Business Name Reservation (50-State Guide)

So let’s suppose you have zeroed on an amazing business name and it’s available for registration.  But you or your business partner are not prepared for registering the business yet.

Maybe you’ve not decided on the business type you are going to register or have not worked out the capital contribution or are yet to decide on the equity split.

And we all know, good business names are hard to come by. And there are chances till the time you figure it out, the business name may have been picked up by someone else.

When in Doubt, File for Name Reservation:

For such cases, there is a provision to temporarily reserve the business name you’ve chosen. All you need to do is file for a business name reservation with your state’s secretary of state and the business name would get reserved.

You can file for name reservation for LLC, Corporation, and Partnership business entity type.

Depending on the state you are filing in, the name reservation can last from 30 days to 6 months. And it’s mostly renewable and transferable.

This can give you enough buffer time to prepare for business filing.

How to file for business name reservation?

Broadly it involves 4 steps (slightly varies from state to state):

  1. Choose a legal and unique business name for your business. It must with comply state’s business name requirements.
  2. Fill the name reservation form. It can be either online, mail or in-person.
  3. Pay the requisite fees.
  4. Submit the form.

Note: For online filing, the name would get reserved instantly. Forms sent via mail and In-person usually take one to two weeks for processing.


Business Name Reservation Guide

Select the state where you are looking to reserve the business name:


Last Updated: 30/11/2018