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How To Do A Maryland Business Name Search

How To Do A Maryland Business Name Search

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How To Do A Maryland Business Name Search

If you are forming an LLC or a corporation in Maryland, the first thing you need to do is a business name search. Like all other states, Maryland requires each sole proprietorship, general partnership, LLC, or corporation registered in the state to have a unique business name. You can do a Maryland business name search on the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website to see if the business name you want to use is available.  

Related: Guide to starting a business in Maryland

Step 1: Visit the Maryland Entity Name Database

Visit the Maryland Business Express website – https://egov.maryland.gov/businessexpress/entitysearch

Step 2: Search for a Business Name

Enter the name you would like to use in the “Business Name” field.  In this example, we will do a Maryland LLC name search by looking up “Lawn & Order.”

How to do a Maryland Business Name Search

Step 3: Review the Results

Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Lawn & Order.”  To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in Maryland, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered.

If the name you want is taken, be sure to first look at the “Status.” If it shows “Forfeited,” there may still be an opportunity to register it as the previous owner is not in good standing with the state.

Unfortunately, if you were looking to form an LLC with this name, you wouldn’t be able to since there is already one registered.

Maryland LLC Business Name Results

To find more information about each registered business name, click on the “View Business Details” button to see a detailed report. In this example, we will look up “Lawn and Order LLC.”

Maryland LLC Business Name Detailed Information

While the name “Lawn & Order LLC” by itself may not be available other variants like “Baltimore Lawn & Order” or Lawn & Order by Joe” are.  Searching for those business names brings a result that says, “The business name you entered was not found.”  While final approval is still with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, it is likely available to register. 

Maryland Business Name Availability

 These are the basics of searching for a business name in Maryland.  Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Department of Assessments and Taxation will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names. 

What information can be found on the Maryland business entity database?

The Maryland business entity search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:

  • Business Name
  • Principal Office: This could be the business’s physical address or the address where business records are stored.
  • Registered Agent Information:Maryland registered agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal or tax notice need to be sent to the business.  This is often one of the owners, and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information.  Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent, so their home address isn’t publicly listed.  
  • Status: Active means the entity is still in operation, while Forfeited means the business has closed.
  • Good Standing – If all reports and filing fees are up to date, the business is considered to be in good standing
  • Business Type: Sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.
  • Date of Formation: When the entity was officially filed with the Department of Assessments and Taxation

Maryland Business Name Search FAQs

How do I form an LLC in Maryland?

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, read our step-by-step guide to learn how to form a Maryland LLC.

While not required in Maryland, 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 Maryland business licenses and possibly get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) so the business is legal to operate.

What are the naming guidelines for a Maryland LLC?

In addition to the name being unique, the name of the LLC must include a special designator such as Limited Liability Company, Liability Company, L.L.C., etc., in addition to not using restricted words such as bank or insurance, unless the entity is licensed to operate as such.

Can an LLC name be reserved in Maryland?

If there is a name you want to use but aren’t ready to form the LLC, the Corporate Name Reservation Form can be filed to hold the name for up to 30 days.

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.

How To Do A Maryland Business Name Search

How To Do A Maryland Business Name Search

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