LLC name search Texas

How to Conduct a Texas Business Name Search

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Have you decided to finally start a Texas limited liability company (LLC) or corporation? You’ll have to take care of a few things first, like choosing which of the two entities is better for you, deciding which industry you’re going to step into, and more. One thing that will undoubtedly carry a lot of weight for your new business is choosing the right name.

If you aren’t sure how to get started or how to conduct a Texas business entity search, then our guide can point you in the right direction. We’ll explain how to perform a corporation or LLC lookup.

Having a great business name is important 

Your business’s name will be part of its identity. It doesn’t matter if it’s an LLC or a corporation, a great name is what the public will know you by. Making sure that it’s catchy and memorable are also equally important. 

How to come up with a great business name

Knowing that you’ll need a great business name is one thing. Coming up with one is entirely different. This is where you’ll need to sit down and really consider some naming options. 

Creating a list is probably the best way to do this, and this is something that will probably take some considerable time. If you need some help coming up with some catchy names, we have a guide to help you.

1. Learn Texas’s business naming rules

Before choosing a business name, you’ll need to learn the business naming rules in Texas. These rules can be quite strict, so it’s incredibly important that you look over them before creating a list of potential business names. If your potential name doesn’t fall in line with the state’s rules, your Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State (SOS) could be turned down. 

The Rules

Texas’s business naming rules are extensive, so be sure to visit the Secretary of State’s website to look them over. In general, the following requirements must be met:

  • The business name must be distinguishable from other business names.
  • The name cannot imply an affiliation with a government agency. 
  • The name cannot imply it will engage in illegal acts.
  • Under certain circumstances, the name cannot contain prohibited words like “university” and “bank.” Section 79.34 of the Texas Administrative Code goes into more detail about this. 
  • The name cannot be grossly offensive. 

A complete list of naming rules can be found in Title I – Part 4 – Chapter 79 – Subchapter C (Entity Names) of the Texas Administrative Code. 

Conduct a corporation or LLC name search. Texas offers a relatively simple way to do this on the state’s comptroller website. 

How to perform a corporation or LLC lookup

In order to conduct a Texas company lookup, you’ll first have to go to the Texas Comptroller’s website. From there, look up “taxable entity search.” Your first hit is the search engine that lets you look up all taxable entities in the state. This tool lets you check the availability of your desired business name.

The good news is that you don’t need an account to use this tool. All you need to do is search your potential name in the “Entity Name” box. From there, it’ll let you know if a business with your name is already in operation. 

Conduct an SOS TX business search 

There’s another option available, and it’s with the SOS. TX business search options may be limited, and if you want to be extra sure that your potential business name is available even if the search tool shows it is, then reach out to the SOS by phone at (512) 463-5555. 

These are the two best ways to conduct a Texas business search. Secretary of State websites and other agencies (depending on the state) offer some sort of business search tool, so do some exploring if you’re in another state. 

3. Choose a domain name

Next, choose a domain name that closely matches your Texas business name. After performing a corporation or LLC lookup, consider getting a domain name. We should mention that getting a domain name isn’t necessary unless you’re going to own an online business. Either way, this is the time to choose a domain name. 

Find the perfect name and website for your business

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What is a domain name?

A domain name is a website’s “name.” For example, our domain name is If you’re looking to get a domain name, it should match your business’s name as closely as possible. So, if you decide to name your business Tony’s Donut Shop, then you should get the domain name “” 

You should also know that a domain name is not the same as a URL. A URL identifies a specific page on a website, like the page you’re on now. You can also use a domain name to create a business email

Why should I get a domain name?

A domain name, and by extension, a business website, can be a great marketing tool. It allows you to reach an audience outside of your brick and mortar location. You can also market your business via social media with your website. We offer a tool that helps you look up domain names

Why should I get a domain name now and not later?

It would be a real bummer if you chose a business name and registered it only to later need a business website, but the domain name you want that perfectly matches your business name isn’t available. To potentially avoid this, settle on a domain name now so you can choose one that closely matches your business name.

If the domain name isn’t available, you can go back and choose a different business name since it hasn’t been registered yet. Even if you don’t need a website yet, you can still register the domain name you want to ensure it doesn’t get taken by someone else. 

4. Reserve your Texas business name

The last step is to formally register your Texas business name with the Secretary of State. You’ll do this by filing Form 501 – General Information (Application for Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of an Entity Name). This form allows you to reserve a corporation or LLC business name. 

Fill out Form 501

Form 501 includes some instructions on how to fill it out. The part where you include information is rather short. You’ll need to include the following:

  • The entity name you want to reserve
  • What type of entity you’ll form (LLC, corporation, etc.) 
  • Your name and address
  • Your signature

Your name will be reserved for 120 days. You can also reserve one with us

Get an assumed name in Texas

Along with a business name, you can also get an assumed name in Texas. You can do business under your company’s legal name, but an assumed name (also known as a “doing business as” (DBA) name) allows you to operate under a different name entirely. 

How do I get an assumed name?

In order to register an assumed name, you’ll need to file Form 503 – General Information (Assumed Name Certificate) with the Secretary of State. This form can be found on the SOS’s website.

Why would I need an assumed name?

If you plan to launch a new product but your current business name doesn’t reflect that, then you can use an assumed name to do it. You can also use an assumed name to open a new shop. The reasons for getting an assumed name will also vary depending on the entity you choose to form. 

We can help

We offer many services to help you form your business, from name reservations to filing your paperwork. We also offer other services to help you run and grow your business after it’s been formed. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

Texas Business Name FAQs

  1. Can I renew my business name reservation in Texas?

    Yes, you can renew your business name reservation. You’ll do so by filing Form 501 during the 30-day period preceding the reservation’s expiration. 

  2. How do I change my business’s name in Texas?

    You’ll need to file Form 424 – General Information (Certificate of Amendment) with the Secretary of State to change your business’s name. Keep in mind that whatever name you want to change it to cannot already be used by another business. You’ll have to conduct another corporation or LLC name search. Texas offers a couple of ways to do this, as covered in Step 2. 

    We also have an article about changing your business name that can help.

  3. Can I change my business’s name online?

    Yes, you can submit Form 424 online through the Secretary of State’s SOSDirect page on its website at any time. 

  4. Which types of businesses are required to file an assumed name certificate?

    If you plan to do business under an assumed name, then know that the following entities must file an assumed name certificate: 

    • LLCs (including professional limited liability companies (PLLCs))
    • Corporations (nonprofit, for-profit, and professional)
    • Limited liability partnerships (LLPs)
    • Limited partnerships (LPs)
    • Professional associations 
    • Foreign filing entities
  5. Can I name my LLC after myself?

    Yes, you can name your LLC after yourself, but consider this decision from a marketing and professional standpoint. Will your name generate interest in your brand and is it catchy? Of course, you can always get an assumed name if you’d rather do business under something else instead.

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