Register Your Business Name: State Resources

If you're considering opening a small business, there are a number of different issues you will need to consider, including choosing the proper business name for your new venture. Each state has its own requirements for choosing, registering, and doing business under a particular business name. With the differing rules and regulations in each state, it's important to make sure you research the laws and know the requirements.

FindLaw has done the legwork for you. We've put together a handy state resources chart for registering your business name in 50 states, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Here you'll find links to the different Secretary of State offices throughout the country and more. 

Alabama
  • Business Entity Search: From the Alabama Secretary of State. Offers information on searching active and inactive names of corporations qualified to transact business in Alabama;
  • Alabama Name Reservation: From the Alabama Secretary of State. Offers information on reserving a name for a "for-profit" corporation
Alaska
Arizona
  • Registered Name Information Search From the Arizona Secretary of State: Search for registered names of Partnerships, Trade names and Trademarks on file with the Secretary of State, as well as Corporations and Limited Liability Companies on file with the Corporations Division of the Corporation Commission;
  • Corporate Name Search From the Corporations Division of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Search for names of Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, as well as Partnerships, Trade names and Trademarks on file with the Secretary of State.
  • Trade Names and Trademarks Handbook [PDF] From the Arizona Secretary of State. Search for registered names.
Arkansas
California
  • California Business Search: From the Secretary of State. Search for California corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies currently registered with the Secretary of State.
  • Corporation Name Availability: From the Secretary of State. Offers information on checking the availability of a company name, reserving a corporate name, and more.
  • You must contact the city and/or county clerk and/or recorder where the principal place of business is located for information regarding filing or registering fictitious business names.
Colorado
  • Business Name Search: From the Colorado Secretary of State. Search for names of corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships and limited liability limited partnerships.
  • Trade Name Search: From Colorado Department of Revenue. Search trade names (or DBAs "doing business as") of sole proprietorships and general partnerships registered with the Department of Revenue;
  • Trade Name Registration: From the Colorado Secretary of State.
Connecticut
  • Concord database: From Connecticut Secretary of the State. Search for the names of LLCs, LLPs, LPs, and corporations that are registered.
Delaware
  • Name Availability Search: From the Delaware Secretary of State. Check the status of any entity registered in the state of Delaware.
  • DBA's or Doing-Business-As names are registered in the Prothonotary's office in the county in which you are doing business.
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
  • Business Services: From the Indiana Secretary of State. Offers business entity name search and check name availability services online.
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
  • Corporation and Business Entity Database: From the New York Department of State. Includes businesses and not for profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships and more.
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
U.S. Virgin Islands
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Hiring a Business and Commercial Law Expert

State business name laws are constantly changing and require intensive legal research. Contacting a business and commercial lawyer is your best course of action, as well as conducting exhaustive legal research to verify that you are following all the procedures to register your business name. A local attorney can help protect you and your business interests.

Related Resources

For more information, see our Starting a Business section.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified business attorney to help you navigate the process of starting a business.

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