Last Updated: May 9, 2024, 10:49 am by TRUiC Team

Texas LLC Name Search

If you are starting a Texas LLC, you'll need to complete a Texas LLC name search.

We'll help you check if your chosen LLC name is available or if it's already being used by another business.

Recommended: Northwest ($29 + State Fees) will register your business name when you form an LLC.

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Check LLC Name Availability in Texas

You can use the Texas Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired name.

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.

2. 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.

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3. Follow Texas Naming Guidelines

The rules for naming your Texas LLC apply to all filing instruments received by the Secretary of State on or after June 1, 2018. By following these rules, you can ensure that your business name is available and meets the necessary requirements.

Acceptable Characters in Names

When creating your business name, you can use letters of the Roman alphabet, Arabic numerals (0-9), and symbols that can be reproduced on a standard English language keyboard. 

Whether you use uppercase or lowercase letters, distinctive lettering or typeface, or even superscript or subscript letters or numerals, it won't affect the recognition of your name. 

The Secretary of State website provides a list of permitted symbols. 

False Implications and Unlawful Associations

Your business name should not falsely imply a governmental affiliation or suggest a purpose that would be unlawful for your business to conduct. Make sure your name does not mislead people into thinking you have a connection with the government or engage in illegal activities. 

For example, a name like "Texas Real Estate Commission, LLC" would be misleading.

Restricted Words

Certain words are restricted and require specific authorization or permission to be used in your business name. Here are a few examples:

  • Olympic-related words like "Olympic," "Olympiad," or "Citius Altius Fortius" require authorization from the United States Olympic Committee.
  • Words like "bank," "bank and trust," "trust," or "trust company" need a no-objection letter from the Banking Commissioner.
  • Terms like "College," "University," "School of Medicine," and others require a no-objection letter from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Names implying an entity for the benefit of war veterans and their families, using words like "Veteran," "Legion," "Foreign," "Spanish," "Disabled," "War," or "World War," need written approval from a veterans organization.

Foreign Words and Translation

If your business name includes words in a foreign language that utilize the Roman alphabet, they will not be translated for determining name availability.

However, if the difference lies in the use or omission of different articles, prepositions, or conjunctions, even in a foreign language, the names will be considered the same.

Avoid Grossly Offensive Names

It's important to choose a business name that is not grossly offensive or unacceptable. Ensure that your name is appropriate and aligns with the values and image of your business.

Organizational Identifiers

Your business name should include an acceptable organizational identifier as specified in the Texas Business Organizations Code. Avoid using terms like "companies," "corporations," "incorporation," and "unlimited" as standalone organizational identifiers. 

Nonprofit corporations may have exceptions to this requirement.

Distinguishable Names

To ensure your business name is distinguishable from existing names, consider the following conditions:

  • Differences in capitalization, typeface, or the use of superscript or subscript letters or numerals.
  • Addition, substitution, or omission of punctuation marks, accent marks, periods, spaces, or symbols that do not significantly alter the name.
  • Variation in the order of key words or contractions derived from the same root word.
  • Use of the same key words but in a different language.
  • Key words that sound the same but have different meanings or connotations.
  • Differences in the use of prepositions that sufficiently alter the names.

By following these guidelines, you can create a unique business name that sets you apart from others. Remember to check the availability of your chosen name with the secretary of state before proceeding with the filing process.

Names Available With Consent

In some cases, you may be able to use a non-distinguishable name if you obtain consent from an existing entity. Here are a few examples of conditions where consent may be required:

  • The existence, addition, substitution, or absence of words, phrases, or abbreviations that identify different types of entities.
  • The use of common abbreviations of the same word.
  • Variation in the singular, plural, or possessive form of a word that does not significantly alter the name.
  • Addition or omission of a state to a name that already includes a city, as long as it doesn't significantly change the name.

When obtaining consent, ensure it is in writing, signed by an authorized representative of the consenting entity, and notarized. The consent should be unequivocal and free from conditions.

Administrative Review of Names Requiring Consent

Names that require consent cannot be filed without obtaining consent from the relevant entity. Even if there is related management or ownership, the existing entity is not actively engaged in business, or it is about to change its name or be terminated, consent is still required. Consent must accompany the filing instrument.

Alphabet Names

Names or units of names consisting of initials or letters of the alphabet are considered as one word for determining name availability. Each combination of initials or letters is considered distinguishable. 

For example, "A & A," "AA," "AAA," "ABA," and "AAB" are all different "words."

Matters Not Considered

Certain factors are not considered when determining the availability of a business name. These include the purpose of the proposed entity, activities in the same or nearby locations, previous opinions, an existing entity's business status or response to inquiries, applicant's expectations, importance, previous determinations, bankruptcy filings, or the timing of document submissions.

Final Determination of Name Availability

An opinion on name availability provided by an employee of the Office is not a final determination. The final determination is made only when the document is submitted for filing.

Examples Not Exclusive

The conditions and examples provided in these guidelines are not exhaustive. They are meant to assist in understanding the rules but should not be used to limit the determination of name availability. Be sure to review the complete set of rules and consult the Secretary of State website for any specific concerns or clarifications.

By following these guidelines, you'll be well-equipped to choose a suitable and compliant name for your business. Remember, your business name is an important part of your brand identity, so take the time to find a name that reflects your vision and resonates with your target audience.

Need a name? Try our free LLC Name Generator

Registering Your Business Name

When you're ready to start your Texas LLC, you fill out the Texas Certificate of Formation document, which you’ll list your name on. This is enough to register your LLC’s name. Texas is one of those states where you do not have to reserve a name first.

If you're not ready to start yet, you might want to register the name so nobody else takes it. We'll show you how to do both.

Register Your Texas LLC Name

Registering your business name is straightforward. Just complete and submit the Texas Certificate of Formation. This document helps you officially claim your business name and start your Texas LLC. It's an essential step in setting up your new business.

Instructions are on the form along with instructions for paying the required state filing fee.

Professional LLC formation services will register your LLC name when they form your LLC. Learn more in our Best LLC Services review.

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.

Texas Application for Reservation of an Entity Name

File Online with the State of Texas

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- OR -

File by Mail

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Fee: $40

Mail to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, TX 78711-3697

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Other Considerations

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.

Trademark Search

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.

Most banks require an EIN number to open a business bank account. This will be your file number tax ID — the same one used for registering to pay taxes in Texas.

Registered Agent

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.

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 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.

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What's Next?

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.

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Texas LLC Search FAQs

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.

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.

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.