Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Name of Entity.


§ 29–103.01. Permitted names.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (b) and (d) of this section, the name of a domestic entity, and the name under which a foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership may register to do business in the District, shall be distinguishable on the records of the Mayor from any:

(1) Name of another domestic filing entity or limited liability partnership;

(2) Name of a foreign entity that is registered to do business in the District under subchapter V of this chapter;

(3) Name that is reserved under § 29-103.03;

(4) Name that is registered under § 29-103.04; or

(5) Assumed name registered under subchapter I-C of Chapter 28 of Title 47.

(b) An entity may consent in a record to the use of its name by another registered entity, but the consenting entity must, in a form satisfactory to the Mayor, change its name so that it is distinguishable from any name in any category of names in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section, in determining whether a name is the same as or not distinguishable on the records of the Mayor from the name of another entity, words, phrases, or abbreviations indicating the type of entity, such as “corporation”, “corp.”, “incorporated”, “Inc.”, “professional corporation”, “PC”, “professional association”, “PA”, “Limited”, “Ltd.”, “limited partnership”, “LP”, “limited liability partnership”, “LLP”, “registered limited liability partnership”, “RLLP”, “limited liability limited partnership”, “LLLP”, “registered limited liability limited partnership”, “RLLLP”, “limited liability company”, or “LLC”, shall not be taken into account.

(d) An entity may consent in a record to the use of a name that is not distinguishable on the records of the Mayor from its name except for the addition of a word, phrase, or abbreviation indicating the type of entity described in subsection (c) of this section. In such a case, the entity need not change its name pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(e) An entity name shall not contain the words “bank”, “banking”, “credit union”, “insurance”, or words of similar import, without the prior approval of the Mayor.

(f) An entity name shall not be the same as, or so deceptively similar to, the name of any department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States or the District of Columbia so as to mislead the public or cause confusion.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(a)(13), 59 DCR 13171.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-103.04, § 29-105.03, § 29-105.06, § 29-105.10, § 29-106.03, § 29-302.02, § 29-402.02, § 29-407.04, § 29-610.01, § 29-610.05, § 29-702.01, § 29-802.01, § 29-802.06, § 29-1003.02, and § 29-1202.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 rewrote the section.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.


§ 29–103.02. Name requirements for certain types of entities.

(a) The name of a business corporation shall contain the word “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company”, or “limited”, or the abbreviation “Corp.”, “Inc.”, “Co.”, or “Ltd.”, or words or abbreviations of similar import in another language.

(b) The name of a nonprofit corporation need not contain any particular word or abbreviation.

(c) The name of a professional corporation shall contain the phrase “professional corporation” or the abbreviation “P.C.”, or the word “chartered”, or the abbreviation “Chtd”, and may not contain the word “company”, “incorporated”, “corporation”, or “limited”, or an abbreviation of those words.

(d) The name of a limited partnership may contain the name of any partner. If the limited partnership is not a limited liability limited partnership, the name shall contain the phrase “limited partnership” or the abbreviation “L.P.” or “LP” and shall not contain the phrase “limited liability limited partnership” or “registered limited liability limited partnership” or the abbreviation “L.L.L.P.”, “LLLP”, “R.L.L.L.P.”, or “RLLLP”. If the limited partnership is a limited liability limited partnership, the name shall contain the phrase “limited liability limited partnership” or the abbreviation “L.L.L.P.”, “LLLP”, “R.L.L.L.P.”, or “RLLLP” and shall not contain the abbreviation “L.P.” or “LP”.

(e) The name of a limited liability partnership that is not a limited liability limited partnership shall contain the words “limited liability partnership” or “registered limited liability partnership” or the abbreviation “L.L.P.”, “R.L.L.P.”, “LLP”, or “RLLP”. The name of a partnership that is not a limited liability partnership may not contain these names or abbreviations.

(f) The name of a limited liability company other than a professional limited liability company shall contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.”, “LLC”, “L.C.”, or “LC”. The name of a professional limited liability company shall contain the words “professional limited liability company” or the abbreviation “P.L.L.C.” or “PLLC”. “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.”, and “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”.

(g) The name of a general cooperative shall contain the words “cooperative association”. “Cooperative” may be abbreviated as “Co-op” or “Coop”. “Association” may be abbreviated as “Assoc.”, “Assoc”, “Assn.”, or “Assn”.

(h) The name of a limited cooperative association shall contain the words “limited cooperative association” or “limited cooperative” or the abbreviation “L.C.A.” or “LCA”. “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.”. “Cooperative” may be abbreviated as “Co-op.”, “Coop.”, “Co-op”, or “Coop”. “Association” may be abbreviated as “Assoc.”, “Assoc”, “Assn.”, or “Assn”.

(i) The name of a statutory trust may contain the words or abbreviations “company”, “association”, “club”, “foundation”, “fund”, “institute”, “society”, “union”, “syndicate”, “limited”, or “trust”, or words or abbreviations of similar import, and may contain the name of a beneficial owner, a trustee, or any other person.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(a)(14), 59 DCR 13171.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-302.02, § 29-307.03, § 29-610.01, § 29-610.05, § 29-702.01, § 29-802.01, § 29-802.06, § 29-1003.02, and § 29-1202.01.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 added the second sentence in (e); and twice substituted “words or abbreviations” for “words” in (i).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.


§ 29–103.03. Reservation of name.

(a) A person may reserve the exclusive use of an entity name by delivering an application to the Mayor for filing. The application shall state the name and address of the applicant and the name proposed to be reserved. If the Mayor finds that the entity name applied for is available, the Mayor shall reserve the name for the applicant’s exclusive use for a 120-day period.

(b) The owner of a reserved entity name may transfer the reservation to another person by delivering to the Mayor a signed notice in a record of the transfer which states the name and address of the transferee.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-103.01 and § 47-2855.02.


§ 29–103.04. Registration of name.

(a) A foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership not registered to do business in the District under subchapter VI of this chapter may register its name, or an alternate name required by § 29-105.06, if the name is distinguishable upon the records of the Mayor from the names that are not available under § 29-103.01.

(b) To register its name or an alternate name required by § 29-105.06, a foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership shall deliver to the Mayor for filing an application setting forth its name, or its name with any addition required by § 29-105.06, and the jurisdiction and date of its formation. If the Mayor finds that the name applied for is available, the Mayor shall register the name for the applicant’s exclusive use.

(c) The registration of a name under this section shall be effective for one year after the date of registration.

(d) A foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership whose name registration is effective may renew the registration for successive one-year periods by delivering, not earlier than 3 months before the expiration of the registration, to the Mayor for filing a renewal application that complies with this section. When filed, the renewal application renews the registration for a succeeding one-year period.

(e) A foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership with an effective name registration may register as a foreign filing entity or foreign limited liability partnership under its registered name, or may consent in a signed record to the use of that name by another entity.


(July 2, 2011, D.C. Law 18-378, § 2, 58 DCR 1720; Mar. 5, 2013, D.C. Law 19-210, § 2(a)(15), 59 DCR 13171.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 29-103.01 and § 47-2855.02.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-210 substituted “registration” for “filing” in (c); substituted “registration” for “registration year” in (d); and rewrote (e).

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 19-210: Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-210 provided that the act shall apply as of January 1, 2012.