One of the first steps in opening a new business is giving it a name.
You will want to choose a catchy, recognizable name that distinguishes your company from the competition.
In Texas, the name must also be unique. Fortunately, it is easy to quickly check if your new business’s name is available in Texas.
If you have questions, please contact us online today or call us at 512-872-4693 to schedule a confidential case review.
The Texas Secretary of State’s email for business inquiries is email@example.com. They will answer any questions regarding whether your business’s name is already taken.
The Texas Secretary of State’s office will also answer business name availability questions at 512-463-5555. This hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.
The Texas Secretary of State can be reached via fax at 512-475-2761. There may be fees associated with making an inquiry via fax.
The Texas Secretary of State Corporations Section can be reached by mail at:
Business & Commercial Section
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, Texas 78711
There may be fees associated with making inquiries by mail.
The Secretary of State Corporations Section is also open in person from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The address is 1019 Brazos St., Austin, Texas 78701.
Online Texas Business Name Availability Search
Searching a Texas online database might be the simplest way to find out if your business’s name is available in Texas.
The Texas Comptroller’s Taxable Entity Search provides a free avenue to determine if your business’s name is already claimed.
Simply type your desired company name in the search field, then press search, and a list of business entities that contain the name will be produced. If no matches are found, your business’s name is likely available.
Secretary of State
The Texas Secretary of State also runs an online business service called SOSDirect. You can search to see if your business’s name is available through this site.
However, you must create an account and pay a one-dollar fee for each search.
Factors to Consider Before You Search Business Name Availability
Some rules and regulations govern the naming of your business in Texas. The regulations differ depending on the type of business entity.
To start, a business’s name can include only the following characters:
- Numbers in Arabic numeral format,
- Letters A through Z (lowercase or capitalized), and
- The following symbols: “!?=+-$%#*@/()&.
Additionally, there are several naming conventions every business must follow, including:
- Corporation names must include “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited,” or an abbreviation of one of those terms;
- Limited liability company names must include “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or an abbreviation of one of those terms;
- The name must be unique;
- The name cannot imply an illegal purpose;
- The name cannot include “lottery” or “lotto” in it;
- The name cannot contain grossly offensive words;
- The name cannot imply a connection to a government entity; and
- Other requirements depending on the business.
Applying a name that violates these rules wastes time and money.
How the Business lawyers at Massingill Can Help
If you need to register a business in Texas, Massingill is here to help. Our experienced business attorneys make the legal processes required to start a business simple.
Our team will focus on the legal issues, so you don’t have to. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.