August 28, 2023

How to see if your business name is available in Delaware

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Delaware is famous for being a great place to start a business. On top of strong corporate law, competitive tax benefits, and exceptional privacy protections, it’s also the gold standard among investors. More than 90% of 2022 IPOs came from businesses registered in Delaware.

Unfortunately, Delaware’s appeal also makes it very competitive. If you have decided that Delaware is the right state to start your corporation, you need to make sure no one else has already registered a business with the same name you want to use.

How to see name availability in DE

Before taking any steps forward with a new business name, you need to make sure that it isn’t taken.

Uhe Firstbase Business Name Search tool to quickly check name availability in Delaware (or any other state). Just enter the name you want to see whether it’s being by another Delaware business.

If the name is available, you can start your incorporation in a few clicks with Firstbase. Simply select LLC or C-corp and provide some basic information to initialize the incorporation process.

If it isn’t available, you can either make small changes or come up with an entirely new name.

While you have the option of incorporating in a different state, this can introduce some other complications. If you want to expand later on, for example, you may have trouble differentiating your business from others.

Just because a name is available in one state doesn’t mean there aren’t companies with a similar name somewhere else. You need to consider competition for domain names, search results, brand recognition, and more before choosing a name.

Understanding Delaware naming conventions

Keep these four rules in mind when naming your business: 

  • Business names must be distinguishable from existing names.
  • If you incorporate as a C-corp, your business name should include a corporate designator like “Inc.” or “Corp.” 
  • LLCs, partnerships, and statutory trusts all have different naming requirements, so be sure to research what’s necessary for the specific type of business you want to form. 
  • The business name can only include English letters or Roman numerals. Variations in spelling (like phonetic spellings), using plural forms, abbreviations, different suffixes of the same word, or adding punctuation cannot be used to differentiate a business name.

Now, let’s talk about some restrictions:

  • Some words cannot be used in business names. No profanity allowed! You also can’t use words that promote criminal activities or discriminate against certain groups, so keep it professional and respectful.
  • You can’t use the word “Bank” in your business name unless your company is properly licensed as a bank. The same goes for words like “University” and “Trust.”
  • If you want to modify your name, you’ll need to pay a fee and file an amendment with the Secretary of State.

Reserving a business name

If you find the perfect name for your company but are not yet ready to incorporate in Delaware, don’t worry.

To reserve a business name, just fill out a Name Reservation Application and pay the reservation fee ($75). The name will be reserved for you for a period of 120 days. 

Delaware is a popular choice for starting a business due to its supportive laws and tax benefits. Unfortunately, someone may have already started a business in Delaware with the same name.

Our Business Name Search tool is there to help check if your business name is available. Using this tool, you can search across US state registries to quickly find out if you can use the business name you want.

Remember, a great business name sets you apart from the competition and leaves a lasting impression on your customers. So get creative, do the research, and let your brand shine with a name that truly represents your vision and values.

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