Why Is It Important To Do a New York LLC Name Search?
So you’ve decided to open up a limited liability company in the state of New York. The first thing you will need to do before starting your business is to register your company with the State. Our article today will talk about how you can run a quick New York LLC name search to check if your desired business name is still available.
New York Business Naming Guidelines
The very first thing that you need to do before registering a business is to come up with a business name. New York requires businesses to have a distinguishable and unique name that will not be confused for another business.
When choosing a business name, you need to also make sure that the name complies with New York naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.
Below are the New York Business naming guidelines:
- Company name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.)
- Company name cannot include words that would confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc)
- Restricted words such as Bank, Attorney, and University may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual such as a doctor or a lawyer to be part of your LLC.
Tips on Choosing a Business Name
The easiest way to create a New York business name that’s not taken is to make it unique. Here are a few tips that businesses can consider when coming up with a creative and original name:
- The easiest way to create an original business name is to use unusual and unique keywords that your competitors do not use.
- You can use a unique mission statement to make your business more relatable to customers.
- You can use different naming techniques like rhyming and alliteration to make your business name more original.
New York Business Name Search
Now that you’ve brainstormed a name that’s suitable for your business, the next step is to check the New York Division of Corporations site to see if your desired name is available. You can search for New York Corporations and LLCs with the following criteria:
- Entity Name
- Name Type
- Search Type
There are further filter options like search by Inactive, Active, and by Country that can help you narrow down the search.
New York Entity Name
The New York Name search query is the most commonly used method for obvious reasons. All you need to do is to key in your desired business name and run the search to generate a results filled with all related names to the one you’ve entered.
You don’t need to add phrases like Limited Liability Company, LLC, Corp, or other naming designation as the database will give you a result of all the names from every different entity type.
The name type filter lets you narrow down and search for entities based on their name status of active or inactive.
New York Name Status Search
If you find picking a good business name a difficult task, you can also generate ideas and gain inspiration by looking through the search results listing to check if there are any expired names you could use for your business.
For example, if you want to open up a sandwich shop you could enter “sandwich” into the search bar and the site will generate a list of business entities with the name BBQ in it. If you do find a business name that has expired, you will need to call the New York Department of State at (518) 473-2492 to check if you can use that name for your business.
After deciding on a business name, you need to conduct a trademark search to check if your business entity name, associated slogans, or logos are taken by someone else to prevent costly litigation and lawsuits in the future.
However, just because you found that another entity has trademarked your business name does not mean you cannot use it anymore. It’s important for you to know who is using the business name, the industry they’re operating in, and where they’re located so that you do not inadvertently infringe upon their intellectual property rights.
To do a trademark search, you’ll need to:
- Search New York’s trademark records by contacting the New York State Library to check if your desired business entity name, associated slogans, logos, or others are already used by another business in your state.
- Search through the electronic records from the US Patent Trademark Office to check if there are any federally registered trademarks associated with your desired business name.
Reserving 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. One of their responsibilities is helping business owners reserve their desired business names for up to 60 days.
In the event where your business entity has not been formed before the name reservation expires, business owners have the option to extend the reservation for another 60 days.
To reserve your desired business name, you need to file the application by mail. Reserving the business name involves a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the “Department of State”. Alternatively, you can pay for the filing fee via credit card/debit card by filling out the Credit Card/ Debit Card Authorization Form.
The business name reservation form can be mailed to the following address:
New York State, Department of State
Division of Corporations, State Records
and Uniform Commercial Code
99 Washington Avenue 6th floor
Albany, NY 12231
What To Do Next?
After searching through your desired business name in the New York Corporations and LLCs department as well as the trademark database, you found that your desired business name is available for you to use. However, there are actually a few more considerations to look into before you register your company.
Check Domain Name Availability
With more and more companies establishing their presence online with a company website, you may notice that many .com domain names have been taken up. Here is when you’ll need to, once again, rely on your creativity and innovation to come up with a unique website name that your customers can use to visit your site.
You can also use Namechk or GoDaddy to run a quick search through the database to see if your desired domain name is available, and if not, they can also offer alternatives for you to consider instead.
