One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Nebraska LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Nebraska is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Nebraska businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Nebraska LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Nebraska, and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a Nebraska LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Nebraska.
Step 1: Follow the Nebraska LLC Naming Guidelines
The first step is to ensure that your chosen name complies with the requirements of Nebraska’s LLC naming guidelines as listed below:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (L.L.C., LLC, L.C., or LC.).
- Your name cannot include words that falsely imply you are affiliated with a government entity (FBI, Treasury, Real Estate Commission, etc.).
- You cannot use a name that is “deceptively similar” to the name of a business or business owner already found in Nebraska’s Secretary of State’s records. However, there is a provision in Nebraska state law that allows you to apply for a special authorization from the Secretary of State or to obtain a court order allowing you to use the name even if it is the same as one that already exists. This provision is typically used by out-of-state businesses that discover that their name already exists in Nebraska.
- You cannot name your LLC in a way that could confuse it with another business type, e.g., “Corp,” “Inc.,’’ “Nonprofit.”
- You cannot use specialized industry designators like “bank,” “university,” “law center,” etc., unless you obtain authorization from an appropriate professional body first.
Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.
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Step 2: Look Up Nebraska LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Nebraska LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Nebraska.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Nebraska Corporate and Business Search tool on the Secretary of State website. The search tool is free. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
- Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.
To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.
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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.
Step 3: Reserve Your Nebraska LLC Name
You should submit a Reservation of LLC Name Form to the Secretary of State by mail before you form your LLC. The fee is $30. The Nebraska Secretary of State discourages new business owners from advertising, purchasing business cards, etc., before the name reservation is approved. You will receive an Acknowledgement of Filing of the Name Reservation if the name is available or a written notification if it isn’t.
Once approved, your business name is reserved for 120 days.
Using a Nebraska DBA for Your LLC
In Nebraska, a DBA (“doing business as”) name is also known as an assumed name or a trade name. DBA is not a legal LLC requirement in Nebraska, but it’s considered to be best business practice. A DBA is especially beneficial for LLCs in Nebraska because without one, a business owner has to form a separate LLC for every type of business it buys.
You can file for DBA electronically using the Nebraska Secretary of State Corporate Document e-Delivery service. A DBA costs $100 in Nebraska and is approved for 10 years. You can then renew it through the Secretary of State’s office.
LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.
Step 4: Register a Nebraska LLC Trade or Service Mark
Doing a name search on the federal trademark database will tell you whether another business or person has already “marked” your name.
Once you verify the availability of your LLC name and secure it, you can choose to apply for a trade or service mark for your business.
Registering your LLC business “mark” (refers to trade and service marks) with the Nebraska Secretary of State not only distinguishes the goods or services your business provides, but also creates a statewide notice that any entity or person cannot use any of your marks (such as brand name, slogans, and logos).
You can apply for trademark registration by filing a Trademark or Service Mark Application form to the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $110.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Nebraska, check out the steps on how to form a Nebraska LLC.
Nebraska Secretary of State Contact Information
Business Services Division
P.O. Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509-4608
Business Services Division
1201 N. Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 471-4079
Nebraska LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Nebraska LLC name search?
When forming a Nebraska LLC, you will be required to choose a name.. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the Nebraska Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Nebraska Corporate & Business Search tool on the Secretary of State website.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Nebraska?
You can use the Nebraska Corporate & Business Search tool on the Secretary of State website to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Nebraska Secretary of State via phone at (402) 471-4079 or email at email@example.com for assistance on how to perform a Nebraska LLC name search.
Can I renew a Nebraska LLC name reservation?
No. The Nebraska Secretary of State business division does not mention the possibility of renewing your name reservation. You will need to file your LLC formation documents within the 120-day period.
Is the Nebraska Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. Using the Nebraska Corporate and Business Search tool is free to use to search for an LLC name. Requesting for batch corporate records isn’t free, though. It’ll cost $15 per 1000 records.