Georgia SOS Corporation Search: Everything You Need to Know
Perform a Georgia SOS corporation search when you want to establish a business in the state.3 min read
Perform a Georgia SOS corporation search when you want to establish a business in the state.
LLC Name Searching in Georgia
When you conduct a Georgia Secretary of State business search, you must make sure your potential business name isn't already taken. Visit the Georgia Corporations Division's business page to check on the status of your proposed business name. The division maintains a list of all the people and businesses licensed and registered in Georgia.
You can search by the name of the business, officer, or registered agent. The search results in a list of companies with similar names. You can also do a search by the officer's control number. You will receive one result for each number you enter. The database includes information about the following companies:
- Limited Partnerships
- Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
- Limited Liability Partnerships
If you find on the website that your name is already chosen, the state of Georgia makes you wait five years to reuse the name.
How to Search the Georgia Name Database
There are some tips to consider when conducting a search on the Georgia name database. Avoid using any punctuation or modifiers, such as LLC, when entering information in the business name box. However, the search isn't case sensitive, so you can use capital or lowercase letters. For faster, more detailed information, type in the first two words of your potential LLC name.
Once you hit the search button, you will receive detailed results. Examples of statuses found in the database include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Judicially Dissolved
Many results include information such as the business type, address, name status, agent, and control number. When the results have an exact match to your potential name, you need to modify the name. You want to avoid using anything too similar to a name already in existence.
If your results yield "No Data Found," the name you've selected is unique and possibly available. The next step in the process is to select a registered agent.
Entity Name Requirements in Georgia
When selecting an LLC name, keep in mind that you want one that alerts your customers, suppliers, and employees to what your business does. You also want a name that appeals to your audience, is unique, and makes your business easy to locate.
In addition, you must take into account other aspects when checking the registered LLC name in Georgia. Include the L.L.C. or LLC at the end of your potential name. Keep in mind that you cannot include the words "corporation" or "incorporation" (or the "inc." or "corp.") with your name since an LLC is not the same as a corporation.
Also, just changing the grammar or getting rid of the LLC or Inc. designation will not make your potential name unique. For instance, you cannot spell out numbers instead of using the numeral, such as two vs. 2. You also cannot add "or," "and," "the," or any type of punctuation as this will not make the name different enough.
The LLC cannot suggest that you have an affiliation with federal or state agencies. It also cannot imply that your company conducts unlawful business. It's also important to determine if your LLC name comes close to a trademark or service mark of another business. You can check the trademark status via the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Furthermore, you must obtain written approval from the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner to use the following terms in your company's name:
You also need the written approval from the Department of Banking and Finance to use the following variations of the word "bank":
- Banking company
- Banking house
- Credit union
- Savings & loan
- Trust company
Lastly, you need permission from the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission to use "college" or "university" in your LLC name.
Contact Info of Georgia State Secretary
For other questions or issues, you can contact the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State directly at 404-656-2817 or toll-free at 844-753-7825. The office is open weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
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