Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you.
You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in New York. In certain situations, it may be beneficial to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name can be helpful and guide you through all the steps involved.
Don’t forget to get your business domain name so nobody else can use it. This will protect your brand and make things much easier for you later. Secure it easily through GoDaddy.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
You have the option to reserve a business if you wish, but the state of New York doesn’t require it. If you’re ready to start your business and would rather file your Articles of Organization immediately, go right ahead.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your New York LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $20 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name automatically.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a New York business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Do I Reserve a Business Name in New York?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. If you’re not ready to form your LLC yet, you can follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability by performing a New York LLC name search. On the Department of State Corporation & Business Entity Database, search your desired name to see if it’s in use. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of New York (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief — you’re ready to reserve it or form your LLC.
You can find the form to reserve your name here. The document itself is fairly straightforward. Simply fill in your information, and you’re ready to submit.
When finished, submit your completed form and $20 fee to:
Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, New York 12231-0001
Regarding the $20 fee, you can pay via check or money order, made out to the “Department of State.” Or, if you prefer, you can use a card, provided you submit a “Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form” with your filing.
Send it off and you’re done! The 60-day reservation will begin as soon as your form is processed. Once your name is reserved, it’s time to start thinking forward to filing your Articles of Organization. Check out our comprehensive guide here.
How Long Does a New York Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of New York can reserve an entity name.
Filing your name reservation prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of New York will give you 60 precious days as the owner of your name. After your time runs out, if you haven’t formed your LLC yet, you can renew your reservation for 60 more days by filing a “Request for Extension” and paying another $20 fee. However, you have a limit of two extensions, so don’t reserve your name too far in advance, or you risk losing it.
Not so keen on your name anymore? You can also cancel your reservation by filing a “Request for Cancellation.” This form also requires a $20 fee.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However, if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in New York to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $20 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $200 New York LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $20 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, LLC tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate.
Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state. While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, ZenBusiness is an entrepreneur favorite. Other than that, IncFile and Northwest are two other popular options with appeals of their own.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which words are restricted from usage for LLC names in New York?
New York has many more restricted words than most states, as they number in the dozens. For a complete list of these words, take a look at this resource from the Department of State.
Is it necessary to reserve my business name before forming my New York LLC?
No. In fact, Alabama is the only state that requires entrepreneurs to reserve a business name before forming an LLC. In New York and the other 48 states, this is an optional and largely unnecessary step.
How many small businesses are there in New York today?
The state of New York is home to more than 610,000 small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and business types find that New York is a great place to own and operate a small business.
What are the top small business resources and websites in New York?
The New York chapter of the Small Business Development Center is a great place to start, as they offer a wide variety of tools and resources for New York LLCs. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s New York District Office is another valuable resource, and the state’s small business resource page also has plenty of good info.
What Is the Total Expected Cost of Operating an LLC in New York?
The overall costs of operating a New York LLC can vary considerably based on the specifics of your business. However, we created a helpful guide to help you identify and plan for every expense your LLC will face in this state.
Should I Use an LLC Service, Hire an Attorney, or Form My Own LLC?
The answer to this question lies in your personal preferences, but we can give some general pointers. An attorney will cost the most by a mile, but also provides expertise you won’t find with the other options. The DIY route is free of charge but can require quite a bit of legwork and provides no peace of mind that the process is being completed correctly.
Using an LLC service means your business will be formed by professionals who know what they’re doing, while also costing significantly less than a lawyer. This “best of both worlds” attribute is what makes LLC services our preferred option.