How to Search LLC Names

by Joe Stone
Research whether someone else already has your company name.

Research whether someone else already has your company name.

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Searching for LLC names is accomplished by contacting a state government agency that oversees the formation of limited liability companies. Each state has its own agency, such as the Secretary of State in California and the Department of State in Delaware. Searching LLC names in the state where you intend to form an LLC, before drawing up any papers, will save you time.

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Step 1

Locate the agency in your state that is responsible for approving the creation of business entities, such as LLCs or corporations. A list of links to the website of the agency in each state is provided on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.

Step 2

Locate the name availability search engine or business name search engine on your state agency's website. Most state agencies, like California and Delaware, provide an online search engine for searching the agency records for existing business names. If an online search engine is not available, check the agency's website for information on how to make a name search inquiry by mail or telephone. There may be a fee associated with the search.

Step 3

Insert the LLC name you want to search as indicated in the search engine instructions. Choose the option to search the name against other LLC names currently on record with the state agency. You should either be provided with names that match, or closely match, the name you inserted or "no record found" – which means you can use the name for your LLC.