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How to know if a business name is available


Choosing a name for your business is an important first step in creating a successful enterprise. The name you select will serve as the public face of your company, and it must be memorable, concise, and— most importantly— available.

Before investing time and money into establishing your business with a particular name, it’s important to verify that no one else is using the same title or a similar expression. Fortunately, there are several methods to ensure that the desired name is open for use.

Here is what you can do to confirm that you may legally utilize the desired moniker and launch your business with this moniker:

  1. Check existing trademarks
  2. Search official records
  3. Confirm domain availability
  4. Screen social media sites

By familiarizing yourself with these steps now, you can save yourself considerable hassle down the road!

Check Your State’s Business Database

When trying to determine whether a particular business name is available for use, one of the first steps is to check your state’s business database. By doing so, you can quickly find out if a desired business name is already taken in your state.

This will help you save time and money in the long run.

In the following section, we’ll discuss the steps you should take when checking your state’s business database for available business names:

1. Visit Your State’s Business Database Website

The first step in determining whether a business name is available for use is visiting your state’s business database website. Most states require the filing of an LLC or corporation with a unique name, which means the name must be available to use in the state.

To search for potential names, visit your state’s business filing website and do an basic search to see if any similar names exist as a trade or service mark.

It’s important to remember that trade or service marks filed on a federal level can preempt any name filed at the state level, even if there is no same name yet registered with the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). If a possibly conflicting federal mark is found during the search process, you may want to consult legal counsel prior to moving forward with your chosen business name.

Additionally, some states provide general information and clarification on allowable usage of various words when conducting searches on their databases. For example, some states have rules that prohibit two LLCs from having “similarly confusingly similar names” that would confuse potential customers as to which LLC they are contacting – despite how unique each LLC’s overall name might seem.

Generally, this type of prohibition applies mostly to certain words such as “Inc.,” “Company,” “Group,” “Law Offices” and “LLC.” Peruse each state’s allowable usage info before proceeding into further research.

2. Search for The Business Name

When you choose a name for your business, one of the first steps is to check if it’s available. To do this, you’ll need to search your state’s business database. Every state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to naming businesses, so it is important to check them out carefully.

To begin the process of searching for your desired business name, look up the correct government website for your particular state. Depending on where you live, this could be either a secretary of state office or a department of businesses that oversees company registration.

Once on the website, there will usually be a search box and other resources provided in order to begin looking for details related to your desired company name.

When using the search feature, make sure that you type in all text relevant to what you’re searching (including LLC or Inc). Additionally, try searching different variations or misspellings of what you are looking for as another way to gain more information pertaining to a potential name.

As an example – if “Riverview” is near where you live and what most locals recognize – Riverview Lawn Care may not be available but RiverView LawnCare may still be an option since they are two separate words with different spellings.

It’s also important to note that most states have certain rules regarding words that cannot be included in company names like “Corporation,” “Company,” “Incorporate” etc… Make sure that know these restrictions prior to committing fully to a potential business name.

Also research existing companies whose names contain some version of the phrase you would like for yours as it may not yet be available when tried yourself due having been taken by someone else already who owns it nearby under somehow slightly different variation than yours intended meaning prefixes or suffixes added onto their version already claimed by them.

3. Check The Availability of The Business Name

When starting a business, one of the most important steps is to make sure that your desired company name is available for use. To check the availability of a business name in your state, you should search the appropriate state business database.

Each state’s records will differ slightly; start with a simple keyword search to determine if any existing companies have similar names.

Different states might also limit the type of words that can be used as trademarks within their jurisdictions or require that business names include an additional indicator such as “Ltd” or “LLC” depending on the state’s entity formation regulations.

Before setting up an official registration, make sure you complete a thorough search on all potential variations of the desired name. It can be helpful to review corporate or limited liability operating documents from existing entities using similar terms and phrases prior to filing for a new entity name in order to avoid any potential conflict with existing marks or organizations.

Once you have found an available business name, it is essential to register it. Your registration typically costs an initial fee and some states will require ongoing fees in order for your business name and associated marks remain legal and active in their jurisdiction.

Be sure to do your research before committing time and money into pursuing any specific naming options!

Use a Business Name Search Tool

It’s no secret that the best businesses have memorable, catchy, and creative names. Before you can choose the ideal business name, however, you’ll have to make sure it is available to use. Many business owners rely on a business name search tool to do this.

This tool is a great way to check the availability of different business names quickly and easily.

Let’s look at how a business name search tool works and some of its benefits:

1. Visit a Business Name Search Tool Website

The first step in verifying that the name you’d like to use for your business is available would be to visit a business name search tool website, such as those from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or your state government website.

Each of these essential tools will allow you to enter the business name you’re considering at their searches page, then generate a list of any similar names or terms already being used and trademarked by other businesses.

It is important that you use tradename registration resources, because trademarks are protected on both a state and federal level in the United States. The law states that no two companies can have similar names or products so it becomes imperative to perform an official search of existing trademarked businesses to ensure that this doesn’t occur.

  • In particular, it is extremely beneficial to check with the USPTO if you plan on marketing nationally or globally as this federal resource will give detail information regarding trademark status and registrations throughout various states.
  • Your satisfactory use of such external resources should help guarantee that your business achieves its goal of legally protecting its unique name and identity against potential infringement claims.

