Massachusetts Business Search

You can look up an existing business entity by completing a Massachusetts business entity search or find out if the business name you want is reserved in MA by doing a name reservation search with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Our Massachusetts Business Search guide will give you instructions for looking up all business types, including corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs).

Recommended: If you are forming an LLC, visit our Massachusetts Form an LLC guide for step-by-step instructions, including how to search and register your LLC name.


Massachusetts LLC Name Search

When you register your LLC in Massachusetts, you’ll need to complete a name search, follow the naming guidelines, and then complete the LLC registration documents to officially register your name.

We also recommend searching domain names and trademarks at this time.

Complete a Massachusetts Business Search

When you form an LLC, you have to make sure your business name is available and distinguishable from other business names.

To verify that your business name is unique, you’ll need to complete a business entity search on the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Business Entity Search webpage, as well as a Name Reservation Search.

TIP: If your potential business name has several words in it, you should also search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.

If you find that your business name isn’t available, we recommend taking a look at our LLC Name Generator tool and our How to Name Your Business guide for help with coming up with a unique name.

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Recommended: Complete a domain name search to make sure your domain name is available.

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US Trademark Search

A quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has trademarked your name. The cost of trademarking a name is usually too high for a startup business, but it’s good to know if your name is already taken.

To learn more about trademarks and the steps you will need to get one, read our How to Trademark Your Business guide.

Follow MA LLC Naming Guidelines

Most LLC filing rejections are due to business name issues. This happens when the name isn’t distinguishable enough from other business names or when the name doesn’t meet state guidelines.

Massachusetts Naming Guidelines:

  • The name of your limited liability company must contain the words ''limited liability company'', ''limited company'', or the abbreviation ''L.L.C.'', ''L.C.'', ''LLC'' or ''LC''
  • The name may contain the name of a member or manager.
  • The name may not be the same as, or deceptively similar to the name of any corporation, limited partnership or limited liability company reserved or organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or licensed or registered as a foreign corporation, foreign limited partnership or foreign limited liability company in the Commonwealth, except with the written consent of said corporation, limited partnership or limited liability company previously filed with the State Secretary. We will help with this step in the search for your business name section below.

Visit the Massachusetts LLC naming statute for a full list of naming guidelines.

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In Massachusetts, your business name is officially registered when your LLC is approved. Use our free step-by-step Form an LLC in MA guide to get started.

Form an LLC

MA Corporation Search

When you register a corporation in Massachusetts, you’ll need to complete a name search, follow naming guidelines, and then complete corporation registration documents to officially register your name.

We also recommend searching domain names and trademarks at this time.

Complete a Massachusetts Business Search

When you start a corporation, you have to make sure your business name is available and distinguishable from other business names.

To verify that your business name is unique, you’ll need to complete a business entity search on the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Business Entity Search webpage, as well as a Name Reservation Search.

TIP: If your potential business name has several words in it, you should also search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.

If you find that your business name isn’t available, we recommend taking a look at our Business Name Generator tool and our How to Name Your Business guide for help with coming up with a unique name.

The Truic Flame Logo

Complete a domain name search to make sure your domain name is available.

GoDaddy

Follow MA Corporation Naming Guidelines

Most business filing rejections are due to business name issues. This happens when the name isn’t distinguishable enough from other business names or when the name doesn’t meet state guidelines.

Massachusetts Corporation Naming Rules:

  • The name of your corporation must contain the word ''corporation, ''incorporated,'' ''company,'' or ''limited'' or the abbreviation ''corp.,'' ''inc., or ltd.,'' or words or abbreviations of like import in another language.
  • The name may not contain language stating or implying that the corporation is organized for a purpose other than that permitted by Massachusetts law or its articles of organization.
  • The name may not be the same as, or so similar that it is likely to be mistaken for:
  • (i) the corporate name or trade name of a corporation organized, authorized to transact business, or otherwise lawfully conducting business in the commonwealth
  • (ii) a Massachusetts reserved corporate name
  • (iii) the fictitious name adopted by a foreign corporation or entity authorized to transact business or otherwise lawfully conducting business in the commonwealth because its real or trade name is unavailable
  • (iv) the corporate name or trade name of a not-for-profit corporation organized, authorized to conduct its activities or otherwise lawfully conducting its activities in the Commonwealth
  • (v) the name or trade name of a partnership, business trust or other entity organized, authorized to transact business or otherwise lawfully conducting business in the Commonwealth
  • (vi) a trademark or service mark registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. We will help with this step in the search for your business name section below.

Visit the Massachusetts corporation naming statute for a full list of naming guidelines.

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In Massachusetts, your business name is registered when your corporation is approved. Use our free step-by-step Start a Corporation in Massachusetts guide to get started.

Start a Corporation

MA Secretary of State Business Entity Search

If you need to search existing business entities in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Business Entity Search and include any info you have on the business in the search cells.

MA Business Search FAQ

How do I name a small business?

Naming a small business is often a do-it-yourself job. Small business startup budgets usually won’t support hiring someone to help name your business. For easy step-by-step instructions on naming your small business, visit our How to Name a Business guide.

How do I come up with a catchy business name?

The first step to naming your business is figuring out what business structure you will use for your new company. After that, you will brainstorm at least 4-5 possible names. The more you brainstorm the better. Once you have some names, you can test the names against best practices, name availability, and state guidelines.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.

Should you name your business after yourself?

Naming your business after yourself has its benefits. Unless you have a name like John Smith, your name can help you find a .com domain name. If you are coming up with innovative ideas or a new approach, using your name can help create a strong brand.

There are also reasons NOT to name your business after yourself. If you don’t want to be the face and name of your business, it won’t work. If your type of client or customer base would prefer a company name, then you should give them a company name to work with.

If you want your business to someday run on its own, without you working there every day, then you shouldn’t use your name.

Can I sell my trademark or buy someone else’s?

Yes, you can sell or buy a trademark. A trademark is considered intellectual property which means it can be sold like property. It’s important to consult with an attorney before buying or selling intellectual property, especially trademarks.

Is my trademark application public?

Yes, your trademark application, including your personal identification information, is public. By law, your trademark information must be easily searchable by the public.

Where should I buy a domain name?

Our top choice in web hosting and domain registrars is GoDaddy. We like their domain search tool— you can search for the exact name you want or make suggestions based on keywords and available names. There are also several other companies to choose from that will provide a good experience.

Visit GoDaddy to search for domain names.

Can I put the word “company” in my business name?

Yes, you can. Neither the term “company” nor any of its abbreviations has any legal connotations. A company is simply an association of individuals.

Do I have to write “LLC” after my company name?

If you choose to use a limited liability company structure for your new business, most states will require that you use LLC after the name. You can also use the full term limited liability company.


If you are marketing your business, you usually don’t have to use LLC after the name.

Massachusetts Business Resources

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