Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity the Nevada Secretary of State website has the information you are looking for.
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information on corporations and LLCs registered in Nevada. The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships are not centralized. Instead, they are registered with the County Clerk’s office in the county where the business is located.
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
- Status – Active means the entity is in good standing and all reports and filing fees are up to date. Other results include “Expired”, “Revoked”, “Withdrawn”, “Dissolved” or “Cancelled”. The names of these results may be available to register.
- Managed by – Only used by LLCs which are either Manager-Managed or Member-Managed.
- File Date – Date the entity was filed with the Secretary of State.
- Registered Agent’s information – A 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.
- Officers – Names of officers and their contact information
- Through the Secretary of State, you have access to the Articles of Organization and Annual Reports.
How to do a Nevada Business Name Search
Visit the Nevada Secretary of State website.
Enter the name you would like to use. You have multiple options in searching for a business name, but the “Entity Name” selection is the best one for this type of search. In this example, we will look up “Storage Depot” and then click “Search”.
Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Storage Depot”. To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in Nevada, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. Something to keep in mind is that even if you see a result with the name you want to register, check on the “Status” column. If it is “Active” it means there is a business using it. If you see “Revoked”, “Inactive”, “Cancelled” or “”Expired” you may still be able to use it. If you were looking to form an LLC with this name you wouldn’t be able to since there is already one registered and is active.
To find more information about any of the registered business names, click on the link in the “Entity Name” column to see a detailed report. In this example, we will look up “Storage Depot, LLC”.
While the name “Storage Depot, LLC” by itself may not be available other variants are such as “Nevada Storage Depot, LLC” or “Storage Depot of Las Vegas” are. Searching for those business names, brings a result that says “No results for entity name search”. 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 Nevada. 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, learn how to form an Nevada LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.
While not required in Nevada, 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, Nevada business licenses and permits may still be necessary.