How to do an LLC Name Search: All 50 States
If you’re in the process of starting a new limited liability company, you’ve likely given some consideration to what you want to name your business.
Each state has slightly different rules and regulations involved with LLC formations, and this extends to LLC name searches as well. How do you make sure the name you want is available in your state of formation?
In this guide to LLC name searches, we’ll discuss how this process works in all 50 states. By the time you’re done reading, we’re confident that you’ll understand how to search your state database to determine if your desired business name is available. Let’s get started!
Quick Note: If you’re looking to register an LLC but are short on time, look into an LLC formation service. Based on price and value we reviewed and ranked the top options to get you started.
Why Should I Perform an LLC Name Search?
There are a few key reasons why searching your state’s business entity database can be beneficial. First off, you can check for the availability of your desired business name.
No two business entities in any one state are allowed to have the same name ― or even names that are deemed to be too similar ― so it’s a good idea to see if your desired name is available before you become too hung up on the idea. If you’re not ready to form your LLC quite yet, you can always reserve the name for later use.
This is also why it’s smart to have multiple name ideas for your business ― if your favorite is taken, simply move on to the next one down the list. Every state has online business name searches available, so the process really couldn’t be much easier.
Another aspect of LLC name searches to consider is that you should not only perform a search with your state of formation, but also one to determine if a coinciding domain name is available. Much like you still have options if you can’t get your first-choice name from the state, there’s also opportunities for other URLs if your top option is unavailable. You can try different words or phrases, try a different top-level domain, etc.
How Do I Perform an LLC Name Search in My State?
To search your state’s business entity database, you usually just need to visit the Secretary of State’s website and find the name search option. Or, we’ll make it even easier for you by linking them all right here in this article! Simply click on your state’s link to find their entity search.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
While the business name availability search might not be the most complicated aspect of the limited liability company formation process, it is vitally important.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you should never get too focused on one name until you have that name registered for your LLC. If you have a name that you like, but you’re not ready to form your LLC yet, you can always reserve it with your state government so that it’s still available when you need it.
We hope this guide answered your questions about LLC name searches, and we wish you the best of luck in your business future!