If you’re searching for the right business name for your Texas C Corporation, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a Texas SOS business search, plus business naming rules, assumed names and trademarks.

 

General Rules for Corporation Names

These rules generally apply to all corporations, wherever they're formed.

1
Your Corporation Name Must Be Unique

The name you select cannot be in use by any other business in the state. This is why it's so important to perform a Texas Secretary of State corporation search before you begin your incorporation paperwork.

2
Your Corporation Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name

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.
3
Your Corporation Name Must Contain Certain Words

All corporations must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited” or their abbreviations.

4
Your Corporation Name May Be Subject to Other General Restrictions

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, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas 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 Texas Business Names

n addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Texas corporation laws that apply to naming your business.

For example, per the state's Business Organizations Code Title 1, Chapter 5, Subchapter B, §5.054:

The name of a corporation or foreign corporation must contain:

  • the word "company," "corporation," "incorporated" or "limited"
  • an abbreviation of one of those words

In addition, some words are restricted by Texas Administrative Code Title 1, Part 4, Chapter 79, Subchapter C, § 79.34:

Where prohibited by §16.105 of the Texas Business & Commerce Code, an entity name cannot include the words, "Olympic," "Olympiad," or "Citius Altius Fortius," or a combination or simulation of those words or use a trademark, trade name, symbol or insignia of the International Olympic Committee or the United States Olympic Committee without the authorization or permission of the United States Olympic Committee. Example: Olympic Tours, Inc. would require a letter of consent, authorization, or no objection from the United States Olympic Committee.

Where prohibited by §31.005 and §181.004 of the Texas Finance Code, an entity name cannot include the words "bank," "bank and trust," "trust," "trust company" or a similar term, phrase, or foreign language word unless accompanied by a no objection letter from the Banking Commissioner.

Where prohibited by §61.313 of the Texas Education Code, an entity name cannot include the words "College," "University," "School of Medicine," "Medical School," "Health Science Center," "School of Law," "Law Center," or "Law School," whether in English or in another language, unless accompanied by a no objection letter from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Where prohibited by §5.062 of the Texas Business Organizations Code, an entity name cannot include the words "Veteran," "Legion," "Foreign," "Spanish," "Disabled," "War," or "World War" if the name implies the entity is created for the benefit of war veterans and their families, without written approval issued from a veterans organization pursuant to §5.062 of the Texas Business Organizations Code.

Coming Up with the Ideal Business Name

The perfect business name can be difficult to find. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:

Appeal to your customers

Be memorable enough to stand out

Best represent your product or services

Not be used by another business

Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.

Texas Corporation Name Search

Once you have an idea of the name you want, perform a Texas business lookup to make sure another company isn't already using that name.

You can use the state's online portal to perform a name search. The Secretary of State (Sec State) charges a fee of $1.00 per search.

You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search tool, which will search the state's business registry for you.

Use Incfile’s free tool to find out whether your preferred name is available for your corporation in Texas

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your Texas 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.

Make sure your corporation is starting off on the right foot when it comes to intellectual property.

Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.

 

Register a DBA in Texas

You may do business under a name different from your corporation's legal name. While many states refer to this as a trade name, fictitious name or "doing business as" (DBA), it's an assumed name in Texas. You may decide to use an assumed name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your primary business may be called Lone Star Hospitality, Inc., and you have a chain called Hill Country Tours. You could register an assumed name just for that brand. You'd do that with the Assumed Name Certificate form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf with our DBA service.

Important: While your corporation cannot use a name already registered by another business, multiple businesses can use the same assumed name. In order to keep your business names unique, you can also use the Texas Sec State online portal. For a fee of $1.00 per search, you can perform a Texas DBA name search to find out whether any other companies are already using the assumed 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 and manage a DBA or assumed name through our easy-to-use service
 

Register Your Business Name with the Texas Sec State

You’ve performed a Texas Secretary of State corporation search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need an assumed name. Now you can register your corporation name in one of two ways.

1

If you don’t want to form your corporation right away, you can reserve the business name. You'll do this by completing an Application for Reservation of an Entity Name form and filing it with the Texas Sec State. The name will be reserved for 120 days. If you're starting your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name.

2

If you’re ready to start your corporation, you can indicate your chosen business name when you file your Certificate of Formation with the Texas Sec State. Or you can have Incfile do this for you.

Incfile can handle all your Texas corporation formation paperwork for you — and we’ll do it for free!

Create a Corporation in Texas for $0 + State Fee ($300)

FAQs About Naming Your Corporation in Texas

How Do I Find an Available Corporation Name?

Use our free Business Name Search tool and enter your chosen business name. You can also perform a search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether any other corporations or LLCs in the state are already using that name.

Are There Any Rules for Naming My Corporation in Texas?

Yes. Most corporations will be bound by general rules (applicable to all corporations) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Texas). We’ve detailed these rules above.

Can I Do Business Under a Name Different from My Corporation in Texas?

Yes. You can conduct business under an assumed name. Details are above.

Can I Reserve a Name for My Corporation in Texas?

Yes. The Texas Sec State allows you to reserve a name if you're not ready to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you do want to start your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name.

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