If you’re starting a limited liability company (LLC), you’ve probably checked your state’s LLC naming regulations before settling on a name for your new business. Most states require that your LLC name include either “limited liability company”, “LLC”, or “L.L.C”. But you might be wondering about the appropriate punctuation — for instance, do you need a comma in your LLC name?
States do not dictate the punctuation used in your LLC name. It’s up to the LLC owners, also known as members, whether to use a comma before LLC or not. Naming requirements vary by state, but no state requires a comma in your LLC name. Check with your state for specific naming requirements.
The same applies to corporations with “Inc.” in their name when it comes to the comma. It’s completely optional.
Your business name is important, however, so choose wisely. Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Should You Use a Comma?
Many businesses use the comma because it offers separation between the business name and the LLC designation. For example, if your business is Smith’s Shoes LLC, calling it “Smith’s Shoes, LLC” separates the LLC from what customers will actually call your business.
Grammatically, opinions on the comma vary. Associated Press (AP) style suggests not to use the comma, but that does not need to be a consideration.
What’s important is that you’re consistent. If your chosen business name has a comma, you need to always use the comma, particularly on legal documents. You need to always use your LLC name exactly as written on your business registration documents.
What About Periods?
For an LLC, periods are not usually used at the end of LLC, but “L.L.C.” is sometimes used. Again, it’s completely up to you. In the case of corporations using “Inc.”, for instance, the period is not legally required but is almost always used.
In short, the answer to the title question is that it’s up to you and your fellow LLC members. Use a comma or don’t, either way is fine. The important thing is to be consistent and stick with the name you register, particularly when it comes to legal documents.