Your Selected Business Name is Unavailable — What Now?
The first step we take when processing your order is to check name availability. If your name(s) are not available we will notify you immediately and keep checking additional choices until we get one that the state will accept.
Please provide us with 2 new name choices via email (we need them in writing for accuracy) and we’ll search to see if they are available or not.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Name Availability Guidelines:
View these guidelines to assist you in coming up with new name choices.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I come up with a new business name? What rules do I need to follow?
First off, review the Name Availability Guidelines below to see what makes one name different from another — this will make picking a new name easier for you.
I already checked this name and found it to be available, what gives?
Checking for availability of your name yourself will not necessarily give you accurate results as there are many rules and nuances from state to state. We utilize our extensive experience in forming companies in every state to determine name availability. You can rest assured if we found the name unavailable — it is indeed unavailable (and we always double-check directly with the state).
I already own this name or have been doing business under this name, how is it not available?
You may have registered the name at the local level (as a DBA, FBN or Trade Name) but that is separate from registering a company name at the state level which must be distinct from all other entities in your state.
I really want to use that name, is there any way I can continue to use it?
You can file at the state level with a different name and then change your DBA, FBA or Trade Name to reflect that the new owner of that local name is the company, not you as an individual.
For example, John Smith owns the DBA “Quick Kleen Services” as an individual. Because someone has already registered “Quick Kleen Services, LLC” at the state level, John will simply name his new LLC “John Smith Services, LLC”. He will then go to the filing office where he registered his DBA and change his DBA from being owned by him personally, to being owned by the new LLC.
Hence, he will be “John Smith Services, LLC” doing business as “Quick Kleen Services”. Problem solved!
This same principle applies even if you don’t have an existing DBA. If you really want a business name, you can name your entity anything (as long as it’s available) and then go to your local filing office and get a DBA for the name you truly want.
Name Availability Guidelines:
General Name Availability Rules (for all entities):
- The use of “And” (or “&”) in a company name does not make 1 name different from another (i.e. J&C Trucking Inc. is considered the same as JC Trucking Inc.)
- The use of punctuation in a company name does not make 1 name different from another (i.e. ABC Services LLC is considered the same as A.B.C. Services L. L.C.)
- The use of alternate spacing in a company name does not make 1 name different from another (i.e. XYZ Houses Inc. is considered the same as X Y Z Houses Inc.)
- The use of plurals in a company name does not make 1 name different from another (i.e. Bob’s Service Inc. is considered the same as Bob’s Services Inc.)
- The use of alternate spellings in a company name MAY not make 1 name different from another (i.e. Extreme Nails Salon Inc. may be considered the same as Xtreme Nailz Salon Inc.)
- In many states words that are pronounced the same are considered the same word for name availability purposes (i.e. Their Clothes Inc. and There Clothes Inc. can be considered to be the same name)
- Different tenses of the same word do not usually make one name different from another (i.e. Golden Consultants Inc. is considered the same as Golden Consulting Inc.)
- “A”, “An”, “In”, “On”, “The”, and “Company” are not considered significant words in a company name (i.e. Smith Group LLC is considered the same as The Smith Group LLC)
- Adding an additional word will usually make a difference for name availability (i.e. Performance Fences Inc. and Performance Fence Contractors Inc. would be considered different names)
- Use of state or city names may be considered a geographical description and not distinguishing for name availability purposes (i.e. New Hampshire Home Sales Inc. would be considered the same as Home Sales Inc.)
- Using your name as part of the company name can help with getting a name that contains common words (i.e. it is almost impossible to get Business Services Inc., but Tolliver’s Business Services, Inc. would be much more likely to be available)
- If using any of the following words as part of your company name you will want to check with the Secretary of State’s office to see if there are any restrictions or required Consent documents: Engineer, Attorney, Medical, Architect, Doctor, Law Office, Surveying, Psychiatry, Insurance, Dentist, Accounting, Chiropractor, Pharmacy, Bank, Union, Cooperative, University, Healthcare, Trust. A good rule of thumb is that if the profession being practiced requires a state-level professional license there may be restrictions or required consents.
- The word “Professional” cannot appear as the last word before your ending (i.e. Professional Cleaning Corporation would be OK, Cleaning Professional Corporation would NOT be allowed)
- The word “Realtor” is trademarked by the National Association of Realtors and cannot be used without their consent
- If your preferred name is not available in your home state, forming the company in another state will NOT be a solution, as you will have to re-register the out-of-state company in your home state and will run into the same problem with the name at that time.
- Some states require listing a translation for company names containing words in a foreign language. If your company name contains a foreign word (or words), please note the English translation in the “comments” section of the order form.
Name Availability Rules for Corporations Only:
- Corporation Names must end with one of the following: Inc. (or Incorporated) or Corp. (or Corporation). Additionally, Co. (or Company) and Ltd. (or Limited) may be acceptable as an ending depending on state law
- Corporations MAY NOT end their name with LLC or Limited Liability Company
- Names with Different corporate endings are considered the same company name (i.e. ABC Services Inc. and ABC Services Corporation are considered the same name)
Name Availability Rules for LLC’s Only:
- LLC Names must end with one of the following: LLC (or L.L.C.) or Limited Liability Company
Additionally, Ltd. Co. (or Limited Company) may be acceptable as an ending depending on state law
- LLC’s MAY NOT end their name with Inc., Corp., Incorporated or Corporation
- Names with different corporate endings are considered the same company name (i.e. ABC Services LLC and ABC Services Limited Liability Company are considered the same name)