Pennsylvania Business Name Reservation

Pennsylvania State ShapeBefore officially forming your business (LLC, Corporation etc) in Pennsylvania, you may consider reserving the name for your company first. Reserving business name is especially helpful in cases when you are sure to form the business in next few months but are not ready yet. Name reservation can protect your PERFECT business name, till the time you are ready for filing.

The business name can be reserved for the period of 120 days which can be further renewed. The business name reservation can also be transferred.

Pennsylvania Business Name Requirement

Pennsylvania Secretary of State has mandated certain requirements which you must keep in mind while selecting a business name.

The business name must be unique and distinguishable from any existing business entity name registered with Secretary of State. Also any difference in grammar, similarly sounding business name, or using stop words does not make the business name unique and it will lead to the name being rejected.

For example following names are not distinguishable:

  • Justin Plumber LLC vs The Justin Plumber LLC
  • Mango Farm LLC vs Mango Farms LLC
  • Jake & Mary Corporation vs Jake and Mary Corporation

Required suffix in the business name:

  • For Corporations:
    Must contain either“Corporation”, “Company”, “Incorporated”, “Limited”, “Association”, “Fund”, “Syndicate” or an abbreviation of one of such words.
  • For LLC
    Must contain either “Company”, “Limited”, “Limited liability company”

Prohibited words:

  • Special businesses such as bank, insurance, trust etc need prior permission from the certifying body
  • Language stating or implying the business is organized for an impermissible purpose

Checking the Availability of a Business Name

Pennsylvania SOS provides an online tool to check the availability of any business name. You can use this tool to find and research name for your business. We have written an in-depth tutorial on how to search for a business name in Pennsylvania.

How to Reserve Business Name

Business name reservation can be done by mail. The process can take upto 1 week.

By Mail

Download FormLink
AddressPennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Processing TimeWithin 5 days after the receipt

  1. Download the Pennsylvania Name reservation form – Link.
  2. Fill the form with the requested details.
  3. Include the money order/check/credit card payment.
    Check/money order must be drawn in name of “Secretary of State“.
  4. Send the filled form to:
    Pennsylvania Department of State
    Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
    P.O. Box 8722
    Harrisburg, PA 17105

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Contact

For any queries, you can contact the SOS at (717) 787-1057 during business hours.


Last Updated: 25/08/2018

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