In this post, we show you how to easily search for available business names in Ohio using a free entity search tool provided by the state of Ohio.
Before you file the required documents for your new LLC, you will need to do an LLC name search first to check the name’s availability.
You should make sure that the name that you are considering is unique and different from other LLCs operating within the state.
You can research a business entity name and availability in the State’s online database.
If your business will be an LLC, there are some requirements to be aware of before searching.
As for name requirements, most states say your LLC name can end with the abbreviations LLC, L.L.C., or the words Limited Liability Company.
Each state has its own requirements and guidelines. Most people choose LLC.
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The name must be distinguishable and clearly unique. For example, if there is a business entity named ABC Plumbers, Inc., the name ABC Plumbers, LLC would not be available. The name ABC Plumbers & Contractors, LLC would have a better chance of getting approved. The final determination of a name's availability is the State where the name is attempting to be registered.
Giving Your New Business a Name
When you name something, you get attached to it. Naming your soon-to-be business can only spur your decision forward. Backing out on the idea will be less of an option.
When forming a company, you and your co-founders need to brainstorm and decide on a few things, such as your business name. Before contacting the folks at ZenBusiness or Incfile, you need to:
- Come up with a name that hasn’t been used before. Visit the Ohio Secretary of State website and enter the business name in the Name Availability Search database.
- That name, even if unique or derivative, shouldn’t sound like an existing one as the Ohio Secretary of State would reject it.
- Ensure that the name does not violate any Ohio State Law.
- You can try calling the State Business Information Line at 614-466-3910 and ask them any business name-related questions you might have.
- For more info, visit the Ohio Secretary of State website.
How To Do A Ohio Business Name Search
Visit the Ohio Business Name Search page https://businesssearch.ohiosos.gov/
In the "Business Name" search box, enter the name that you want to check, without LLC or Inc at the end and then search. When searching for names in Ohio remember,
- Don’t enter LLC after the name or variations (LLC, L.L.C., etc) while doing searches.
- Search for both the plural and singular versions of names. For example, if your LLC name has the word “Publishers” in it, also do a search with “Publisher”.
- Search the first 1-2 words of your LLC name at first. For example, if your desired LLC name is “Ohio Electrician Service LLC”, do a search for “Ohio Electrician” and continue searching with some variations.
- The point is to check for any potential name conflicts and to come up with a unique business name.
Searching the Ohio database could take a bit of time but with a few searches, you should get a pretty good idea about the availability of the business name that you are interested in registering.
It's important to note that even when a given business appears to be available, the Ohio Secretary of State will do their own search to confirm availability. There could be name variations or abbreviations that could cause a conflict.
That's how you can search for a business name in Ohio. Again, the Ohio Secretary of State office will make the final determination on a business name's availability.
Ohio Secretary of State
Ohio Secretary of State
PO Box 670
Columbus, Ohio 43216
Websites & Phone:
OH Secretary of State
OH Business Services
8:00am – 5:00pm, M-F
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