for the LLC.

You get credit after you build a history.

The easiest way to get a loan is with your personal name. The less you want to use your name the more hoops you need to jump through.

Talk to your bank, a mortgage broker, your CPA and your lawyer. Then you will get a clearer picture of how this all works. If they do not tell you the drawbacks, talk to someone else.

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Originally posted by @Diane Stinebaugh :

@Joe Splitrock

I thought people used LLCs to buy and hold property!

Financing is difficult to get, especially for brand new llcs. You could always buy the house in your name, then transfer the house to the llc after closing. To give your business even more anonymity, put the llc in a trust. That will make it even more difficult for someone to come after you. 

Originally posted by @Stephanie Hardy :
Originally posted by @Diane Stinebaugh:

@Joe Splitrock

I thought people used LLCs to buy and hold property!

Financing is difficult to get, especially for brand new llcs. You could always buy the house in your name, then transfer the house to the llc after closing. To give your business even more anonymity, put the llc in a trust. That will make it even more difficult for someone to come after you. 

If you keep the loan in your personal name, doesn't that pierce the LLC? It would hard to to argue your LLC is separate from your personal when the loan on the LLC is in your personal name. Plus it is important to point out that your mortgage provider most likely will not allow you to transfer the house into an LLC. I know some people just don't tell the bank in order to hide it, but I wouldn't recommend that.