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Business Name Availability

Asked by: tony - 28 May, 2011
Can you tell me what I have to do to research a business name availability?
Answered by: Robert Kowalski - 28 May, 2011 Tony,

In most states you can access the website of the Secretary of State and run a search for the name you want. Usually if there is no company listed with such name you can use that name for your company.

With that being said you should be aware of the risks involved in deciding on the name based on the results of such search:

1. Many states require deep search based on phonetic comparison between the name you want to use and those already in use. It means that if your chosen name sounds somewhat similar to already existing company name your filing will be rejected.

2. In many states there are separate searches for different types of companies, as well as separate searches for trade marks. You should run searches for the name you want in all those searches to avoid rejection.

3. In most states certain words are restricted and require consents of various state departments (for example use of words such as "Academy", "College", "Education" etc. would require consent of Department of Education in most states).

4. Many times you might find the name you want already taken. However it doesn't mean you can't use it - if the company or companies using this same name could be inactive or dissolved. In most states you can register a name that is already used by a dissolved company.

5. Texas: to research names in Texas you need to have an account with Texas Secretary of State and each search costs few dollars.

6. Finally, some states (such as New York, New Mexico, California, etc) do not refund expedited state fees in case your name was rejected ??“ so its important to make sure that your name was well research by professionals.

We offer free name research for all our clients, and take the loss in case the name was rejected and expedited fee was lost.


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