How To Become Incorporated


Choosing A Business Name



How To Check if Your Chosen Name is Available

1. Check with the Secretary of State for your chosen state of incorporation to see if the name is already registered, or to check that a similar name is not registered.

2. Check with the US Trademark Office to ensure no other business has a trademark registered similar to your chosen company name.

For a small fee, if your chosen business name is available your can reserve it in advance of filing your incorporation documents.  Reservation is only required when you are not ready to file your documents straight away.  Most States will reserve a name for up to 90 days, for specific details in relation to your state, visit the Secretary of State website. 

When choosing a business name and checking on its availability, it is well worth checking on domain name availability at the same time, particularly if you intend marketing or doing business on the internet.

If you do not research name availability thoroughly in advance of your filing, in the event of rejection, you will be required to amend your Articles of Association, plus any other literature containing the disallowed name.

Your incorporated business name must include one of the following:

  • Corporation
  • Company
  • Limited
  • Incorporated

One of these legal terms must be included to communicate to the public that the business is a legal entity and therefore in particular, subject to the varying forms of limited liability protection.

To be accepted by the Secretary of State, your chosen business name must not be the same as, conflict with or be confusingly similar to any other corporate name registered in that state.  Even with acceptance, your legal right to use the name may still be restricted by Federal and State Trademark law and restrictions.  The owner of a Trademark can stop anyone else trading using that protected name.  For more information on Trademarks and searching the official registers, visit

To search domain name availability and register a domain name click here...