Whether you’re searching for the perfect business name for your Arkansas S Corp or Arkansas C Corp, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct an AR Secretary of State business search, plus business naming rules, fictitious names and trademarks.
General Rules for Corporation Names
These rules generally apply to all corporations, wherever they're formed.
The name you choose cannot be used by any other business in the state. This is why it's so important to perform an Arkansas State corporation search before you begin your incorporation paperwork.
It’s not enough for your corporation name to be unique. In addition, it cannot be comparable to the name of another business in the state. You also cannot use any of the following features in an attempt to differentiate your corporation name from that of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., etc./li>
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”/li>
- The conjunction "And," or “&"/li>
- Numbers in place of numerals (or vice versa), e.g., "One World" is the same as "1 World"/li>
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of words/li>
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc./li>
All corporations must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited” or their abbreviations.
Most states will not allow you to incorporate with names that:
- Are similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing, Arkansas Rangers, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
- Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific Rules for Arkansas Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Arkansas corporation laws that apply to naming your business.
For example, per the state's AR Code, § 4-27-401, the name of a corporation or foreign corporation:
Coming Up with the Perfect Business Name
Finding an ideal business name can be difficult. We have a complete guide to help with choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.
Arkansas Corporation Name Search
Once you have an idea of your desired business name, perform an AR corporation search to make sure another company isn't already using that name.
You can use the state's online database to perform a name search and check for name availability.
You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search Tool, which will search the state's business registry for you.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must also make sure that your Arkansas corporation name doesn't infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to ensure you're not infringing is to perform a trademark search through Incfile. You can even register the trademark yourself, if it isn't already in use.
Register a DBA in Arkansas
You may choose to do business under a name different from your corporation's legal name. While many states refer to this as a trade name, assumed name or "doing business as" (DBA), it's a fictitious name in Arkansas. You may decide to use a fictitious name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your primary business may be called Tangerine Media, Inc., and you have a chain called Tangerine Mobility. You could register a fictitious name just for that brand. You'd do that by filing a form for an Application for Fictitious Name, or complete the filing via the online filing system provided by the Secretary of State. Or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf with our DBA service.
In order to keep your business names unique, you can also use the Arkansas business entity search. You can perform an Arkansas fictitious name search to find out whether any other companies are already using the fictitious name you want. We can also help you with this via our DBA name service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the AR Secretary of State
You’ve performed an Arkansas SOS business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need a fictitious name. Now you can register your corporation name in one of two ways.