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How To Do A Georgia Business Name Search

How To Do A Georgia Business Name Search

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How To Do A Georgia Business Name Search

If you are forming an LLC or a corporation in Georgia, the first thing you need to do is a business name search. Like all other states, Georgia requires each LLC or corporation registered in the state to have a unique business name. You can do a Georgia business name search on the Georgia Secretary of State website to see if the business name you want to use is available. 

Related: Guide to starting a business in Georgia

Step 1: Visit the Georgia Entity Name Database

Visit the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

Step 2: Search for a Business Name

Enter the name you would like to use in the “Entity Name” field.  In this example, we will do a Georgia LLC name search by looking up “Sew What.” After entering the company name, click on “Search.”  We recommend keeping the button selected for “Contains” as it’s a broader search.  If there are too many results, you may want to go with “Exact Match.”

How to do a Georgia Business Name Search

Step 3: Review the Results

Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Sew What” in the name.  What we want to find is a name that is similar to the name we are looking to register.  The closest one is just before the last record, “Sew What?! LLC”.  While your business may not have the “?!,” those characters won’t be considered distinguishable, making this a name you can’t register. To find more information about each of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Entity Name” column.  In this example, we will look up “Sew What LLC.”

Georgia Business Entity Search

Clicking on the link for “Sew What LLC” brings an expanded result.

Georgia LLC Name Search Result

There is also a button to get details on the entity filing history, which includes the business formation and annual registration.

While the name “Sew What” by itself is likely, not available, other variants, such as “Sew What Quilting” or “Sew What Seamstress,” are.  Searching for those business names brings a result that says, “No data found.”  While final approval is still with the Georgia Corporations Division of the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register.

Something to keep in mind is that even though each corporation and LLC name must be unique, it may not stop someone else from using that name since business names for a sole proprietorship or partnership are not registered by the Georgia Secretary of State and are not required to be unique.  To protect your business name, consider getting a trademark.

Related: Should I trademark my business name?

Georgia Business Name Search FAQs

How do I find the business name of a Georgia sole proprietorship?

A Georgia sole proprietorship or general partnership can use the small business owner(s) full first and last name as the business name, but many will want to operate under a specific business name. Unlike corporations and LLCs in Georgia, the names of sole proprietorships and partnerships are not listed on the state database. Instead, they are registered with the Clerk of the Superior Court in the county where you do business.

To register the business name, they will submit a Georgia Trade Name registration, which is also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, or Fictitious Business Name with the Clerk of the Superior Court.

How do I form an LLC in Georgia?

Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use.  Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form a Georgia LLC.

While not required in Georgia, an LLC operating agreement, which are the rules for how the LLC operates, is a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.

After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to register for any Georgia business licenses and permits and possibly obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so the business is legal to operate.

Can an LLC name be reserved in Georgia?

If you want to use a name but are not ready to form the LLC, you can reserve for up to 30 days by submitting a Name Reservation Request form to the Georgia Secretary of State.

Author

  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

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How To Do A Georgia Business Name Search

How To Do A Georgia Business Name Search

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