How to check business name availability
An Online Account is required in order to check name availability. Go here to Create an Online Account. If you already have an online account, you can sign in before proceeding with the following steps.
- Go to the Online Business Services page.
- Scroll down to the list titled “File a New Business or Nonprofit." Click on the business structure your business will be set up and registered as.
- Depending on which type you choose you may or may not need to answer questions about non-profit status and professional status.
- To verify the name you would like for your business is available, type the proposed name into the search box. Then select the entity designation from the drop-down menu on the right (where applicable). Be sure to double check the business name before proceeding.
It is very important to choose the end of your business name from the drop-down menu instead of typing it in. The system will automatically add the default ending to your business name based on your business structure if you do not choose from the drop-down menu.
Example: The business you’re registering is “ABC Trucking, Inc.” If you type “Inc.” at the end of the name instead of selecting it from the drop-down menu, the business name will be registered as “ABC Trucking, Inc. Co.” since “Co.” is the first option on the menu.
- Here are the rules for which words are allowed to be in specific business names:
If an entity designation is included in the name of an Assume Name, at least one of the name holders must have an equivalent entity designation in their name.
Exception: "Company", "Co", or "Companies" when used by itself in the name and not as part of a longer entity designation.
Only use ‘Cooperative’ or ‘Coop’ or variations of those terms in your assumed name if you are a registered cooperative or you operate your business on a cooperative model by providing rebates of net profits to your members.
- Once you enter the name and hit Search the system will let you know if the business name is available or not. If it’s not available, the name and file number of each conflicting business already on file will be provided.