Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity the New Jersey Department of the Treasury website has the information you are looking for.
The Department of the Treasury’s Business Entity Database provides information on corporations and LLCs registered in New Jersey. 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:
- Entity type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
- Status – Active Good Standing means all reports and filing fees are up to date. Other results include “Inactive Voluntary Dissolution, Inactive Revocation”, “Cancelled” among others. The names of these results may be available to register.
- Principal Address – This could be the physical address of the business or it could be an address where business records are stored.
- 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.
- Date the entity was filed with the
Department of the Treasury
- Names of the officers and their title
How to do a New Jersey Business Name Search
Enter the name you would like to use in the “Business Name” field. In this example, we will look up “Sew What” and the click “Search”.
Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “Sew What”. To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in New Jersey, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. If you were looking to form an LLC with this name, a warning is displayed stating that the name you chose may be in conflict with other names on file. If you feel your name is different, you will have to contact the Department of the Treasury for a manual review.
While the name “Sew What” by itself may not be available other variants are such as “Sew What Quilting” or “Sew What Seamstress” are. Searching for those business names, brings a result that says “Available!”. While final approval is still with the Department of the Treasury, it is likely available to register.
These are the basics of searching for a business name in New Jersey. Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Department of the Treasury 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 New Jersey LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the New Business Entity Registration.
While not required in New Jersey, 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, New Jersey business licenses and permits may still be necessary.