Company Name Availability FAQs

If you are inclined to do so, you can choose a different name for your company and file an amendment to change the name in your state of incorporation/formation.  If you have been using the name for some time and have therefore established your brand, this may not be ideal.  You may also already be registered in one or more states and would need to change the name there as well.  You may also have contracts, marketing materials, intellectual property, etc. which has already been associated with your original name. Changing the name of an established business can be complicated, but it is not your only option.  The filing agencies of virtually every state already understand that this can be an issue.  Therefore, they will often allow a company to register, but to choose an alternate name for doing business in the state where the conflict exists.  This is called a "forced dba".  Of course, it would be necessary to check the alternate name for availability as well.
Unfortunately, each state has its own database wherein they reflect all business entities that have been formed or registered there.  That means that every state's database will reflect names that may or may not be on file in another state.  The only way to know if your name is available in a given state is to check on that state's database.  Therefore, we suggest you check in every state where you intend to register before deciding on a name for your company.
No, a preliminary search with the state's database does not guarantee the name will be available when your incorporation/formation or registration documents are submitted for filing.  It does, however, give reasonable reassurance that the name does (or does not) appear to be available for use, at the time the name availability check is done.  The final approval of a new company’s name is given once the state has reviewed your incorporation/formation or registration documents and verified against their records at the time of review.  If you do wish to guarantee the security of the name in a given state, it can be done only by completing your incorporation/formation or registration with the Secretary of State’s office or by filing a name reservation. For more information regarding name reservation, please contact our office.
You are not required to check the company name availability before submitting incorporation/formation or foreign registration documents with the state, but it is CorpCo’s standard practice to perform a search as a part of our incorporation/formation or registration process.  This greatly reduces the chance of your filing being rejected due to a name conflict and helps ensure the filing process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.