The first step in forming an LLC or corporation in New Mexico is to verify the business name is available to use. Each business entity that is registered with the New Mexico Secretary of State must use a unique name. See our step-by-step guide to learn how to quickly search available names by using the state’s Business Entity Database.
How To Do A New Mexico Corporation or LLC Business Name Search
Step 1: Visit the Business Name Database
Visit the New Mexico Secretary of State website.
Step 2: Search for a Business Name
Enter the name you would like to use in the “Entity Name / DBA Name” field. In this example, we will look up “The Pool Guys” and then click “Search.” It is recommended to search both by “Starts With,” “Exact Match,” and “Contains” to be sure to search your name thoroughly.
Step 3: Review the Results
Searching the registered names, we get a list of all the businesses with the words “The Pool Guys.” To be able to register a corporation or LLC name in New Mexico, the name must be distinguishable from the other names registered. Words like “The,” “An,” and “And” would not make a name unique, such as “The Pool Guys” and “Pool Guys.”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 “Entity Name” column to see a detailed report. In this example, we will look up “The Pool Guys LLC.”
While the name “The Pool Guys” by itself may not be available, other variants are such as “The Pool Guys of New Mexico” or “The Pool Guys of Santa Fe” are. Searching for those business names brings a result that says, “No data 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 New Mexico. 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.
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 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?
What information can be looked up in the database?
The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:
- Business Entity Name
- 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.
- Entity type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
- Principal Address – This could be the business’s physical address, 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, so their home address isn’t publically listed.
- Date the entity was filed with the Secretary of State
- Names of the officers and their title
How to Register a DBA for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships in New Mexico
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information on corporations and LLCs registered in New Mexico. The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships do not need to be registered.
What are the requirements to name an LLC in New Mexico?
In addition to the name being unique, the name of the LLC must include a special designator such as Limited Liability Company, LLC, 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?
If there is a name you want to use but aren’t ready to form the LLC, the Application for Registration of Limited Liability Company Name can be filed to hold the name for up to 120 days. The state filing fee for a name reservation is $20, paid to the Secretary of State.
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 a New Mexico LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.
While not required in New Mexico, an 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 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.
Also, be sure to check for New Mexico business licenses and permits to make sure the business is legal to operate.