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Forming an LLC is a simple yet crucial step in developing and protecting your business. This process is meant to provide structure, protect against lawsuits, decrease paperwork, and add credibility. And, as Indie Law has written about before, that LLC status goes along way when it comes to empowering the mindset of a small business owner.

But let’s be real. Many small businesses don’t form an LLC right out the gate. They often wait until after they are launched and branded.

We get this question quite a bit: “Hey, I just turned my business into an LLC. Does that mean I need to redo my logo to add in those three letters?”

So, do you need to incorporate “LLC” in your logo?

In short, the answer is no.

In fact, none of your branding/marketing needs to include “LLC,” “Inc.” or “Ltd.” If it is included, this may look amateur. Think of national brands such as Target, Starbucks, and Honda. These companies consistently work to simplify their image and best represent their brand.

Logos are an extension of a company’s trade name, so marketing departments don’t need to include legal designation. Trade names hold the status of a trademark without the confusing legal jargon.

It’s not only unnecessary to incorporate “LLC” into your business logo, but it’s also ill-advised. Corporate designations can create the appearance of clutter within design. The most successful branding is simple and focused – making design memorable. Trust us here—we work with a lot of designers.

Be careful: this standard does not apply to invoices, contracts, leases, legal records, tax returns, letterhead and other purposes.

In summary, you don’t need “LLC” in your branding, but it’s important that you include “LLC” in your business title for all legal documentation.

 


 

This post was written with the help of Eden Howell. At the time of this post’s publication, Eden was a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia.