Texas LLC Search
When you form a Texas LLC, the first thing you do is a Texas LLC search with the Texas Secretary of State. This ensures that your desired LLC name is available and no other business has already claimed it.
You can do a Texas business entity search on the Secretary of State's website. Simply go to the Business Filings Search page and enter your proposed LLC name. If it's available, you'll see a "No records found" message.
Recommended: Secure your domain name before someone else does. Check to see if it's available with GoDaddy.
Texas LLC Name Search
1. Follow Texas Naming Guidelines
We recommend making sure your business name meets guidelines before completing your Texas entity search for your limited liability company.
Choosing a business name for your business entity is the first step in starting your Texas LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Texas 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 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.
For more information, check out the Texas Secretary of State's naming guidelines.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
2. Do a Texas Business Entity Search
Before filing your name reservation request, you can use the Texas Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired name.
You can do a nationwide search through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database, but it is not required.
The Texas Secretary of State offers an online search tool that allows you to search for businesses by name, file number, or registered agent.
You can also search for businesses in a specific county or city using the county clerk’s office or city secretary’s office website.
To perform the most effective search, type in the name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC”, and leave all other boxes blank. 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 business formation documents to avoid rejection and stay in compliance with the Texas administrative code.
3. Search Available Domain Names
Another important consideration to make when selecting a name for your limited liability company 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 online using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.
Find a Domain Now
4. Reserve Your Texas Business Entity Name
Texas’s Secretary of State Corporations Section handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 120 days. If you have yet to form your business entity using the reserved name when the business name reservation expires, you may renew the name reservation 30 days prior to it expiring.
Texas’s online business services can be found on the Texas Secretary of State website. To reserve a business name, you must file an application online or by mail. When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the “Secretary of State.”
After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.
File Online with the State of Texas
- OR -
File by Mail
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697
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The Texas comptroller requires that your LLC name be distinguishable from other registered business entities in the state. Before filing your paperwork it is a good idea to do some additional research.
You’ll want to be sure your LLC name (or one very close to it) is not being used by unregistered businesses such as sole proprietorships or partnerships, has not been trademarked by another business in your state or industry, and is otherwise available for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.
You'll also need a business bank account to transact business and a registered agent address for meeting service of process requirements.
Conducting a trademark search of your business 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 Texas’s trademark records by creating an account on the Texas Secretary of State website and logging in to see if your business name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business in your state.
- Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s electronic records 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 name is available for use across social media platforms. You can do this by simply searching your business name on each major site, or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.
Business Bank Account
To transact business in your LLC name or assumed name, you'll need a business bank account.
When you're ready to open a business bank account, you'll need to do a Texas business entities search. The search will reveal if there are any limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, corporation, s-corporation, etc. in the state of Texas with your desired LLC name.
To search for your business entity, go to the Texas Comptroller's website and select "Search for a Business." You'll be able to search by name or file number. If you don't know the file number, you can request it from the office of the county clerk where your business is registered.
Note that, unlike other states, Texas does not let businesses have the same LLC or corporation name as another business entity. Even registering a DBA or Fictitious name (Assumed Name Certificate) in Texas requires a double check to make sure it is not in use by another entity.
If you're starting a business in Texas, you'll need to appoint a registered agent. A registered agent is an individual or business that agrees to accept service of process on behalf of your LLC. This means that if your LLC is ever sued, the court papers will be served on your registered agent.
The Texas Secretary of State maintains a database of all business names registered in the state. You can search the Texas Secretary of State database to find the registered agent for any Texas business.
When you're appointing a registered agent for your LLC, you should choose someone who is reliable and easy to get in touch with. You may want to appoint yourself, a friend, or a family member, or you can hire a professional registered agent service.
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 Texas's Business Entity Search, you'll want to secure your domain name so that your customers will find your business online. Reserving your name with the Texas Secretary of State 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.
Now that you have your name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your Texas LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in Texas, where we can guide you every step of the way.
Texas LLC Search FAQs
What entity information is needed to do a Texas LLC name search?
When forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Texas, you must choose a name for your LLC. This name must be available for use and not already registered with the Texas Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the SOSDirect Name Search tool on the Secretary of State website.
Is the Texas Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes, the Texas Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool is free to use. You can use this tool to search for and reserve a name for your limited liability company.
To use the tool, simply go to the Secretary of State website and enter the desired name for your LLC. The website will then tell you if the name is available or not. If it is available, you can reserve it for 120 days.
If your name is taken, use our free Business Name Generator to find one that isn't.
Do you have to do an LLC name search to register an LLC?
No, you don't have to do an LLC name search to register an LLC in Texas. However, when you form a limited liability company (LLC) in Texas, you need to give it a name.
The name must include the words “limited liability company,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.” It can also not be the same as any other business name already registered with the state. You might want to do a search of business names before settling on one for your LLC.
You can search for business names online through the Texas Secretary of State website. The site has a business name database that you can use to see if your desired LLC name is available. To do a search, you’ll need to provide some information about your LLC, such as its formation date and the county where it will be located.