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Check Business Name Availability In the US (for free)

Check Business Name Availability In the US (for free)

Sometimes, choosing a business name is the last step, even though it’s very important. 

We all know that having a good business name is crucial for making a great first impression. It’s important to research the availability of any potential business name to make sure you’re not infringing on someone else’s intellectual property. It’s also important to consider any legal implications of the name you choose.

 So, how do you check if a business name is available?

Why Your Business Name Matters


Your business name is more than just words.

It shows who you are and what you stand for. A good name can bring in customers, build trust, and make you stand out from the competition. 

Think about the brands you like. What do their names make you think of? How do they make you feel? 

Your business name should do the same thing.

Legal Implications of a Business Name


Another thing about a business name is that it isn’t just about branding; it’s also a legal necessity. If you choose a name that’s already in use, you could face legal challenges, including lawsuits and fines. 

Additionally, using an unavailable name can prevent you from registering your LLC or obtaining a trademark.

Imagine launching your business only to receive a cease-and-desist letter. It’s a scenario that can be avoided with proper research.

Steps to Check Business Name Availability

Knowing how to check business name availability can save you time, money, and legal headaches. Here are the essential steps to ensure your business name is available and legally compliant.

  • Start with a Preliminary Name Search

Begin with a simple online search. Enter your desired business name into search engines to see if it’s already in use. Look for businesses with similar names and note their industry and location. This step can give you a quick overview of potential conflicts.

It’s a simple yet effective way to determine your name’s uniqueness. You’ll also get an idea of how it fits within your market.

Here you can check the name availability for Wyoming

wyoming-secretary-of-state

  • Use the State Business Name Database

Each U.S. state has a database where you can check if your business name is available. These databases are usually accessible through the state’s Secretary of State website. 

Search this database, to see if your name is already registered by another entity within the state.

Different states have different rules and procedures, so make sure to follow the guidelines specific to the state where you plan to register your LLC. 

  • Check Federal Trademark Databases

Even if your business name is available in your state, it could be trademarked at the federal level. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides a free online search tool called the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). 

Trademark search

This tool helps you find registered trademarks and pending applications.

A federally trademarked name cannot be used by another business in a way that could confuse. Checking TESS ensures you’re not infringing on an existing trademark.

  • Consider Domain Name Availability

Matching domain and name is important on so many levels.

You can use domain search tools to see if the domain name you want is available. Some popular tools are GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Google Domains.

A consistent brand name across all platforms, including your website, helps with brand recognition and professionalism.

Tools and Resources for Name Availability Search


Knowing how to check business name availability is easier when you have the right tools. Here are some of the best resources to help you ensure your desired name is available and compliant.

State-Specific Business Name Search Tools


Each state in the U.S. offers a business name search tool through its Secretary of State websites. These tools allow you to search the state’s business registry to see if your desired name is already taken. It’s a critical step to avoid name conflicts within the state where you plan to register your LLC.

For example, if you’re registering in Delaware, visit the Delaware Division of Corporations website. If it’s California, head to the California Secretary of State website. Each state has its own system, so familiarize yourself with the one relevant to your LLC.

USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)


The USPTO’s TESS is an invaluable resource for checking federal trademarks. This tool allows you to search for registered trademarks and pending applications.

Here is a short guide on how to do the research. 

You can search by general search, wordmark, goods and services, owner, serial number, registration number, mark description and field tag, and search builder.

uspto search

Let’s say that your name includes the word ‘marketing’. Just type it in the search field and you’ll get ‌results that include the status, name of the owners, and other important data. 

USPTO-check-business-name-availability

Tips for Choosing a Unique and Memorable Business Name


Once you know how to check business name availability, the next step is to choose a name that stands out. Here are some tips to help you create a unique and memorable business name.

check-business-name-availability

Be Creative but Clear


Your business name should be distinctive but also easy to understand. Avoid overly complex names that are hard to spell or pronounce. Aim for a name that clearly communicates what your business does or represents.

Consider how your name will look on business cards, websites, and social media profiles. It should be catchy and resonate with your target audience.

