What’s in a name?  Lots. Naming an entity is an important part of the process.

In Pennsylvania, an entity (corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company or limited liability partnership organized or registered to do business in Pennsylvania) gets the exclusive use of a name by reserving the name or incorporating and/or filing the name.  Hence, before you form a new corporate entity (or get a foreign corporation domesticated in PA), you need to (1) make sure the name is available and not utilized by another entity and/or (2) make sure the name you utilize is distinguishable.   The Pennsylvania Department of State expressly cautions:

Do not have signs, business cards, bank accounts or contracts established in the requested name prior to obtaining written confirmation of the name reservation or acceptance of the filing. 

See the Department of State website.  

Your corporate name must be “distinguishable.”  Here is what the law provides:

Distinguishable names- A name shall not be considered distinguishable upon the records of the department from another name for purposes of this title and 54Pa.C.S. (relating to names) solely because the names differ from each other in any or all of the following respects:

    1. Use of punctuation marks.

    2. Use of definite or indefinite article. (a, an, the)

    3. Use of any of the following terms to designate the status of an association: corporation, company, incorporated, limited, association, fund, syndicate, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust or business trust. This paragraph includes abbreviations, in any language, of the terms listed in this paragraph.

There are other things to consider when naming an entity in PA.  Talk to a lawyer about this.  We make the process simple and affordable.  Contact our experienced Pittsburgh lawyers about how best to register your name to ensure smooth sailing for your business entity in Pennsylvania.

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