How to Search Available Business Names in Connecticut

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Quick Reference

Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity, find the information you need from the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website.

The Secretary of State’s Business Entity Database provides information for corporations and LLCs registered in Connecticut.  The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships are not centralized and are registered with the Town Clerk’s office where the business is located.

There is no fee for searching the database.

Also See: Guide to Starting a Business in Connecticut

What information can be looked up?

The database search can find information on:

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Business type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company, etc.
  • Principals Information – Name, title, address
  • 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 listed.

How to do a Connecticut Business Name Search

  1. Visit the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s website.
  2. Enter the name of the business you would like to register in the box “Search by Name.”  In this example, we will enter “Pool Guy” and click “Search.”How to do a Connecticut Business Name Search
  3. In this example, there is already a business that registered the name “Pool Guy, LLC.”Connecticut LLC Name Search
  4. Clicking on the link gives us a detailed overview of this business.Connecticut Business Inquiry Results
  5. Next, let’s search for an available name.  In this example, we will search for “Hometown Flowers.”  We get a message that “No records found for Business Name Hometown Flowers.”CT Business Name Registration

These are the basics of searching for a business name in Connecticut.  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.

How to Register a DBA (Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships)

To register, a sole proprietorship or partnership operating their business under a name that is different from the owner’s legal name will register for a Trade Name, also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Assumed Name, or Trade Name.

Related: How to register a DBA in Connecticut

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 Connecticut LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Certificate of Organization.

While not required in Connecticut, 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, Connecticut business licenses and permits may still be necessary.

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