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If you’re launching a new business, you’ll need to select a name that’s legal in your state and doesn’t infringe on the trademark of another company.


Have a fantastic name for your new company?

Before you buy signage and business cards, verify sure your name isn’t already being used by another company. If you select a name that is already in use, you may have difficulty registering a corporate entity and may infringe on the trademarks of another firm.

Why Should You Check the Availability of a Business Name?

You must submit formation paperwork with your state to create a business entity such as a corporation, limited liability company, or nonprofit corporation.

Every state’s rules demand that new business names be distinct from the names of existing business organisations in that jurisdiction.

That implies you can’t pick a name that is identical to another business entity’s name, or that differs simply by a “s” at the end or a different business entity identification. For example, you probably can’t start a company named “Festive Party Supplies, Inc.” if your state already has a “Festive Party Supply, LLC.”

You may prevent having your entity formation request disallowed due to naming issues if you verify available business names before filing your papers.

Furthermore, a more thorough company name search might uncover other firms that may be utilising the name you’ve picked and may have trademark rights in the name. These extra searches reduce the likelihood that another company owner would accuse you of trademark infringement and ask you to cease using the name after you have already invested time and money promoting it.

How to Determine Whether a Business Name Is Already In Use

Each state has a secretary of state or equivalent governmental office in charge of business entity filings. In most states, the state business filing agency’s website contains an online entity name check tool. You may use the online tool to search for business names and see whether another company is already using the name you’ve picked.

Whether you come across a company with a similar name, check your state’s particular business naming regulations to see if the resemblance will prohibit you from using the name you desire.

Examining DBAs

Just because there isn’t a company entity with the same name in your state doesn’t imply there aren’t similarly called firms in your area. Corporations, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships, and partnerships may all use fake business names, or “DBAs.”

Many cities and counties require enterprises that use a fake name to register a business name with the city or county. You may find out whether there is another company in your region using the name you wish to use by checking these DBA registrations.

A company that has filed a DBA may have common law trademark rights in the business name, as well as strong local name recognition, which may make marketing your business more difficult.

Check for Trademarks on Business Names

By registering a company name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, businesses may acquire national trademark protection (USPTO). When launching a new venture, it’s a good idea to check the USPTO’s online database for trademarked company names that are similar to yours.

If the name is close to your company name and has been registered as a trademark for a comparable sort of products or services, you may have difficulties. If you perform a search and are afraid that the name you wish to use may infringe on someone else’s trademark, get counsel from a trademark lawyer before proceeding.
Searches for the Availability of Common Business Names

A broad internet search can assist you in determining if another firm has created a strong online presence using the business name you want to employ. A firm that is using your name online may have established common law or state law trademark rights in the name, as well as registered domain names and social networking accounts to match the business name, making it more difficult for you to promote your business with the same name.

“Is my company name already taken?” is a critical issue for prospective business owners to address before forming a legal organisation or spending money on marketing. Investing the effort to do a thorough name search may save you a lot of trouble, time, and money in the long run.