Delaware Secretary of State LLC Search: Everything You Need to Know
Once you have conducted a business name search and have chosen a name for your LLC, the Secretary of State’s service will also allow you to check on the status of your LLC registration.3 min read
Conducting a Delaware Secretary of State LLC search is one of the first steps if you are starting up a business and would like to register in Delaware. The Secretary of State website has a database where you can conduct a free business name search in order to ensure that the name of your business is not taken. This search should be done before you register a business in Delaware.
Once you have conducted a business name search and have chosen a name for your LLC, the Secretary of State’s service will also allow you to check on the status of your LLC registration.
More Information on the Delaware Secretary of State Office
The Secretary of State is the head of the State Department in Delaware. The State Department oversees numerous public and government duties and has a number of responsibilities within the state, including economic development, transport, public education, and culture of its residents. Because the Department oversees economic development, entities who wish to do business in the state must register with the State Department.
Four Reasons to Conduct a Business Name Search
Some of the benefits of conducting a search with the Delaware Secretary of Stateinclude:
- To check and see if the name of your LLC is available to use in Delaware
- To check existing business’s status with the state and access basic business information
- To check to see if your LLC has been officially registered with the state
- To be able to file certain business forms electronically
The Business Registry Database in Delaware
In Delaware, the Division of Corporations within the Secretary of State keeps records of all businesses registered in the state. These records include the business information and history of every business entity that ever registered in Delaware, including corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships.
How to Search the Business Registry
There are two primary ways to conduct a search in the Delaware Secretary of State’s business registry.
First, you can use the “Name Availability Search” option to figure out if the name of your LLC is already in use. This option is for quick yes or no answers. To begin, visit this website and agree to its terms and services. Once you are on the page, click on the drop down menu that says “entity kind,” and click on LLC. Next, choose the desired business ending from the next menu. Enter the desired name and click “search.” If no results come up, that means the name is available to use. You can reserve the name for a one-time fee of $75.
The second method of conducting a business name search is to search the database by file number. To do this, go to this website. Enter the file number of the business you are searching for. Click on “search.” Because you are searching for a specific file number, the search will likely only bring up one business entity. Click on that business to see the details of that company.
The details you are able to access for free stem from those questions that the Secretary of State requires businesses to answer. If you are looking for additional information, such as the status of the business’s registration or the franchise tax assessment, the Secretary of State will require an additional fee of either $10 or $20. This website also allows you to obtain the business’s annual report.
How to Do a More Thorough Business Entity Search
After you have conducted a primary search to figure out if the exact name of your desired LLC is available, you should then conduct a deeper search to be more thorough. This search is to ensure that there are no names that are substantially similar to your desired LLC name. Even if they are not the same, registered business in Delaware must be reasonably distinguishable from each other. This means that if the only difference between your desired LLC name and an existing business is merely a comma, a numerical symbol as opposed to the number spelled out, or any other similar look that may confuse the public, your LLC name will be considered substantially similar.
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