No, you do not always have to include “LLC” in your logo, business card, website, social media pages or marketing collateral. In the United States you don’t need “LLC” in your branding, but it’s imperative that you include “LLC” in your business name for every other legal documentation.

Table of Content

On Business Cards

Although it might not be necessary, but it is advisable to use this designator anywhere possible, most especially when signing any agreements or engaging in any type of legal contract. It is also considerably important to display the full name when you design LLC business cards or stationary, or listed on a building directory or when you create your website.

On Business Documents

Also include “LLC” on all invoices, contracts, leases, legal records, tax returns, letterheads and other purposes. In most states, it is mandatory to add “LLC” to your business name when forming your business, filing for an EIN or paying taxes.

Remember that having “LLC” noted on documents such as invoices, contracts and leases will inform clients and customers that your company exists as a separate legal entity and by law they are dealing with a separate entity and not with you personally. According to experts, this could save you from potential lawsuits. Anyone considering suing you might have to reconsider and stand down immediately they realize they won’t have access to your personal assets.

Normally, in the United States, this is not an issue because most logos do not use the business name; instead, they prefer a variation of it, such as the business’s initials or a branding image. Examples of this are the McDonald’s golden arches and the Nike “swoosh” symbol.

Howbeit, maybe due to the fact that “LLC” doesn’t fit in your logo design or doesn’t sound as attractive as you would like, you might prefer to do without adding it to the end of the business name while conducting advertising and marketing.

As Part of your Business Name

However, if your state requires that the company name include “LLC” or “Limited Liability Company” as part of the name, the state may also require that the company’s advertising and marketing materials, especially your logo, also contain those words.

However, some states in the country require some form of the words, limited liability Company, or LLC, to be included in legal documents such as contracts, letterheads and other front-facing correspondence. So to avoid being on the wrong side of the law, use the full legal business name, including LLC, on all documents concerning the business, as well as on marketing materials.

Agreeably, Companies are not mandated by any law to include LLC on business cards and marketing materials, it can go a long way to add a look of credibility to the business. Additionally, using it on every correspondence tool, including business cards, is a good safety measure. If it is included as part of the logo design, it also means that your business cards will naturally include the LLC designation.

However, if you really don’t want to include “LLC” in your business name, once you’ve registered your LLC you can also opt to register a DBA (“doing business as”). A DBA is also known as a fictitious business name or a trade name.

Conclusion

The problem is that most people don’t like the look of LLC or Limited Liability Company on their marketing materials. However, experts always encourage businesses to use the LLC designation on all materials. If that is the case and you want to be safe, you can choose to register a DBA (doing business as) which is sometimes known as a fictitious business name or assumed name.

Joy Nwokoro