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 necessary 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 is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Quick Note: If you’ve already found the ideal business name and would like to secure it quickly by starting the LLC, a business formation service can do it for you. No need to navigate confusing state-website portals or file anything yourself.
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.
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 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 registration 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 of 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.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in New York?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability. 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.
Start by going to the Department of State’s LLC Filings page. Right at the top, you’ll see the “Application for Reservation of Name.” Below it are instructions for filing and a few links. Click the one that says “Fillable Application for Reservation of Name.” It will bring you 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 “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.
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, 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 of Wyoming.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.