Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity the Nebraska Secretary of State website has the information you are looking for.
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information on sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and LLCs registered in Nebraska.
There is no fee to search the database.
What information can be looked up?
The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:
- Business Name
- Principal Address – This could be the physical address of the business or it could be an address where business records are stored.
- Nature of Business – An optional section for filers to indicate what the business does.
- Status – Active means all reports and filing fees are up to date and the entity is in good standing with the state. Inactive means the entity is no longer in good standing or in operation and the name may be may be available to register.
- Registered Agent’s information – A Nebraska 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 or IncFile so their home address isn’t listed.
- Entity type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
- Date filed – When the the entity was filed with the Secretary of State
- For an additional fee, you can purchase a copy of the Certificate of Organization (LLC), Articles of Incorporation (Corp) and Proof of Publication.
How to do a Nebraska Business Name Search
Visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website.
Enter the name you would like to use in the “Entity Name” field. In this example, we will look up “Speedy Lawns” using the “Name Keyword Search” and then click “Perform Search”.
It is recommended to search by “Name Starts With”, “Name Keyword Search”, “Name Sounds Like” and “Name Exact Match” to be sure search your name thoroughly.
Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Speedy Lawns”. To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in Nebraska, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. If you were looking to form an LLC with this name you wouldn’t be able to since there is already one registered.
To find more information about any of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Details” button to see a detailed report.
While the name “Speedy Lawns” by itself may not be available other variants are such as “Speedy Lawns of Nebraska” or “Joe’s Speedy Lawns” are. Searching for those business names, brings a result that says “There were no records found”. While final approval is still with the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register.
These are the basics of searching for a business name in Nebraska. Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Secretary of State will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names.
How do I form an LLC?
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, you can start working on the Certificate of Formation.
While not required in Nebraska, an Operating Agreement, which are the rules for how the LLC operates, may be a document worth considering especially for multi-member LLCs.
After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a “social security number” for the business. There is no cost to get one through the IRS.
After forming the LLC, Nebraska business licenses and permits may still be necessary.