Why Should You Conduct a Washington LLC Name Search?
Before establishing a Washington LLC, all firms should conduct a Washington State Business Name Search.
This page aims to educate company representatives on the several methods available for looking up a registered business entity with the Washington Secretary of State.
This online tool is helpful if you’re looking for an entity’s basic information, need to buy business paperwork, or want to make sure your proposed business name is available before registering a new corporation or LLC in Washington.
Using a business entity name or UBI, a generic enquiry may be made (unified business identifier). You may also utilize the advanced search option, which limits the amount of results returned by the query using a variety of search parameters.
Therefore, before establishing your LLC or Corporation, it’s crucial to conduct a Washington business entity search to see whether the name is already used by the Washington Office of the Secretary of State. In the section below, we’ll explain how to use the Washington Secretary of State Business Search to determine whether an LLC name is available.
Follow Washington Naming Guidelines
Before you finish your company name search, we advise checking sure your name complies with the rules.
The first and most crucial step in forming an LLC is selecting a company name. Make sure the name you select conforms with Washington’s naming regulations and can be found online by potential customers.
Make careful you adhere to these naming rules: The words “limited liability company” or one of its initials (LLC or L.L.C.) must be in your name; Your Washington LLC’s name cannot contain any references to the FBI, Treasury, State Department, or any other governmental body; To use restricted phrases in your Washington Limited Liability Company, you might need to submit additional documentation and hire a licensed person, such a doctor or lawyer.
Do a Washington Business Name Search
Use the Washington Business Name Search to see whether your selected name is available before submitting your name reservation request. Enter the name of the Washington business entity you want to utilize in the search field, leaving off identifiers like “LLC,” for the best results.
All entities with the same or similar names will be returned by this. If your company name consists of many words, you may even limit your search to the first two words to guarantee that you find every name that might be similar.
Before submitting your documentation, be sure to conduct a comprehensive search to prevent rejection.
Washington corporation search name status
When you search for your LLC name, there is a strong probability that you will come across the same name of a previous business that may be in one of the following statuses: Delinquent , Inactive , Voluntarily Dissolved , Administratively Dissolved.
The name of an LLC with a “Delinquent” status cannot be used.
Inactive, Voluntarily Dissolved, and Administratively Dissolved
Although it is possible, we don’t advise using the name of an LLC that is inactive, voluntary dissolved, or administratively dissolved.
As a result, even if the Washington Secretary of State will let you to utilize the name of an LLC with one of these statuses, further “outside concerns” might arise, such as the following:
The previous business can have a poor reputation or unfavorable web evaluations. Additionally, the general public can link your business with the bad reputation of that corporation.
Even when you are permitted to use their name, the former company’s owners become enraged and use legal or aggressive communication methods against you. Even if they don’t have a strong case, they can still sue you, and you are required by law to respond to that action.
This necessitates engaging legal counsel and/or attending court. Additionally, you’ll have to pay for this out of pocket.
It’s possible that the previous firm had unpaid debts to creditors, and those creditors might target your business. Similar to the last scenario, you are required to reply to a lawsuit if you are sued. Additionally, this will cause you stress and money outlay.
We advise choosing an LLC name that is really distinctive and identifiable from that of any other companies operating in Washington State.
Search Available Domain Names
Whether or not your preferred web domain name is available should be taken into account while choosing a business name. It’s crucial to have a URL that accurately reflects the name of your company. This apparently insignificant action can have a significant impact on how prospective customers discover your company.
Use your favourite domain registration, such as GoDaddy, to do an internet search to find out if your desired URL is accessible.
Search by Washington Entity Name
Click here to go to the search page first. Select the organization type (starts with, contains, or finishes with), enter the name in the first field, and then click Search.
You may create a list from the results of your search. You will see the name of your company on the right. You may discover the Washington business status on the left. To get the information, click the business name.
All business data about the business entity in question that has been made accessible through the Public Access System may be found here. You will also have the chance to buy the entity’s documents at this time.
Search Washington by Unified Business Identifier (UBI)
You may limit the search results to include only your entity by searching by unified business identification. Simply type the number into the relevant section on this page and click Search to do this.
If the number was input correctly, you should now be able to view your business entity in the search results. To proceed, click the company name or business name.
You will have access to all data made accessible in the Public Access System, including details on the registration’s expiration date, registered agent, and governing individuals.
Advanced Washington Business Entity Search
You may enter as much information as you like into the advanced search option on our website to limit the search results.
There are the following options for parameters: Organization type, Organization name and the option to use all words, any words or exact match, Category (type of business), Active or inactive, Name of governing person, Registered agent name, city or ZIP, Date of incorporation.
