You are excited about starting your business. You have the perfect product, the perfect service and you even have a catchy name for your corporation. There is just one tiny problem. You do not know if anyone else has claimed that name or started using it. You need to find out your business name’s availability.
Find Out Business Name Availability
This is important because if you use a duplicate name, and the business name is trademarked you could be in trouble for infringing on that trademark. Your Secretary of State also will not permit duplicate names. There is a rational reason for this. Two different businesses with the same name could be confusing or misleading to the public.
If you decide to use a name that is similar to one in use, it may not be a problem as long as the name is not trademarked. If it is in a different industry than yours, you also might be able to get away with it if you can add a variation to your business’s name.
Secretary of State Website
To start your search, you can go to your Secretary of State’s website and enter the name of the business. If any duplicates come up you can assume that you will need to come up with a different name for your corporation.
Another way to search is to try to search for your desired domain name. Just as there cannot be duplicates in brick and mortar businesses, there cannot be exact duplicates on the Internet. If you could not find the information you were looking for on the Secretary of State website in your state, this search can point to any duplicates that exist on the web. This is good to know if your business is to have a far enough reach both nationally and internationally.
Search For Trademarked Names
To do a thorough trademark search, visit a site like LegalZoom and search for trademarked names. Remember that a trademarked business is one that you cannot use. If you were to, you could subject yourself to trademark infringement and a lawsuit. This is not how you would want your business to start out.
If you find a business was in existence but folded years ago, you can use the name. Try searching on Dun & Bradstreet for more details. You can do most corporate name searches for free. If your name is free, you can use it to start your business right away. For more details visit Koloden.com