The Easy Way to Check if Your Business Name is Available for Registration

You must make sure your business name does not conflict with existing entities or trademarks. Launch by LegalShield makes name checks quick and painless.

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Business Names and the Law

In order to register your business entity and avoid claims of infringement, you must first conduct a thorough business name check. The first step is to understand the different types of names businesses use.

  • Your entity name is the legal name of your business and protects you at the state level.
  • To conduct business under a name different from the legal name, you typically need to file a voluntary assumed name, (e.g., DBA or Doing Business As) with the appropriate state or local agency.
  • A trademark is a formal name registration you make to protect your brand at the federal and/or state level.
  • A domain name is used for websites and helps protect your brand name online (but is notably and definitely not a trademark).

Making sure your desired monikers are available requires you to conduct name searches across multiple databases including the business entity database in your state and the federal trademark system. Alternatively, you can sign up for Launch by LegalShield and a provider lawyer will handle the name check for you. You’ll know that the search was done correctly and that you’re clear to launch.

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Searching Business Name Availability Made Simple

A complete name availability search requires you (or your lawyer) to conduct the following searches on your proposed name.

  • Initial internet screening using popular search engines to look for businesses using your name that are operating in a similar industry
  • Search county and state websites for registered voluntary assumed names that conflict with your proposed name
  • Check your Secretary of State’s database of existing LLCs, limited partnerships and corporations
  • Visit registrars like to conduct a domain name search
  • Complete a search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website ( for matches and state trademark databases

When conducting the searches, you must look not only for exact matches but also for similar names that could confuse consumers about who is offering the product or service. Each state may have a different legal standard for name conflicts.

If you want to make sure your name check is done correctly and that you won’t have a problem after you’ve spent substantial money building a website and printing marketing collateral, you’d be well served by having an experienced business lawyer first conduct the name search on your behalf before you start any branding efforts.

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Registering Your Name Legally

Once you are certain the name(s) you’d like to use are available, you need to register them with the appropriate governmental agencies and/or domain registrar.

  • If you’re forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation, you’ll need to include the entity name in the Articles of Organization or Incorporation you file with the Secretary of State.
  • If you plan to do business under a different name than your business entity name, then you'll need to register that DBA based upon state law requirements.
  • Trademark applications are filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for federal trademarks and typically a state Secretary of State for state trademarks. These applications are not something you want to tackle without legal support unless you’re very experienced.

You can eliminate hours of internet research and the stress that comes from not knowing if you registered all of your company names and paperwork properly by signing up for Launch by LegalShield. The entire name search and business formation process will be handled by an experienced provider lawyer for a one-time fee of $145 + state filing fees.

Legal Help Beyond Business Names

On top of the name check and business formation services included with Launch by LegalShield, you get three months of our small business legal plan to use for any other business legal issues related to launching or operating your business. 

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How LegalShield Works

Finding solutions to your legal issues doesn’t have to be stressful, complicated or expensive.

LegalShield puts the power of legal representation within reach of any individual, family or business. We work hard to make it easy, simple and affordable to get the legal help you need, when you need it.