Click Search after providing all the information you can.
You will get a list of all the companies that meet the criteria of your search. To discover more information about a company, click on the business name.
A window with a few crucial bits of information will appear. At this stage, you will have the option to buy documents like a Certificate of Existence or view more details. To proceed to the page with the business details, select the second option.
On this final page, all the company information that is open to the public is given for your evaluation.
Reserve Your Washington Business Entity Name
After utilizing the Washington Business Entity Search to pick your desired business name, you should reserve your domain name so that clients can locate your company online.
All Washington LLC name inquiries and requests are handled by the Corporations & Charities Division of the Washington Secretary of State. For 180 days, company names can be held in reserve. When the business name reservation expires, you can renew it if you haven’t already created your company organization under the reserved name.
You must submit an application by mail if you want to reserve a business name. There is a filing fee that you must pay in order to reserve your business name. Make checks payable to the “Washington Secretary of State.” For expedited submission, an extra charge is needed.
While reserving the business name for your Washington LLC is simple, there are several additional considerations you should make when deciding on the ideal name for your company. To check if your business name may be used online, you could wish to do a trademark and social media search. By doing this, you may make sure that you can use your company name without limitations.
Before registering, conducting a trademark search on your company name and any related slogans or emblems will help you avoid expensive future lawsuits. If you later learn that another company has trademarked your company name, you are not immediately forbidden from using it.
To ensure you do not unintentionally violate anyone’s intellectual property rights, it is crucial to be aware of who is using the name, what business they are in, and where they are situated.
To complete this step, check Washington’s trademark records to see if your company name or any associated slogans, logos, or other items are being used by another company in your state. You should also check the electronic records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see if your company name is connected to any federally registered trademarks.
Social Media Search
Making sure your company name is accessible for usage on social media platforms is just as crucial—if not more so—than choosing a domain name that matches your operation. To achieve this, use a program like Namecheckr to simultaneously search on all major websites for your company name.
How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Washington?
You can submit the Name Reservation Form if there is a name you like but are not yet prepared to register the LLC. At a payment of $30, the name reserve will retain a name for up to 180 days.
What’s next after finding the perfect name and checking them all?
Register TAX ID/EIN with the IRS
A firm is identified for tax purposes by its nine-digit EIN number. Consider it the social security number for companies. A limited liability company (LLC) can easily and quickly file for an EIN online. Swyft Filings’ Tax ID registration costs $79 for Washington firms.
Create a logo
Businesses with outstanding logos impress clients, help them stand out from the competition, and help clients recall your distinctive services in a favorable way. This is similar to choosing a good business name.
It is simple to get a logo from Fiverr in 24 hours or less thanks to the rise of freelance marketplaces.
Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan may assist in organizing the thoughts of business owners and provide a roadmap for companies to follow. A well-written company plan makes an excellent first impression on investors and promotes responsibility.
With over 500 sample plans to pick from, the business plan software Liveplan.com may help make the process simple.
Open a business bank account
Businesses are obliged to have a company bank account because it helps keep personal and corporate funds separate. Additionally, it helps establish corporate credibility in the event that future business expansion loans are required.
Online banks Lili and Novo are experts in collaborating with independent contractors and business owners.
How do I register a Washington Trade Name for sole proprietorships and partnerships?
A trade name, commonly referred to as “doing business as,” “DBA,” “assumed name,” or “fictitious business name,” is registered by a sole proprietorship or partnership that does business under a name other than the owner’s legal identity.
A business name search will be necessary before choosing a name for a sole proprietorship or partnership.
How do I form a Washington LLC?
Make sure the name is accessible to use by doing a Washington business entity search prior to launching your company and creating an LLC. Once you are certain that the LLC name is available, read our step-by-step instructions for submitting the Certificate of Formation to find out how to set up a Washington LLC.
An Operating Agreement, which outlines the LLC’s operational guidelines but is not mandated in Washington, is a document worth examining, particularly for multi-member LLCs.
To make sure the Limited Liability Company is legitimate to function, be sure to file for Washington business licenses and acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
What are the requirements to name an LLC in Washington?
The name of the LLC must be distinct, include a special designator like Limited Liability Company, LLC, L.L.C., etc., and not contain terms that are prohibited, such as bank or insurance, unless the business is authorized to do so.
What is the Washington Secretary of State Contact Info?
Call the Washington Secretary of State at 360-725-0377 if you have any questions. The Washington Secretary of State is open from 8 am to 5 pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.
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.