How to Search for a Business Name in Texas
Choosing the right name for your business is an important decision that can significantly impact its success. Before officially registering your business in Texas, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough search to ensure that your desired business name is available and doesn’t infringe upon any existing trademarks. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to search for a business name in Texas:
1. Visit the Texas Secretary of State’s website: Go to the Texas Secretary of State’s website (https://www.sos.state.tx.us/) to access the Business Filings page.
2. Select the “Name Availability Search” option: On the Business Filings page, choose the “Name Availability Search” option to begin your search.
3. Enter the desired business name: Type in the name you wish to search for in the provided search box and select the appropriate search option (exact match, starts with, or contains).
4. Review the search results: The system will generate a list of all existing business names that match your search criteria. Examine the results to determine if your desired name is available for use.
5. Conduct a thorough search: Check for exact matches, similar names, and any other variations that could potentially cause confusion or conflict with existing businesses.
6. Verify name availability with the Texas Comptroller’s Office: While the Texas Secretary of State’s website provides initial name availability information, it is essential to verify the availability with the Texas Comptroller’s Office (https://comptroller.texas.gov/) to ensure compliance with tax regulations.
7. Consider trademark searches: To avoid legal issues, conduct a trademark search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website (https://www.uspto.gov/) or consult a trademark attorney.
8. Reserve the name (optional): If you want to secure your desired business name before registering, you can file an Application for Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of an Entity Name with the Texas Secretary of State.
9. Register your business name: Once you have confirmed the availability of your desired business name and completed all necessary searches, you can proceed with registering your business in Texas.
FAQs about Searching for a Business Name in Texas:
1. Can I use a name that is similar to an existing business name?
It’s generally best to choose a unique name to avoid confusion or potential legal issues.
2. How much does it cost to search for a business name in Texas?
Name availability searches are free on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
3. Do I need to reserve a business name before registering?
Reservation is optional but can be helpful if you’re not ready to register your business immediately.
4. Can I trademark my business name during the search process?
Trademark registration should be done separately through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
5. How long does it take to search for a business name in Texas?
The search can be done instantly on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
6. Can I search for multiple names at once?
Yes, you can search for multiple names using the “contains” search option.
7. Can I change my business name after registering?
Yes, you can change your business name by filing the necessary documents with the Texas Secretary of State.
8. Are there any restrictions on business names in Texas?
Certain words and phrases may require additional approvals or permits, such as those related to professions or financial services.
9. What if my desired name is not available?
You will need to choose a different name or consider adding unique elements to your preferred name to make it distinguishable.
Conducting a thorough search for your business name is essential to avoid legal complications and establish a strong brand identity. By following these steps and considering the FAQs, you can confidently choose and register a business name in Texas.