Are you looking for a California business name? It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to start a business, or just want to learn more about the California LLC process.
How to Search for a California LLC Name
The Secretary of State website offers a simple Search Page where you can enter your business name and conduct a search.
It’s great if it’s available! It’s possible to reserve it or put it on your Articles of Organization. You’ll have to find a new one if it’s in use.
To find information about an existing business, choose the type of business (corporation or LLC/LP), and then enter the full business name (or Entity Number) to get your results. You’ll probably only get one result if you provide an exact number or name, but you might receive multiple results if you provide partial names or keywords.
The following information will be revealed if you click on any of the listed businesses:
- Number of Entity
- Name of the entity
- Register Date
- State of Jurisdiction
- Domestic or foreign
- Status (active, canceled, etc.)
- Agent for Service of Process Name & Address
- Address of the entity
- Filing Dates and Filed Documents
This information can be extremely helpful if your goal is to reach the managers or members of another company or simply check up on your own.
California Secretary of State Contact Info
For questions, you can contact the California Secretary of State office. The LLC Department phone number is 916-653-3794. Hours are 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, Pacific Time.
California Secretary of State
What happens if my name is not available?
How to make a California LLC name distinguishable
All California business names must comply with the state’s naming requirements, whether they are registered or not. These requirements require that your LLC name:
- End with “Limited Liability Company”, which can be abbreviated as L.L.C. LLC.
- Do not include the words “bank”, “trust,” or “trustee,” nor suggest that it is an insurance company or banking company.
- You must be distinguished from other business entity names in the California Secretary Of State record.
- Don’t mislead the public. If you own a dry cleaner, for example, your business name should not be “New Company Construction.”
How do you distinguish a name? The state has some guidelines. California Code Section 211005.5 states that a name can be distinguished if it contains one or more distinct letters or numerals or a different sequence that is clearly recognizable by means or sight by the Secretary. This means that any changes in capitalization, punctuation and/or spacing cannot be used to distinguish one name from the other.
To create a distinctive name, you need to change the name itself. You need a creative way to differentiate your name. You can use a unique spelling or reorder the words to find a synonym or add/subtract a word. Your name will still be identifiable without having to change it.
Your goal will determine what you do next. If your California name availability is good, you can reserve it or use it in your Articles of Organization.
A California business name reservation costs $10 and keeps your name for 60 consecutive days. You can also use your Articles of Organization name to register your LLC.
There are many reasons to search for an LLC name
Although California LLC name availability is most commonly searched for, it’s not the only reason. These are just a few of the reasons to search for a name.
1) Searching for similar names
Potential customers shouldn’t confuse you with another company, even if it is a competitor. Although your proposed name may be available, there might be other businesses with similar names. This could be a reason to change your name if you don’t want your LLC mixed up with other companies.
2) Verify Your Business Status
After you have filed the Articles of Organization, and created your California LLC you can check its status periodically by searching for your name. This will confirm that your business is in good standing with California and give you your Entity Number. You may also need this number for some filings.
3) Agent for Service of Process Name and Office Information
You might have to send a business process. You might also want to partner with them. You’ll need their California agent to serve processname. Also, your office address. This information is easily found through a name search.
4) Maintaining current business information
You will need to verify the information the Secretary of State has on file when you modify the LLC’s information, such as changing the agent for service or the principal address to a member. This can be done by a name search.
Business808, a renowned consulting organization that aids startups in scaling and growing, is led by Andy Brooks as Editor-in-Chief.
Andy has over 12 years of consulting experience and is a pro at creating and managing profitable businesses. He has experience working with several LLCs and Registered Agent services and has a degree in business management. He has assisted clients in achieving their objectives.
In addition to writing for Business808, Andy is a well-known author and speaker, and an active contributor to several online business publications, imparting his knowledge on how to grow an LLC.