Selecting a Pennsylvania Business Name

When selecting a Pennsylvania Business Name, you should first become familiar with the business name requirements of the entity you wish to form.

Incorporated Entities:

The following types of business are required to include a corporate designator—that is, a corporate ending that reflects the type of entity of the business. For example, an LLC would be allowed to end in “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, or “Limited Liability Company”, but they would not be allowed to end in “Inc.”, as this ending does not correspond to an LLC.

Below is a list of entities that must include an appropriate corporate designator (or abbreviation) in their Pennsylvania business name:

Unincorporated Entities:

There is another type of business—the DBA (also called a Fictitious Name in Pennsylvania). This type of business is no more involved than doing business under a name that is not legally your own, and the owner is directly tied to the business. Both individuals and incorporated entities can open a Pennsylvania Fictitious Name.

Below are the entity types that do not require (in fact, are not allowed to have) a corporate ending:

The final type of fictitious name is when an incorporated entity does business under a name other than its own. In this case, the fictitious name may have either no corporate designator or the designator appropriate for the owner’s entity type.

Business Name Search

Whether you’re required to include a corporate ending or not, it’s a good idea to determine whether your business name is available for use as early in the process as possible. We can do a business name search for you to determine if anyone else is using the business name you’ve decided on.

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Pennsylvania Startup Quicklinks

For information on other types of businesses in Pennsylvania, please explore the links below.