An Indiana Secretary of State business search will help you discover if your desired LLC name is available for use. You can search for this information various ways, including by business ID or registered agent.

Searching for and Choosing Your Business Name

One of the hardest parts of forming a business is choosing a name. Choose wisely, as this name is part of your public identity and may be with you for a long time. Selecting a name takes some creativity because you want:

  • To attract customers
  • A name that's unique from other businesses
  • An unforgettable name

However, the LLC name should also describe your product or services. You'll have to see which business names are already in use in your state so that you don't legally infringe on another company.

Name Search for an Indiana LLC

The first step to create an LLC in Indiana is to search for the name you want and see if it's available in that state.

Database Searching

  1. Visit the Indiana Department of Business Services Database.
  2. On the form, “Business Search” is at the top. Choose “Starts With” along with “Business Name” — one or both might already be chosen as defaults.
  3. Ignore the section under the box for “Advanced Search” as it's not necessary.
  4. Enter the LLC name you wish to use in the “Name” box to begin the search.
  5. Remove the "LLC" and leave off punctuation. Capitalization isn't necessary.
  6. Input the first one or two words of your business name to make sure that similar results are more likely to show up. For example: If the desired business name you want to use is “Peter Orange Grocers LLC,” just use the keyword “peter orange."
  7. For a more thorough and detailed search, enter a portion of the first word of your LLC name. For example: If the business name you wish to use is “CopyPrint Shop LLC,” just input “copy.”
  8. Click the “Search” button and check the state's list of currently existing LLCs.

If you get a message of "No data found," then the business name you want is available. If you get results with names that aren't too much like yours, your name is distinguishable enough, and you can use it.

If the business name you want shows up on the list the same way you want to use it, it's unavailable for your use. You'll have to decide on another name or get creative to make the LLC name unique. You'll have to do the same if the results display an LLC name that's too similar to the name you want.

If you're not completely sure that the LLC name you want is distinguishable, go ahead and turn in your paperwork to the state. In case the business name you want isn't available, your filing will be returned to you. You'll be informed that you need to change the name.

Search by Filing Number or Business ID

  1. Search by filing number or business ID.
  2. Choose an option for Filing Number or Business ID, and input the filing number or ID into the correct field.
  3. Displayed results will be narrowed down to only the filing number or business ID you entered.
  4. Click on the highlighted number in blue to go to the following page.

On the next page, you'll be able to see a business's public information provided by the Secretary of State. Information shown includes:

  • Filing history
  • Incorporators' names
  • Incorporators' addresses
  • Expiration date
  • More

Searching by Registered Agent Name

  1. Search by Registered Agent Name.
  2. Select the box for “Registered Agent Name” and click “Search.”
  3. Any entity with a registered agent that matches the name you entered will be displayed on the list.
  4. To go to the following page, click on the highlighted Business ID.

Some details you'll be able to check on the last page include:

  • The filing history
  • Incorporators' names and addresses
  • Expiration date
  • Other important details

Your LLC name is one that you'll hopefully have for years to come. Making sure you choose one that's memorable and unique from another business can increase your chances for success.

If you need help with a Secretary of State business name search in Indiana or another state, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's 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.