2. Enter The Business Name

With a business name search tool, you can determine if your intended business name is available to be used by entering it into the web page of the business name search service. After entering the name and selecting your state of incorporation, the service will begin to search its database of existing names.

This process may take a few minutes depending on Internet speed; however, when searching for an available business name it is always important to verify that the name you are interested in is not already registered with your Secretary of State or other entity in charge of registering businesses.

By performing a cautious and comprehensive review, you can avoid potential problems down the road. After verifying that no other company has registered your intended business name in your state, you can then proceed with filing any necessary paperwork for incorporating or forming an LLC under that particular business name.

Before finalizing a particular decision for using a specific business name it is always important to ensure that any trademarks associated with this chosen title are not already owned by another individual or corporate entity. Therefore, as one last precautionary measure, it is strongly recommended to also perform a trademark search before setting forth with registering any particular title for use within your business entity.

3. Check The Availability of The Business Name

Before you choose a business name, it is important to determine whether it is available. To do so, you can use a business name search tool provided by the government or various business registration agencies such as the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Using this service, you can search to see if any businesses have already been incorporated with the same or similar names as yours. This ensures that your company name does not infringe on any existing trademarks and represent a viable business.

When searching for available business names, take into account variations on spelling and special accents used in some languages. It is also important to conduct additional research into the domain availability for each of your name options as an additional safeguard against potential legal issues later on.

Finally, talk to legal and professional advisors who can offer further guidance on selecting a unique and legally acceptable name for your company. By doing one’s due diligence at this stage, you can create a strong foundation for your new business from the start.

Visit The USPTO Website

The best way to check the availability of a business name is to visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website. This website is the official United States government web page for trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

You can use the business name search feature to search for a business name to determine if it is already registered by someone else or is available for you to register.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to use the USPTO website to check the availability of a business name:

  1. Visit the USPTO website.
  2. Click on the “Trademarks” tab.
  3. Click on the “Search Trademarks” link.
  4. Enter the business name you want to search for in the “Search by Word or Phrase” field.
  5. Click “Search”.
  6. Review the search results to determine if the business name is already registered or is available.

Visit The USPTO Website

One of the first steps in setting up a business is to check if the desired name is currently registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This can help you avoid any infringements and legal issues down the line.

Visiting the USPTO website is a free way to quickly determine if your desired business name has already been trademarked or pending. Note that if you are also interested in checking international or state trademarks, you will need to visit additional websites similar to USPTO.

To begin, enter your desired name at in the “Search for marks” box at the bottom of the page. You should also check for similar phrases, as some characters may be incorrect on filing applications and still appear on search results due to typos by other parties.

After searching, results will appear that show trademark registration statuses and other pieces of information like registered owner name, associated registry number, names for goods & services etc.

While visiting helps you determine whether someone else holds a registered trademark over your proposed business name, it does not guarantee that there won’t be any potential infringing uses by another company using an unregistered mark or using another product or services than yours but with a similar terminology.

Some names could also be blocked from registration under US federal law (eg: Royal). Seesching these terms on uspto along with conducting an extensive search across various channels may help to protect yourself against potential lawsuits down the road over ownership rights of a particular phrase or word.

Search for The Business Name

To search for a business name, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. The website provides access to a database of trademarks which are in use and also have been abandoned or rejected.

Entering a potential name in this database allows you to determine if it is available for use without infringing on any existing trademarked names.

When entering a business name in the database, it is important that any punctuation or abbreviations included in the desired business name are accurately represented when searching. Additionally, keep in mind that multiple words can be combined into one trademark, and it is important to consider alternative spellings of words being searched when determining if a word has already been registered with the USPTO.

If your chosen business name does match an already filed and approved trademark, you could face legal proceedings if you still choose to use the same or substantially similar language when marketing your own services or products.

Check The Availability of The Business Name

Before beginning the process of registering a business name, it is important to ensure that the business name you have chosen is available for use.

You can do this by searching the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) website to make sure that another party has not already registered or applied for a federal registration for your proposed name.

To check if your proposed business name is available, visit the USPTO website: Then, click on “Trademarks” and navigate to either “Trademark Electronic Search System” or “TESS” on the left-hand navigation panel. This will bring up a search page where you can enter your company’s proposed name in an attempt to locate similar names already registered with the USPTO or currently pending applications under consideration.

It is important to note that a trademark application may still be pending even if you cannot find it using this search tool, so it is always best to review all information carefully before proceeding with registration of your own business name so as not to infringe on anyone else‘s trademark rights.


Now that you have completed your research and you feel comfortable with your business name, it is time to check whether the name has already been taken by another business. You should always start by conducting an online search on your state’s Secretary of State website, or in the U.S., a Trademark search with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

If the name is not taken, you can reserve it for a specific period of time by filing for an Application for Reservation of Name.

If you still have doubts about the availability of your proposed business name, other resources are available to help. A professional corporation or LLC formation service like IncFile can review different records and databases to provide a comprehensive search view on whether your desired business name could be in use with any other company in your state or elsewhere.

Searching for trademarks is important for any new businesses, especially if their product lines overlap those of existing companies. After all, choosing a unique brand name may be just as key as the idea itself when it comes to building success out of thin air!

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Housam is a content marketing expert with a knack for writing articles. He loves to name and nickname things creatively, so much so that he started a blog in which he writes about names and their meanings. He is also an avid reader, the dad of two wonderful dogs, and a full-time RV traveler with no definite destination.

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