Georgia Secretary of State of Business Search: Everything You Need to Know
When performing a Georgia Secretary of State business search, the first step is to make sure the name you want for your business is not already taken. 3 min read
LLC Name Searching in Georgia
When performing a Georgia Secretary of State business search, the first step is to make sure the name you want for your business is not already taken. Check the status of the name by visiting the Georgia Corporations Division's Business page and putting in the proposed business name. This search will bring up a list of companies with similar names, with details like business type, control number, registered agent name, status, and address.
The name of an LLC should always be proper. Your proposed business name should not be formulated for any reasons that have not been stated in the articles of incorporation. If the name you want to choose is already taken, the state of Georgia allows you to wait for five years to reuse the name.
Entity Name Requirements in Georgia
Some of the most important aspects to consider when checking the name of an LLC registered in Georgia are:
- In your search, include "L.L.C. " or "LLC " at the end of the name you have chosen.
- You cannot include "corporation" or "incorporation" (or the abbreviations “inc." or “corp.”) within your business name because an LLC is not a corporation.
- Your business name must be unique and can't be too similar to other registered businesses in the state.
Simply modifying the designator, the identifier at the end of a business name, or changing the grammar will not make the proposed name unique.
- Changing words to plural, singular, or possessive
- The use of “a,” “an,” or “the”
- Spelling out numbers (three vs. 3)
- Adding LLC, L.L.C, Corp., or Inc.
- Using “or,” “and,” or the ampersand symbol
- Inputting commas, hyphens, periods, and/or slashes
These examples are too similar and would not be distinguishable:
- Banana Farms, LLC vs. Banana Farm, LLC
- Mary, Peter & Paul Studios, Inc. vs. Mary-Peter-Paul Studios, Inc.
- Day and Night, LLC vs. Night & Day, LLC
- The Paper Shop, LLC vs. A Print Shop, LLC
- Johnson Investments, Inc. vs. Johnson Investments, LLC
- Three Accountants Consulting, LLC vs. 3 Accountants Consulting, LLC
How to Search the Georgia Name Database
When searching for existing business names, visit the Georgia Business Divisions search page and input the proposed name you want to use. Do not include any punctuation or “LLC” at the end within the “Business Name” box. You can use capital or lowercase letters as the search is not case sensitive. If you want to get additional details faster, put in the first two words of the proposed LLC name.
In the search, you will see important business entity details, including name status, business type, agent, control number, and address. If you see “No Data Found” after performing the search, your LLC name is likely available. When the search finds no data, this means your LLC name is unique and distinguishable and is likely not taken. When the search results show an exact match with the name you want, you will need to recreate the name to qualify. Steer clear of using anything that is similar or identical to a name already in the database.
Statuses in the business name database include:
- Available Names
- Disapproved Filing
- Expired Name Reservation
- Inactive Limited Partnership
- Judicially Dissolved
- Manual Administrative Dissolution/Revocation
Names that are not available may show these statuses:
- Active Name Reservation
- Active/Owes Current Year A/R
- Admin. Dissolved
- Automated Administrative Dissolution/Revocation
- Do Not Use Disapproved
- Election to LLC/LP
- Involuntary Dissolution
- Merged Name Reservation 90 Days
- Name Reservation Rejected
- See Notepad
- To Be Dissolved
If you're certain the LLC name you want has not been taken and is unique, the next step is choosing a registered agent.
Contact Info of Georgia State Secretary
If you have questions or concerns, the Secretary of State of Georgia is available at 404-656-2817 between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Control Number Searching
To search for a control number, visit https://ecorp.sos.ga.gov/BusinessSearch and put in the specific business name's control number. This search will help you find the most current business information found on the tab marked “control number.” This search will produce one result for each control number you enter.
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