Avoid Restricted Words


Certain words are restricted or require special approval in business names. For example, words like “Bank,” “Insurance,” or “University” might need additional documentation or permissions. Using such words without proper authorization can delay your LLC registration process.

Check your state’s guidelines for restricted words to avoid unnecessary complications.

Think Long-Term

Choose a name that can grow with your business. Avoid names that are too specific to a particular product or service if you plan to expand your offerings in the future. A flexible name allows your business to evolve without the need for a rebrand.

Think about how your name will age. Trends come and go, but a timeless name can withstand the test of time.

Conduct a Global Search


Even if you’re focusing on the U.S. market, it’s wise to conduct a global search. Ensure your business name doesn’t have negative connotations in other languages or cultures. This is especially important if you plan to expand internationally.

Make sure that you have checked for global trademarks and domain names to avoid potential issues down the line.

Get Feedback


Before finalizing your business name, get feedback from a diverse group of people. This can include potential customers, industry peers, or even friends and family. They might offer valuable insights or catch something you missed.

Gather opinions on the name’s clarity, memorability, and overall appeal.

What to Do If Your Desired Name Is Taken


The desired business name can be taken. But what to do next? 

Modify the Name


One straightforward approach is to modify your desired name slightly. You can add descriptive words, change the spelling, or combine words to create a new, unique name. 

For example, if “Global Tech” is taken, consider alternatives like “Global Tech Solutions” or “GlobaTech Innovations.”

Consider Different Business Structures


Sometimes, changing your business structure can help. For example, if your desired name is taken as an LLC, it might be available as a Corporation or a Partnership. However, please be sure to understand the implications of changing your business structure.

Consult with a business advisor or legal expert to explore this option and ensure it fits your business goals.

Seek Professional Assistance


If you’re struggling to find an available name, consider hiring a professional naming consultant. These experts specialize in creating unique business names that stand out and comply with legal requirements. They can also conduct thorough searches to ensure the name is available.

Although it’s an additional expense, it can save you time and provide peace of mind.

Use a Different Language


Another creative approach is to use words from a different language that align with your brand. This can add a unique flair to your business name while bypassing availability issues in English. 

Just ensure that the chosen words are easy to pronounce and don’t carry unintended meanings.

For instance, using Latin or Greek words related to your industry can create an interesting and memorable name.

Check for Name Availability in Other States


If you plan to operate in multiple states, check the name availability in those states as well. A name taken in one state might still be available in another. This can be particularly useful if you’re open to registering your LLC in a different state.

However, make sure to consider the legal and logistical implications of registering your business in a different state.

Next Steps After Confirming Name Availability


Once you’ve confirmed that your business name is available, it’s time to take the next steps to secure and protect your brand.
Here’s a guide to what you should do next.

Register Your Business Name


After verifying that your desired business name is available, the next step is to officially register it. This process varies by state but typically involves filing the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office. This step legally secures your business name and allows you to operate under it.

Follow your state’s specific requirements and pay any associated fees. This will formalize your business name and protect it within the state.

Secure a Domain Name


After confirming your business name availability, secure your domain name as soon as possible. Even if you’re not ready to build a website immediately, securing the domain name ensures that no one else can take it.

Consider purchasing domain name variations, such as different top-level domains (e.g., .net, .org) to protect your brand.

File for a Trademark


To protect your business name on a national level, consider filing for a trademark with the USPTO.

A trademark protects your brand and prevents others from using a similar name that could confuse customers. The trademark application process involves several steps, including a detailed search to ensure your name isn’t already trademarked and submitting an application.

While you can file a trademark application yourself, hiring a trademark attorney can ensure the process is done correctly.

Final thoughts 


Choosing a business name is important for your brand and the law. A good name makes a good first impression and shows what your brand is about. 

Check if your business name is available before registering. This can help avoid legal problems. You can check availability using: – State-specific databases – USPTO’s TESS – Domain search tools

If the name you want is already taken, try thinking of different names or get help from someone who knows about this. Once you’ve chosen a name, quickly register your business name, get a domain name, and think about trademarking to protect your brand. 

Feel free to check the Neubase packages and the services included. Also, you can schedule your free 1-on-1 consultation with Petar, for a more tailored approach. 

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