How To Reserve Your Business Name for All 50 States

When you're starting a business, your business's name is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. The right business name won't make or break your business (we've all seen terrible names for successful businesses), but it can make customer acquisition and growth easier.

When you create your business in the United States, you need to tell your state what you want your business to be called.

But what if you're not ready to create the entity but you want to reserve the name?

Well, you're in luck. Every state gives founders the option to reserve their business name and register to hold that business name until the founders are ready to start their company.

Check whether your name is available

The first step is to check whether your desired business name is available. To do this, go to your state's business entity search and search for your businesses name to see if another company is already operating with the name you want.

Don't worry if someone has a similar name in a different industry. The rules around business naming are covered in another post, but basic rule is two businesses can have the same or very similar names in different industries. This isn't a hard and fast rule, so you'll want to check with an expert.

Use the table below to find your state and use the entity search to see whether your name is already taken.

Reserve your name

The next step is to reserve your name with the state if your state allows it.

This is basically telling the state that you intend to use this name for a business you intend to run. Use the table below to find your state, see if name reservation is available, and click through to the state's name reservation link and complete the process.

You will get a certificate that lets you know the name is yours for a period of time.

Don’t forget to attach your name reservation certificate when you register.

If you prefer to use a service, here is a FREE corporate name search service we recommend

When you’re ready to trademark your name, we trust Trademark Engine for trademarking services

StateEntity SearchCost To ReserveLink To Reserve
AlabamaBusiness Database$25Reserve Name
AlaskaBusiness Database$25Reserve Name
ArizonaBusiness Database$45Reserve Name
ArkansasBusiness DatabaseDependsReserve Name
CaliforniaBusiness Database$10-20Reserve Name
ColoradoBusiness Database
ConnecticutBusiness Database
DelawareBusiness Database$75Reserve Name
District of ColumbiaRegister your Business
FloridaBusiness Database$35Reserve Name
GeorgiaBusiness Database
HawaiiBusiness DatabaseReserve Name
IdahoBusiness Database
IllinoisBusiness Database Corp Name Check Form
IndianaBusiness Database
IowaBusiness DatabaseReserve Name
KansasBusiness Database$30Reserve Name
KentuckyBusiness Database
LouisianaBusiness Database
MaineBusiness Database
MarylandBusiness Database
MassachusettsBusiness Database Reserved Business Names
MichiganBusiness Database
MinnesotaBusiness Database
MississippiBusiness Database
MissouriBusiness Database
MontanaBusiness Database (Click on “Business Search”)
NebraskaBusiness Database
NevadaBusiness Database
New HampshireBusiness Database
New JerseyBusiness Database
New MexicoBusiness Database
New YorkBusiness Database (To double check, a written request can be sent to the Division of Corporations with a fee of $5 for each name query)
North CarolinaBusiness Database
North DakotaBusiness Database
OhioBusiness Database$39Reserve Name
OklahomaBusiness DatabaseYou can protect your company’s name by filing a trade name with the secretary of state
OregonBusiness Database$100Reserve Name
PennsylvaniaBusiness Database
Rhode IslandBusiness Database
South CarolinaBusiness Database
South DakotaBusiness Database (Note: It is an exact name search)
TennesseeBusiness Database
TexasBusiness Database You can also inquire by phone (512-463-5555) or by email (
UtahBusiness Database ($3 processing fee)
VermontBusiness Database
VirginiaBusiness Database
WashingtonBusiness Database
West VirginiaBusiness Database
WisconsinBusiness Database
WyomingBusiness Database$50Reserve Name
author avatar
Charles Forster Director of Product
Charles is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the startup technology world. He is currently the Director of Product at VersioPay, a payment processing startup. Along with writing on his personal blog,, he also writes about entrepreneurship and personal development for A Better Founder.

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