How To Do A Nevada Business Name Search
If you are forming an LLC or a corporation in Nevada, the first thing you need to do is a business name search. This search checks all the registered business entities in the state to see if the business name you want to use is available. Like all other states, the state of Nevada requires each LLC or corporation registered in the state to have a unique business name. So, before starting your business, it’s important to run a business entity search to verify if the name is available through the Nevada Secretary of State before registering your LLC or Corporation. There is no fee to search.
Also See: Guide to Starting a Business in Nevada
Steps For Searching Corporation and LLC Names In Nevada
Step 1: Visit the Nevada Entity Name Database
Step 2: Search your Business Name
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.”
Step 3: Review Results
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.”
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.
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 found on the Nevada business entity database?
The business entity 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 needs 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.
- 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 Register a Fictitious Firm Name (Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships)
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.
A sole proprietorship or partnership operating their business under a name that is different from the owner’s legal name will register for a Fictitious Business Name, which is also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Assumed Name, or Trade Name.
How do I form an LLC in Nevada?
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 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, is a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.
What are the requirements to name an LLC in Nevada?
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 in Nevada?
If there is a name you want but are not ready to register the LLC, you can file the Name Reservation Request. The name reservation will hold a name for up to 90 days, at the cost of $25.