What’s in a name?
We all get the opportunity to name something in life. Cars, pets, humans…an invisible friend maybe.
Some of us get to name a business and if you’re like me, a high school rock band.
I’ve had some great name choices…and also some really bad ones. The good ones include “Legal Lightning” (1974 Ford F100), “Blue Steel” (1988 Toyota 4Runner) and “The Ley Firm” for the first iteration of our law firm.
You see it’s hilarious because Ley, being my last name, means “law” in Spanish. Therefore Ley Firm –> Law Firm…you get it, right?
Anyway…the worst name choice was my high school band. We went with Pullout Method. What else would a group of 15-17 year olds choose? We could never remember who suggested the name and we all took turns blaming other people. I seemed to get the most blame, but I honestly don’t remember suggesting it.
I remember a poor woman who had to introduce us at a wholesome “battle of the bands” inside a school gym. She was onstage and staring at her notecard. After a few seconds pause she just walked off the stage without giving an intro.
Our asset protection trust and asset management LLC have great names that are special (and hilarious) to my wife and me.
Picking a name for your asset protection entities
A client recently asked for suggestions on how to pick names for the various asset protection entities we are forming. What sort of names do you pick for an asset protection trust? How do you pick a name for an LLC?
When it comes to picking names there are not too many restrictions. Usually you can’t pick a name for an entity that makes it falsely appear as a bank or financial lender. You also can’t pick a name for an LLC that is already taken by somebody else.
An asset protection trust and asset management LLC are typically not going to be doing business directly with people and other businesses. They are used for holding title to various assets like real estate, stocks, investment accounts, other LLC interests, etc.
The names of the entities will be listed/known with banks, brokers, insurance company, etc. so probably best to avoid a name like my high school band. Choose a name that you are ok with giving to the teller at the bank.
Privacy is typically part of an asset protection plan. You don’t want other people to easily figure out what you own. For this reason, people should avoid use their family name. For example the “Mike Jones Asset Protection Trust” doesn’t require a lot of sleuthing to figure out who’s behind that trust.
Take some inspiration from celebrities if you want. Some reported names include “Norman’s Nest Trust (Jennifer Anniston), “The Love Shack Trust” (Britney Spears), and “Safari Investments, LLC” (Sarah Palin). Cascade Investment LLC is an asset management LLC owned by Bill Gates.
If you’re not too worried about privacy, then go ahead and throw your personal name in there.
Besides, if you are going to serve as the trustee of your own trust then your name may also be listed publicly.
Most Common Choices
Here’s what I see most often when clients choose names for their asset protection entities:
1) Personal significance: These names have a special personal meaning and I see them most often. For example the Norman’s Nest Trust mentioned earlier is apparently a reference to a pet dog. Another example would be a name that references where a couple met or fell in love. Maybe you want to choose a nickname that your family knows you by.
2) Inspirational: This is a name that inspires the couple or person who made it. For example GLOBAL DOMINANCE LLC might really get you fired up to make that money. Or how about “LET’S GET THIS BREAD TRUST” to make you get your hustle-grind on?
3) Initials: This is pretty straight forward. Throw in your initials or combine them with your spouse’s initials to name your trust or LLC. “CRL Trust” would be mine.
4) Anagram: come up with an anagram for other words. This is my favorite and I suggest it to clients who are stuck on name choices. This is also how I name my entities.
I take an inspirational word or name with person significance and turn it into a different phrase as an anagram. For me it comes out with amusing names that only my wife and I know hide another word or phrase (I guess unless you’re really smart and can crack the code).
If you’re stuck on choosing a name, you might be over-thinking it.
Ultimately it’s having the entities set up and in place long before you face a potential lawsuit that is important.
If you don’t have an asset protection plan in place, click here for a “Cranial Life Tile.”
Colin Ley is an asset protection attorney and the co-founder of LayRoots (along with with partner in life & business – Shreya Ley)