Indiana LLC Search is available from the Indiana Secretary of State Business Services Division. All business filings, which includes LLCs and corporations along with trademarks, go through this department. The Division offers an online search where users can look for business records for the business name of their choice, as well as see if another business is in good standing. You can search this site by business name.

Another place you can search for business records is the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (IPLA). Since it handles licensing for professionals in Indiana, you can search for licenses on their website. The name is not necessary; you can also search by profession, county, city, state, zip code, license type, etc. Professions that are licensed by this agency include psychologists, plumbers, dentists, doctors, and accountants.

Attorney licensing records may be accessed at the Indiana Supreme Court. They have an online database that is searchable to find out the status of an attorneys license and a host of other information including disciplinary actions taken against them.

Naming Your LLC

If you are forming a new LLC in Indiana, one of the first things you need to do is search for the availability of your desired name. When choosing your business name, there are several suggestions to keep in mind:

  • Check to see if your desired business name is available as an internet domain name. Even if you don't plan to create a website for your business right away, you may want to in the future, and may also want to make sure someone else doesn't buy it.
  • You'll also want to consider how your business name translates to an email address.
  • Use some creativity to come up with a name that is unique, tells potential customers what the business does, and is memorable.

Aside from these suggestions, there are rules in Indiana you must follow when choosing a business name for your LLC.

  • You must use LLC or L.L.C. following your business name.
  • Your LLC name may not have “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” or abbreviations of those words.
  • Your LLC name must be different and distinguishable from any other business that are currently registered in the state of Illinois. That is why the business name search tool is so valuable.
  • In order to create a unique name, you cannot use minor differences in spelling or grammar. You also may not make the name singular, plural, or possessive in order to meet this requirement. If you are concerned about this issue, visit the Indiana Business website for a complete list of dos and don'ts.

Searching the Name Database in Indiana

The database at the Indiana Department of Business Services is available at https://bsd.sos.in.gov/publicbusinesssearch. At that site, you can search by business name, business ID, Principal Name, Registered Agent Name, and Filing Number. An advanced search is available for you to use if you have more specific information about the LLC you are trying to find.

How To Search

Under “Business Search,” you may select “Starts With” and input the business name.

  • First, try this search with the entire business name, leaving off the LLC. If you get an exact match, it's obvious that your desired name is unavailable.
  • Next, you want to conduct a more thorough search to see if there are any businesses registered with similar names. To do this, just enter part of the name, such as the beginning word.
  • Look at the results to compare them to the name you have chosen.
  • If the results are “no data found,” then you know you may use the name you have chosen.

If you are not sure whether or not your name is available, or if the name you have chosen is different enough from the ones already registered, there is no harm in submitting your paperwork to the state. They will simply send your filing back to you if the name needs changing.

The Indiana Secretary of State is available to help you by answering any questions you may have. Also, since naming your business is a big deal, and doing it right can have a big impact on your business' success, you should consult with an attorney to make sure all steps are completed properly.

If you need more information or help with an Indiana LLC search, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.