Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC name with the NY Secretary of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a New York business search, plus business naming rules, assumed names and trademarks.
General Rules for LLC Names
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they are formed in.
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other NYS LLC or corporation. This is why it's so important to conduct a New York Secretary of State business search.
It’s not enough for your LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of any other corporation or LLC in the state. In addition, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
- The conjunction "And," or “&"
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, usually at the end of the name.
Most states will not allow you to select LLC names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or NY agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, New York Police, New York Revenue Department, 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 New York Business Name Rules
In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some New York LLC laws that apply to naming your business. For example, many words are restricted by the New York Department of State, including, but not limited to:
"America Espirito Sport Fraternite," "Citius Altius Fortius," academy, bank, benefit, college, fidelity, insurance, secondary, university, attorney, chamber of commerce, redevelopment, state trooper and urban development
The Art of Creating a Memorable Business Name
The perfect business name can be difficult to find. We have a comprehensive guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.
New York LLC Search
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few name options, the next step is to complete an NY SOS business search to make sure another company isn't already using that name.
You can use the state's online portal to perform a NY business search. You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search Tool, which will search the New York business registry for you.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your New York LLC 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.
Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.
NYS DBA or Assumed Name
You may do business under a name different from your LLC's legal name. While many states refer to this as a trade name, fictitious name or "doing business as" (DBA), New York calls it an assumed name, though "DBA" is also used. You may decide to use a New York assumed name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Ruby’s Jewelry, LLC, and you have a chain called Beads & More. You could register an assumed name just for that brand.
In New York, you'll do that by filing a Certificate of Assumed Name form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA Name service.
Important: Incfile can register your DBA, but we do not fulfill the newspaper notice publication requirement. You'll need to manage that to comply with the law.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your LLC Name with the New York Department of State
You’ve performed a New York State business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need a fictitious name. Now you can register your LLC name in one of two ways.
Create your business in New York for $0 + State Fee
FAQs on Naming an LLC in New York
You can use our Business Name Search Tool or conduct a New York business search on the DOS website, which will tell you whether any corporations or LLCs in the state are already using that name.
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of New York). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Yes. You can conduct business under an assumed name. Details are above.
Yes. The Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you're not ready to start your business right away. Details are above. If you're ready to start your business now, you don't need to reserve a name.