Complete California Business Name Search Service for Corporations and LLCs
Carry out a California entity search before creating your business.
When you have a unique name for your California corporation or LLC, we’ll help you legally form your business through our quick, easy and inexpensive CA entity formation process. To search for California business entities, just enter your details in the box below, and we’ll take care of everything else.
If You Want to Start a New Business in California, You Need the Right Name
You can look up your proposed business name in California and see if it’s available for you to form a corporation or LLC. We’ll check your proposed business name against the registry of businesses held by the California Secretary of State.
Use Our Free Business Name Search Tool to Find Out If Your Company Name Is Available
We’ll take care of the entity search.
We’ll tell you if your business name is available with the California Division of Corporations. Just fill in your proposed business name, and we’ll search the company registrar for you.
California Rules on Naming Your Corporation or LLC
Once you’ve checked to see if your California business name is available, you’ll need to confirm it follows certain naming rules.
Your California business name should not be confusable with or similar to another business in CA.
If your California business is an LLC, it must contain “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation. If it’s a corporation, it must contain a word like “Incorporated,” “Corporation” or something similar.
Normally, you cannot imply connection with a California state entity or that you will be carrying out activities your CA business is not legally able to provide.
California Limited Liability Company Naming Rules
In addition to the general rules listed above, the California Secretary of State has some specific business naming rules for your LLC. You will need to follow these rules if you want to name your CA business appropriately.
The business name may not include the words "corporation, corp, trustee, bank, trust, incorporated or inc.".
Your California business name cannot include any words suggesting you are an insurer or assume insurance risks.
The business name cannot include “Agency,” “Commission,” “Department,” “Bureau,” “Division,” “Municipal” or “Board”.
Although these are the main rules about naming your business in California, there are plenty more. You can find additional rules about naming your California business on the California Secretary of State website.
California Corporation Naming Rules
There are additional, specific rules you will need to follow from the California Secretary of State for naming your CA S Corporation or C Corporation.
Using the following words in a corporation name requires special approval from a regulatory body: bank, trust, trustee or related words; credit union or related words; cooperative or any abbreviation of that word; insurer, insurance or related words.
The name of a flexible purpose corporation must contain the words "flexible purpose corporation" or an abbreviation of those words.
The name of a corporation authorized to incorporate as a professional corporation must comply with the name style requirements of the regulatory agency which has jurisdiction over the particular profession.
Form Your California LLC or Corporation Quickly and Easily
We have a full guide to starting a new business in California. Learn about how to start a CA LLC or a CA corporation.
Common Questions About California Entity Searches
Just use the California Business Name Search Tool above and enter your proposed CA LLC or corporation name. We’ll search the business name database of the California Secretary of State and tell you if there are any matches.
California business entities do have to follow some general and specific naming rules. We’ve covered the main ones above.
You can normally choose to conduct business under a different name in California. This can be known as an “assumed name,” “fictitious name,” “doing business as name” or “trade name.” We can file your CA Fictitious Business Name with the California Secretary of State on your behalf.
You can change your California legal business entity name by filing an amendment to your Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization. We can file an amendment on your behalf, including changing the name of your California corporation or LLC.
The perfect California business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right CA business name — you'll want to choose a name that will:
- Matter to business customers
- Be memorable enough to stand out
- Tell people what your business does
- Be unique among California business entities
The easiest way to protect your California business name is to incorporate your business in California, generally as a Limited
Liability Company (LLC) or a corporation. We can help you do that — just choose “Incorporate Now” above to get started.
If you want extra protection, you could consider registering your California business name as a trademark. Note that filing a fictitious or “doing business as" (DBA) name in California will not be sufficient to protect it
Businesses are incorporated in California via the Secretary of State. They manage the California company register, and it is their business name database that we will search on your behalf.