How Do I Find Out if My Business Name is Taken?

If you’re thinking about starting a business, one of the first things you need to do is make sure the business name you want to use is available. Here’s how to do a quick search to see if your business name is already taken.

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Introduction: Wondering if your desired business name is already taken? In this article, we’ll show you how to find out.

Introduction: Wondering if your desired business name is already taken? In this article, we’ll show you how to find out.

One of the first steps in starting a new business is choosing a business name. But before you can start using your chosen name, you need to make sure it’s available.

In the United States, businesses are required to register their names with the state government. So, one way to see if a particular name is available is to search the state business registry.

You can also do a search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database. This will show you if there are any federally registered trademarks for your desired name.

If you’re looking for an available domain name, you can check to see if the .com version of your desired name is available. However, keep in mind that just because a .com domain is available doesn’t mean that the name itself is available for use as a business name.

Once you’ve done a thorough search and you’re confident that your desired business name is available, you can move on to registering it with the government and securing your domain name.

Step 1: Search the USPTO’s Trademark Database

The first step in checking for availability of a name is to search the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). TESS contains all active federal trademark registrations and pending applications. If your mark is already in use, it is likely that a search of TESS will reveal this fact.

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A mark is considered “in use” if it is being used on goods or services in interstate commerce, or if it is registered with the USPTO. A simple TESS search will not reveal common law usage of a mark – only federal trademark registration or pending application status. However, even if no one has registered the mark you want to use, that does not necessarily mean that the mark is available for you to use.

Step 2: Search Business Name Availability with Your State

The best way to see if your business name is available is to do a name search with your state’s business registration office. This will tell you if anyone has already registered your proposed business name or a similar one.

If the business name you want is available, you can move on to reserving it with your state (Step 3). If it’s not available, you’ll need to choose a different name.

If you want to find out if your business name is taken, one way to do a quick check is to do a Google search. This can help you get an idea of whether someone is already using your proposed name or a similar name for their business. Of course, this isn’t foolproof, as they may not be using the exact name you’re considering and they may not be using it in a way that would cause confusion with your business. But it can give you a good starting point.

Step 4: Check Social Media

If you want to be sure that your desired name isn’t being used by another business, you should also check social media platforms. Do a quick search on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see if there are any businesses or individuals using your desired name. If you find someone using your desired name, try reaching out to them directly to see if they’re open to selling the name or allowing you to use it.

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If your business name is available as a .com domain, you can try doing a domain search to see if it’s taken. Just go to a site like GoDaddy or Namecheap and enter your desired business name in the search bar. If the domain is available, you’ll be able to buy it. If it’s not available, you might be able to find a similar .com domain that’s available.

Step 6: Protect Your Business Name

Congratulations, you have a great business name! The next step is to protect it so that no one else can use it.

There are a few ways to do this:

-Check to see if the business name is already registered with the state. Each state has a different process for doing this, but it is typically available online.
-If the business name is not registered with the state, you can register it yourself. This will give you exclusive rights to use the name in that state.
-If you plan to do business in multiple states, you can register the business name with the US Patent and Trademark Office. This will give you exclusive rights to use the name nationwide.

You should also check to see if the domain name (website address) is available. If it is not, you may be able to purchase it from the current owner. Once you have registered the domain name, be sure to set up email accounts using that domain so that your customers can reach you easily.

Now that your business name is protected, you can focus on building your brand and growing your business!

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Conclusion

If you want to check if your business name is taken, you can do a quick search on the Secretary of State website in your state. You can also search the USPTO database to see if your trademark is already registered. If you find that your business name is already taken, you can consider changing your business name or applying for a trademark.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you can register your business name, you need to make sure that it’s available. Here are some frequently asked questions about checking for and reserving business names:

How do I check if my business name is available?
The best way to check if your desired business name is available is to do a search on the Secretary of State website in the state where you want to register your business. You can also contact the Small Business Administration (SBA) for assistance.

How do I reserve a business name?
Contact the Secretary of State office in the state where you want to register your business to find out how to reserve a business name. Typically, you will need to submit an application and pay a fee.

What happens if someone else is already using my desired business name?
If someone else is already using your desired business name, you will not be able to register it for your own use. You will need to choose another business name.

Further Reading

There are a few ways to research whether your desired business name is available. You can start by searching the internet, visiting the Secretary of State website in the state where you will be forming your LLC, or searching for the business name on the Dunn and Bradstreet website.

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