By now you would know that the .com domain extension is the most popular one, but you should also be aware that it’s not the only domain extension available. Alternative domain extensions like .co, .net, and .io are slowly gaining traction as more and more businesses use these extensions for their websites.
This means that you can consider adopting these extensions for your website if your New York business name is already taken up with a .com domain extension.
Check Social Media Name Availability
Everything and everyone is online now, even kids have smartphones and social media. This further proves how important it is for businesses to establish their online presence via social media. Many customers now like to do a quick check online for reviews before engaging the services or purchasing products from a business. This is why you need to maintain good social media presence with social media.
Below are a few tips that you can consider when running a business entity social media:
- Keep a strong social media presence even if you think your business is small. A social media presence is incredibly helpful, especially for small businesses, as it can help business owners boost organic presence online, impress and attract potential customers, build rapport, as well as create better awareness among the community.
- Check if your desired social media handle is being used by others across different sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. If your desired name is still available, quickly register an account with that name before someone else does.
- To check if your business name handle is taken, you can do a simple search on each major site or use Namechecks tool to run the search across all platforms simultaneously. If you plan to manage multiple social media platforms, you can consider using SocialPilot to help you manage multiple platforms seamlessly.
Register Your New York Business Entity
Now it’s time for you to register your business entity with the state. Although you can definitely file your business license online or on your own, many business owners prefer to cut the hassle and hire companies like ZenBusiness, Incfile, and Northwest Registered Agent to handle all the necessary paperwork and fillings.
Register Company Tax ID/EIN with the IRS
Just like how everyone has a social security number, every business will have a unique six-digit tax ID called the EIN that you’ll need to register with the IRS for tax purposes. The registration process is pretty straightforward and can be completed online.
Create a Company Logo
After registering your company with the state, you can now look into designing your unique company logo that will help you create a positive visual memory of your unique business services for your customers.
Getting a memorable logo is just as important as coming up with a name. If you’re not familiar with designing or just simply do not have any artistic skill, you can engage a freelancer on Fiverr to get a logo done in as quick as less than 24 hours.
Write a Business Plan
Preparing a proper business plan can help you organize ideas and set a business pathway for the company to follow. A professionally written business plan can help create accountability and even impress potential investors.
If you’re in need of assistance to write a proper business plan, you can consider Liveplan.com as the site offers more than 500 different sample plans for business owners to refer from. Additionally, it is recommended for businesses that form partnerships to have their operating agreement professionally written to avoid any ambiguity or misunderstanding in the future.
Open a Business Bank Account
The next important step is to open a business bank account. While you may feel like using your personal bank account for transactions because it’s a small company, this method is highly discouraged. It is always better to split business and personal finances to avoid future complications.
Not only will it make your finances clearer, but having a business bank account can also help you build business credibility that will come in handy when applying for business loans in the future. One important thing to note when opening up a business bank account is that your company must have an official business mailing address that’s not a PO box.
Setup an Email Account
The final but not least thing to consider is setting up a business email account. More and more communications are being held online now, which will involve the need or use of an email address. Fortunately, you can easily set up a @yourcompany email address for as little as $6 per month with Google Workspace.
The first step of creating an LLC is to come up with a suitable business name that reflects your company values and business. However, you also need to ensure that your company name is unique and will not be confused for another company in the state.
To check the name’s availability, you can run it through New York’s Business Entity Search. Once you’ve determined the name is available, you can secure your domain name for your customers to search for you online. After which, you’re ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a registered agent to file an LLC in the state of New York?
No, you do not need a registered agent to file an LLC in the state of New York. However, many business owners engage the services of a registered agent for various reasons. A registered agent is a designated person responsible for receiving official papers for your LLC, LLP, or corporation.
You can appoint individuals as your own registered agent as long as there’s a physical address in the state where your business entity is formed.
However, one of the main benefits of using a third-party registered agent company is that it adds a layer of privacy between businesses and the public. The registered agent company will receive all the documentation on your behalf and mail them to you separately.
Starting a business correctly doesn’t have to be difficult. With over 15 years of experience consulting new businesses and start ups, Matthew is probably the best person to help you set a strong foundation for your business.