One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your New York LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in New York is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other New York businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our New York LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in New York and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a New York LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in New York.
Step 1: Follow the New York LLC Naming Guidelines
First, make sure that your chosen name meets the state’s naming guidelines. These include:
- Incorporating the phrase “limited liability company” or an abbreviation thereof (LLC or L.L.C.) in the name.
- Avoiding words that may lead to confusion with a government entity (Treasury, State Department, CIA, NYPD, NYFD, etc.).
- Being aware that certain restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may necessitate additional paperwork, and the presence of a licensed individual as part of the LLC.
- Ensuring that the name chosen is distinguishable from any existing limited liability company, limited partnership, or corporation in New York.
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 New York LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a New York LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in New York.
- LLC Name Search: Search the New York Corporation and Business Entity Database. The database is supported by the Department of State’s Division of Corporations for a general public inquiry, and there is no fee. 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 New York LLC Name
Should you wish to reserve a business name before filing your LLC Articles of Organization, you can do so with the New York Department of State. The fee for reserving a business name is $20.
Business name reservations are good for 60 days in New York, and you can apply for up to two 60-day extensions.
Business name reservations must be filed by mail (or in person) using the Application for Reservation of Name. The $20 fee is payable by check or by card if you include the Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization form.
Filing for an extension requires the Request for Extension of Reservation of Name and paying the $20 fee again.
Using a New York DBA for Your LLC
An DBA (“doing business as”) name allows your LLC to operate under a name other than its official LLC one. LLCs can file for a DBA, known in the state as an “assumed name,” with the New York Department of State.
If you want to operate under an assumed name, you can file for one using the state’s Certificate of Assumed Name. The form can be filed by mail, in person, or by fax. There is a $25 fee for requesting an assumed name.
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 New York LLC Trade or Service Mark
To further confirm the availability of your chosen business name, you can conduct a federal trademark database search. The search will show whether any other business or individual already has the name “marked.”
Assuming your business name isn’t marked, you can apply for a trade or service mark. Registering a mark with the New York Department of state distinguishes your business’s goods or services and also provides a statewide notice that the name shouldn’t be used by others.
For these reasons, you should consider trademarking or service marking your business with the New York Department of State. To do so, complete the Original Application to Register a Trademark. The fee for registering a trade or service mark is $50 per class (“class” indicates goods or services).
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in New York, check out the steps on how to form a New York LLC.
New York Secretary of State Contact Information
New York Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commercial Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231
One Commercial Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m. ET
Email: Corpinfo@sos.New York.gov
Phone: (518) 473-2492
New York LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a New York LLC name search?
When forming a New York 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 New York Department of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the New York Corporation and Business Entity Database on the Division of Corporations website. The search is free, and there is no limit on the number of searches you conduct.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in New York?
Use the New York Corporation and Business Entity Database to find out whether a specific name is available. For further assistance, contact the Division of Corporations at (518) 473-2492 or reach out via email at Corpinfo@sos.New York.gov.
Can I renew a New York LLC name reservation?
Yes. You can renew your LLC name reservation by filing a Request for Extension of Reservation of Name with the state. Renewals can be requested twice, for 60 days each. There’s a $20 fee for each request.
Is the New York Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. There is no fee to search for names using New York’s Corporation and Business Entity Database. Should you decide to reserve a name with the state, the fee is $20.