Whether you’re searching for the ideal business name for your Connecticut S Corp or Connecticut C Corp, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a CT Secretary of State business search, plus business naming rules, trade 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 in use by any other business in the state. This is why it's so important to perform a Connecticut State corporation search before you begin your incorporation paperwork.
It’s not enough for your corporation name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of another business in the state. In addition, you 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.
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An” or “The”
- The conjunction "And" or “&"
- Numbers in place of numerals (or vice versa), e.g., "One World" is the same as "1 World"
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
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, Connecticut Department of Labor, Connecticut 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 Connecticut Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Connecticut corporation laws that apply to naming your business.
For example, per CT Gen Stat, § 33-655, the name of a corporation or foreign corporation "shall contain the word “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company”, “Societa per Azioni” or “limited”, or the abbreviation “corp.”, “inc.”, “co.”, “S.p.A.” or “ltd.”, or words or abbreviations of like import in another language."
Coming Up with the Ideal Business Name
Finding the perfect business name can be difficult. We have a complete guide to 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.
Connecticut Corporation Name Search
Once you have an idea of the name you want, perform a CT corporation search to make sure another company isn't already using that name.
You can use the state's business record search to check 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 be careful that your Connecticut 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. If the trademark isn't already in use, you can even register it yourself.
Register a DBA in Connecticut
You may do business under a name different from your corporation's legal name. While many states refer to this as an assumed name, fictitious name or "doing business as" (DBA), it's a trade name in Connecticut. You may decide to use a trade name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your primary business may be called Millworks Organics, Inc., and you have a chain called Millworks Flour. You could register a trade name just for that brand. You do that by filing a trade name certificate. In Connecticut, you file a trade name certificate with the town clerk in the town where you do business, not with the Secretary of the State. The Secretary of State has provided a town clerks directory resource to help the right town clerk. If you wish, 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 Connecticut business entity search. You can perform a Connecticut name search to find out whether any other companies are already using the trade 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 CT Secretary of State
You’ve performed a Connecticut SOS business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need a trade name. Now you can register your corporation name in one of two ways.