Are you ready to create a Texas limited liability company (LLC), or corporation? First, you need to decide which entity is best for you. Next, you will need to choose which industry you want to enter. The name you choose will be a major factor in the success of your new business.
Our guide will help you navigate the Texas business entity search process if you don’t know where to start or how to do it. This guide will show you how to do a corporate or LLC search.
It is crucial to have a great business name
Your business’s name will become part of your identity. No matter whether your business is an LLC or corporation, a great name will be what the public knows you by. It’s equally important to make sure it’s memorable and catchy.
How to create a memorable business name
It is not difficult to know that you will need a great name for your business. It’s quite another to come up with one. You’ll need time to think about naming options.
It is possible to create a list, but this will take time.
1. Texas’s rules for business naming
Before you choose a business name, it is important to understand Texas’ business naming rules. These rules can be very strict so it is important to carefully review them before you start brainstorming potential business names. Your Certificate of Formation (SOS), with the Secretary-of-State, could be rejected if your potential name is not in compliance with state rules.
These are the Rules
Texas has many business naming rules. Make sure you visit the website of the Secretary of State to review them. The following requirements must be fulfilled:
- It is important that the business name be distinct from all other business names.
- Names cannot be used to indicate affiliation with government agencies.
- Its name does not necessarily mean it will commit illegal acts.
- In certain situations, names cannot contain words such as “university” or “bank”. Section 79.34 of Texas Administrative Code explains more.
- Names cannot be offensive.
The Texas Administrative Code contains a complete list of naming rules.
2. Do a Texas entity search
Texas LLC Name Search Link
Texas Comptroller’s website https://mycpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/
You can conduct a search for a company or LLC name. This is possible on the Texas comptroller’s website.
How to do a lookup on a corporation or LLC
To conduct a Texas company search, first visit the Texas Comptroller’s website. Look up “taxable entity search” from there. This search engine will allow you to search for all taxed entities in Texas. This tool allows you to check the availability for your business name.
You don’t have to create an account in order to use this tool. You just need to search for your potential name using the “Entity Name” box. It will tell you if the business using your name is in operation.
Do a SOS Texas business search
The SOS is another option. TX business search options are limited. If you want to make sure your potential business name is in stock, call the SOS at (512) 463-5555.
These are the best ways to do a Texas business search. The websites of the Secretary of State and other agencies, depending on their state, offer some type of business search tool. If you are in another state, do some research.
3. Select a domain name
Next, find a domain name that matches your Texas business name. Consider getting a domain after you have completed a corporate or LLC lookup. A domain name is not necessary unless your goal is to start an online business. This is the right time to pick a domain name.
What is a domain?
A domain name refers to a website’s “name.” A domain name should be as close to your business name as possible when you are looking for one. So, if you decide to name your business Tony’s Donut Shop, then you should get the domain name “tonysdonutshop.com.”
Why should I buy a domain name
A domain name and, by extension, a website for your business can be a powerful marketing tool. This allows you to reach a wider audience than your local brick and mortar store. Social media can be used to market your business alongside your website.
Why should I buy a domain name right away and not later?
It would be very disappointing if you choose a business name, then register it and later need a website. However, the domain name that you desire perfectly matches your business name is not available. This can be avoided by settling on a domain name as soon as possible so that you can choose one that is most closely related to your business name.
You can choose another business name if the domain name isn’t available.
4. Register your Texas business name
This is the last step to register your Texas business name with Secretary of State. Fill out Form 501 – General Information (Application For Reservation or Renewal Of An Entity Name). This form is used to reserve a corporate or LLC business name.
Complete Form 501
Instructions for filling out Form 501 are included. It is quite short in the section where you need to include information. The following information should be included:
- Name of the entity you wish to reserve
- Which type of entity will you form (LLC, corporation etc.)
- Your name and address
- Your signature
Your name will remain on file for 120 days.
Texas: Get an assumed name
You can also get an assumed business name. While you can still do business under the company’s legal name; an assumed name (also known “doing business with name”) allows for you to run your business under a completely different name.
How can I get an assumed title?
To register an assumed name, fill out Form 503 – General Information (Assumed Nomination Certificate) with Secretary of State. You can find this form on the SOS website.
Why would I need an assumed title?
An assumed name can be used to launch a new product if your existing business name does not reflect the idea. To open a new store, you can use an assumed name. Depending on which entity you form, the reasons for getting an assumed title will vary.
- Is it possible to renew my Texas business name reservation? Yes. You can renew your business name reservations. To renew your business name reservation, you must file Form 501 within the 30-day period before the expiration of the reservation.
- How can I change the name of my Texas business? To change the name of your business, you will need to file Form 424 (General Information (Certificate Of Amendment)) with Secretary of State. You must keep in mind that the name you wish to change cannot be used by any other business. It will be necessary to search for another LLC or corporation name.
- Can I change the name of my business online? Yes, online submissions of Form 424 can be made through the SOSDirect page at the Secretary of State’s website.
- What types of businesses must file an assumed-name certificate? If you are planning to do business as an assumed name, the following entities will need to file an assumed-name certificate:
- LLCs (including professional limited- liability companies (PLLCs),)
- Corporations (nonprofit, professional, and for-profit)
- Limited liability partnerships (LLPs).
- Limited Partnerships (LPs).
- Associations for professionals
- Foreign filing entities
- Can I name my LLC after myself? You can name your LLC after you but think about it from both a professional and marketing perspective. Is your name catchy and will it generate interest in your brand? If you prefer to do business under another name, you can always get an alternative.
Jeff Beckley is a business expert, journalist, book author, and founder of the website Best Inc Services. Jeff can be reached at, email@example.com