New York Secretary of State Business Search

All businesses should complete a New York Business Name Search before forming an LLC.

We'll show you how to check LLC name availability in our New York Secretary of State Business Search guide below.

Need help forming an LLC? Read our Best LLC Services review.

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  1. Follow New York Naming Guidelines
  2. Do a New York Business Name Search
  3. Search Available Domain Names
  4. Reserve Your New York Business Entity Name

New York Entity Search

1. Follow New York Naming Guidelines

We recommend making sure your business name meets guidelines before completing your business name search.

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your New York LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with New York naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

Be sure to follow these naming guidelines:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your New York LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.

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

2. Do a New York Business Name Search

Before filing your name reservation request, you can use the New York Secretary of State Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired name. To perform the most effective entity search, type in the name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC.” This will return all entities using the same or similar names. If your business name is several words, you can even search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.

Be sure to conduct a thorough search before completing your paperwork to avoid rejection.

3. Search Available Domain Names

Another important consideration to make when selecting a business name is whether or not your desired web domain name is available. Having a URL that clearly matches your business name is important. This seemingly small step can make a big difference in how prospective customers find your business.

The best way to determine if your desired URL is available is to search for it using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.

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4. Reserve Your New York Business Entity Name

New York’s Secretary of State Division of Corporations, State Records & UCC handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 60 days. If a business entity has yet to be formed in the reserved name when the name reservation expires, two extensions of 60 days each may be granted to an applicant who applies for an extension.

To reserve a business name, you must file an application by mail only. When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the “Department of State.” You may also pay by credit card/debit card by filling out a Credit Card/Debit Card Authorization Form.

After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.

New York Application for Reservation of Name

Download Form

Fee: $20

Mail to:
New York State, Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records
and Uniform Commercial Code
99 Washington Avenue 6th floor
Albany, NY 12231

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Other Considerations

While reserving the name for your New York LLC is straightforward, there are some other things you should think about when choosing the best name for your business. You may want to do a Trademark and Social Media search for your name to see the availability for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.

Trademark Search

Conducting a trademark search of your business entity name and associated slogans or logos before registering can help prevent costly litigation in the future. Discovering that another entity has trademarked your business name does not automatically disqualify you from using it.

However, it is important to know who is using the name, what industry they operate in, and where they are located to be sure you do not inadvertently infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property rights.

To complete this step:

  • Search New York’s trademark records by contacting the New York State Library to see if your business entity name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business in your state. 
  • Search the electronic records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to find any federally registered trademarks associated with your business name.

Social Media Search

Just as important, or more so, than finding a domain name that fits your business is ensuring that your business entity name is available for use across social media platforms. To do so, search your business name on each major site or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.

Bottom Line

Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using New York's Business Entity Search, you'll want to secure your domain name so that your customers will be able to find your business online. Reserving your name with an Application for Reservation of Name will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.

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What's Next?

Now that you have your name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in New York, where we can guide you every step of the way.

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