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.
$145 + State Filing Fees
Business Names and the Law
In order to register your business entity and avoid lawsuits for trademark infringement, you must conduct a thorough name search. 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.
- If you’d like to conduct business under a name different from the legal name, you typically need to file a voluntary assumed name, (e.g., DBA/Doing Business As) with the appropriate state or local agency.
- A trademark is a name registration you make to protect your brand at the federal or state level.
- A domain name is used for websites and helps protect your brand name online.
Making sure your desired monikers are available requires you to conduct name searches across multiple databases. Alternatively, you can sign up for Launch by LegalShield and a provider attorney will handle the name check for you. You’ll know that the search was done correctly and that you’re clear to launch.
Business Name Searching Made Simple
As mentioned above, a complete name check requires you (or your attorney) to conduct the following searches.
- Initial internet screening using popular search engines to look for businesses using your name
- Search county and state websites for registered voluntary assumed names that conflict with your name
- Check your Secretary of State’s database of existing LLCs, limited partnerships and corporations
- Visit registrars like Whois.com to conduct a domain name search
- Complete a search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark website for matches and state trademark databases
When conducting the searches, you must look not only for exact matches but also for names that are similar and could confuse consumers. Each state has a different legal standard for name conflicts. Name searching is part art and part science.
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 attorney conduct the name search on your behalf.
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 an LLC or Corporation, you’ll need to include your 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 based upon state law requirements.
- Trademark applications are filed with the USPTO for federal trademarks and typically a state Secretary of State for state trademarks and, unless you’re very experienced, not something you want to tackle without legal support.
You can eliminate hours of internet research and the stress that comes from not knowing if you registered all of your 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 attorney 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.
Launch by LegalShield includes a consultation with an attorney, business name check, preparation and filing of all entity formation documents, your EIN and three months of legal support.
$145 + State Filing Fees
Key Features of Our Small Business Legal Plans
LegalShield’s business plans can help you in the following areas.
Speak with your provider attorney on an unlimited number of business legal issues.
One hour of legal research on each matter is included at no additional charge.
Your provider attorney can make phone calls or write letters on your behalf.
Depending on the type of plan, a designated number of debt collection letters are included each month at no additional charge.
Have your provider attorney review documents and draft contracts.
Preparation of documents is provided under the preferred member discount.
Your provider attorney can defend you in covered civil lawsuits.
Depending on the type of plan, a designated number of pre-trial and trial hours are included at no additional charge.