To check the availability of business names in Texas, simply visit the Texas Comptroller’s website and you can search existing businesses in Texas on the Taxable Entity Search.
Choose a name for your business entity
Your business’s brand name will be part of its identity. It doesn’t make a difference if the business is an LLC/corporation, but a memorable name is what people will associate you with. Also, make sure your name is catchy and memorable.
How to find a great business name
It’s not hard to understand that you need a business name. The process of coming up with a name is quite different. This is where you should sit down and consider different naming options.
This is the most effective way to achieve this goal, though it will likely take some time.
Texas Naming Guidelines
1. Texas’s rules regarding business names
Before you pick a name for your business, read the Texas business naming rules. These rules are quite strict, and it is crucial to review them before making a list. Your Certificate to Form with the Secretary Of State (SOS), can be denied if your proposed name does not conform to these rules.
Texas has many rules for business naming. You can find them on the website Secretary of State. The following requirements must be met in general
- The business entity name must stand out from other names.
- The name does not have to imply affiliation with a government agency.
- The name cannot mean it will engage in illegal acts.
- If the name is to be used in a prohibited manner, such words as “university,” “bank”, or “bank”, it must comply with certain conditions.
- Names can not be grossly offensive.
A complete list can be found in Title I, Part 4 – Chapter 1979 – Subchapter C (“Entity Names”) of the Texas Administrative Code.
2. Perform a Texas business entity search
Search Texas businesses: Search for LLC or corporation names. Texas has an easy way for you to do it on their website.
How to conduct a corporation lookup or LLC lookup
Texas LLC Name Search Link
To perform a Texas business name lookup, you must first go to the Texas Comptroller’s Website. Search for “taxable entity lookup” on the website. It will take you to the search engine that allows you to search for all taxable entities throughout Texas. This tool will help you determine if your desired business name is available.
This tool is free, and you don’t even need an account. Just enter your potential name into the “EntityName” box. This will let you see if there is an existing business that uses your name.
SOS Texas business search
Check name availability. SOS is another option. TX has limited business search options. If you want extra assurance that your potential company name is available even though the search tool indicates it, contact the SOS via phone at (512), 463-5555.
Search business names. These are the two most effective ways to search Texas for businesses. Websites of the Secretary of State and agencies from other states (depending on which state they are) provide a business search tool. You might also want to explore other states.
3. Choose a domain
Next, pick a domain name that closely matches your Texas business. You can now get a domain by performing a corporation/LLC lookup. It’s not necessary to have a domain address unless you intend to establish an online business. It doesn’t matter what; now is the time for domain names.
What is a “domain name”?
A domain’s “name” is what a website is called. When searching for a domain, ensure it matches your business’s name.
Why should a domain be registered?
A domain name can be a great marketing tool. You can reach people beyond your brick-and-mortar location with a domain name. You can also promote your business through social media along with your website.
Why should I acquire a domain immediately and not later on?
It would be a huge hassle if your chosen business name was not available for registration and you later needed a website. It is possible to avoid this by agreeing on a domain now, so you can pick one that closely matches what your business stands for.
You can change your business name to another one if the domain isn’t already registered.
4. Texas Business Name Reservation
The last step is registering Texas business names with the Secretary of State. File Form 501 General Information (Application of Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of Entity Name) This form allows you to reserve a business name for a corporation, LLC, or other entity.
Fill out Form 501
The Instructions for Filling Form 501 Included are some helpful tips. The information section is short. The following information must be included:
- Name of the entity to be reserved
- Which type of entity do you want to form? LLC, corporation, etc.
- Your name and address
- Your signature
Your name will be held for 120 consecutive days.
Texas: You can get an assumed surname
Business entity. In addition to a business name, you can also obtain an assumed name. While your company name can be used to do business, an assumed or “doing Business as Name” name will allow you to use a different name.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get an assumed name?
To register an assumed surname, you must file Form 503 General Information (AssumedName Certificat) with The Secretary of State. This form can be found on the SOS’s website.
Why would I need an assumed identity?
An assumed name may be used if your current business name doesn’t reflect your new product launch. For opening a new shop, an assumed name can be used. Depending on the entity formed, there will be different reasons for an assumed name.
Can I renew the Texas business name reservation for my company?
Yes. It is possible to renew your business name reservation. Form 501 can be filed within the 30-day time period prior to the expiration of the reservation.
What is the best way to change my Texas business’s name?
For your business to change its name, you must file Form 424 – General Information – Certificate of Amendment with the Secretary. Be aware that the name you would like to change cannot already be used in another business. You will need to search for another LLC name or corporation. The state of Texas has a few options for doing this.
Can I change the business name online?
Yes. You can submit Form 424, online through the SOSDirect section of the Secretary o State’s website.
What business types are required to file an Assumed Name Certificate?
If you’re planning on doing business under an assumed identity, then the following entities should file an assumed names certificate:
- LLCs, including professional limited liability corporations (PLLCs),
- Corporations (nonprofits, for-profits, and professionals)
- Limited liability partnerships (“LLPs”)
- Limited Partnerships (LPs).
- Professional associations
- Foreign filing entities
Can I name my LLC after myself?
Yes, your LLC can be named after you. However, this should be considered from a professional marketing and professional standpoint. Are you able to generate interest in the brand with your name? Is it catchy? If you want to do business as someone else, you can always get an assumed title.
How can I find an LLC in Texas?
Using the Texas database search, you can search for the business name, business entity number, or executive name. For a business entity to exist, all this information must be registered with the state.
How do I confirm that a Texas company is registered?
You can search for the company’s name, entity number, or executive name by searching the state. You can search by the name, entity number, or executive name if you don’t find it in Texas.
To Contact the Texas Secretary of State
You can contact the Texas Business Information Line at (512) 463-5555 if you have technical problems with the online search or if you still aren’t sure if the LLC name you want is available.
Hours are Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm Central Time.
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.