Tennessee Business Name Reservation

Let’s imagine a scenario:

Tennessee state shapeSuppose ‘Andy‘ wants to start a business in Tennesee. Out of excitement, he starts searching for the perfect business name for his business. And after lots of ideation, he finalises the name for his business.

He visits the Secretary of State website and starts the business formation process. But his excitement is short lived. Do you know WHY!!!

Because for forming a business, there are quite a number of documents required to be filled like filing articles of organization, operating agreement etc. And poor ‘Andy‘ did have the documents ready.

So now what?

Will ‘Andy‘ lose his chosen business name? No! For such scenarios business name reservation comes in handy.  All ‘Andy’ needs to do is file a simple name reservation form and pay a small amount of $20 to reserve the business name. This protects the business name from being registered by someone for a period of 4 months till the time ‘Andy‘ prepares for business formation. Also, the business name reservation can be further renewed and transferred to someone else.

Tennessee Business Name Requirement

Tennessee Secretary of State has mandated certain requirements which you must keep in mind while finalizing the 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”, “Incorporated”, “Company” or an abbreviation of one of such words.
  • For LLC
    Must contain either “Limited Liability Company”, “L.L.C.” or “LLC”.

Prohibited words:

  • Language stating or implying the entity is formed for impermissible purpose.
  • Certain words such as college, bank, insurance etc are restricted to use without approval from the concerned board.

Checking the Availability of a Business Name

Tennessee Secretary of State 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 Tennessee.

How to Reserve Business Name

Business name reservation can be done by Mail and takes above 3 days to process after the receipt of the form.

By Mail

Download FormLink
AddressCorporate Filings
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
6th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243
Processing TimeAround 3 days after the receipt

  1. Download the Tennessee Name reservation form – Link.
  2. Fill the form with the requested details.
  3. Include the money order/check/credit card payment of $20.
    Check/money order must be drawn in name of “Secretary of State Tennessee“.
  4. Send the filled form to:
    Corporate Filings
    312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue
    6th Floor, William R. Snodgrass Tower
    Nashville, TN 37243

Tennessee Secretary of State Contact

For any queries, you can contact the SOS at (615) 741-2286 during business hours.


Last Updated: 17/07/2018

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