How to Check LLC Name Availability in Texas
If you are planning to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Texas, one of the first steps is to check the availability of your desired business name. The Texas Secretary of State maintains a database of registered LLCs, making it easy for entrepreneurs to search for name availability. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to check LLC name availability in Texas:
Step 1: Visit the Texas Secretary of State website
Open your web browser and go to the official website of the Texas Secretary of State (sos.state.tx.us).
Step 2: Access the Business Organizations page
On the Texas Secretary of State website, navigate to the Business Organizations section. Look for the option that allows you to search for entity names.
Step 3: Choose the search option
There are multiple search options available, including name availability, name reservation, and name history. Select the “Name Availability” option to check if your desired LLC name is available.
Step 4: Enter the desired LLC name
In the search box provided, enter the name you want for your LLC. Make sure to choose a unique name that is not already registered with the Texas Secretary of State.
Step 5: Review the search results
The search results will display a list of entities that match your search criteria. If there are no matching entities or the search results are empty, it means that your desired LLC name is most likely available.
Step 6: Reserve the name (optional)
If you want to reserve the name for your LLC before officially registering it, you can choose to file a name reservation with the Texas Secretary of State. This will ensure that no one else can use the name while you complete the necessary paperwork for your LLC.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How much does it cost to check LLC name availability in Texas?
Checking the availability of an LLC name is free on the Texas Secretary of State website.
2. Can I use a name that is similar to an existing LLC in Texas?
It is generally not advisable to use a name that is too similar to an existing LLC, as it may lead to confusion and potential legal issues.
3. How long does it take to check LLC name availability in Texas?
The search results are usually displayed instantly after entering the desired LLC name.
4. What if the desired LLC name is already taken?
If the name you want is already registered, you will need to choose a different name for your LLC.
5. Can I reserve the name without filing for an LLC?
Yes, you can reserve a name with the Texas Secretary of State without actually forming an LLC. The name reservation is valid for 120 days.
6. Can I change my LLC name after it is registered?
Yes, you can change your LLC name after registration by submitting the appropriate form and paying the required fee.
7. Do I need to check trademark availability for my LLC name?
While not mandatory, it is recommended to conduct a trademark search to ensure that your desired LLC name does not infringe on any existing trademarks.
8. Is checking LLC name availability the same as reserving a domain name?
No, checking LLC name availability is solely focused on the availability of the name for business registration purposes. Reserving a domain name is a separate process.
9. Can I use a name that is not available in Texas for my LLC?
No, you cannot use a name that is already registered or reserved by another entity in Texas. It is important to choose a unique name for your LLC to avoid any legal complications.
Checking the availability of your desired LLC name is an important step in starting your business in Texas. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can ensure that your chosen name is available for registration and begin the process of forming your LLC with confidence.