1. Business Entity Search
2. Prohibited Terms
3. Similar Business Name
4. Alternate Name

Conducting an LLC name search NJ before forming your NJ Limited Liability Company is essential. When choosing your name, keep in mind that there are certain rules and prohibited terms when choosing your name. You’ll want to choose a name that is short, easy to spell, easy to find on the Internet, unique, and describes your brand.

Almost all states, including the State of NJ, require that your business name be unique from any other active business. Therefore, you will need to conduct a business entity search to see if the name you want to use is available. If it’s not available or if it is similar to another current business entity, then you will need to choose a new name.

When searching for names, be careful with punctuation and spacing, as any inconsistencies will affect the results of your search. The name search database ignores capitalization, spaces, and punctuation of any kind, such as commas, periods, apostrophes, ampersand, and dashes. The database also ignores terms like “and,” “or,” and “of” along with plural terms with an “s” on the end.

In order to prevent such inconsistencies in your search results, you will need to include a wildcard at the end of the name search so that all similar names can be found and analyzed before you choose your business name.

Prohibited Terms

There are several prohibited terms that cannot be used in any business in the State of NJ, including but not limited to the following:

  • Bank Little League
  • Banker Mail
  • Banking Olympiad
  • Blind Olympia
  • DBA Realtor
  • E-Com Trust
  • USPS

Furthermore, certain business designations cannot be used at the end of your business name, including the following: Incorporated PC, L.L.C. P.C., Limited Liability Co Professional Association, or Limited Liability Company Professional Corporation. These terms give the impression that you are operating as a business structure rather than an actual LLC.

Similar Business Name

If there is a possibility of confusing another name with yours, then you must choose a new name. Some examples of similarity involve simply changing words like “the,” “and,” “of,” or even changing numerical numbers to written numbers.

You cannot simply change punctuation, spacing, or use dashes to claim that your business name is unique to another similar or identical business name. You also can’t use suffixes in your business name to claim that it is unique, i.e. Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp, Co, Inc, Ltd, and LLC.

You also can’t abbreviate words, use different font, or add in symbols to claim that your business name is different.

Foreign businesses that want to conduct business in the State of NJ must also first identify whether a business with their name is already in use within the state. However, if the foreign business finds that a corporate name is already taken, the foreign business can form a DBA (doing business as) within the State of NJ. With that said, the DBA name must not be used by another DBA.

When registering the DBA name, you will need to include the actual business name as it was formed outside the State of NJ, along with the DBA name that you want to use within the State of NJ. The registration cannot be submitted online, and must be done either by mail or fax (in hard copy form). Regarding DBAs, keep in mind that only foreign businesses can use a DBA business name. Domestic NJ businesses cannot use a DBA name.

Once you’ve chosen a business name that is available for use, you can reserve your name by submitting a request and nominal fee.

Alternate Name

After registering your business name, you can also conduct business in the State of NJ with an alternate name. You will also need to conduct a business entity search if wanting to use an alternate name. This means that the alternate name will be registered and used as the business name for business vendors and customers. However, the formation documents will still identify the actual business name, along with the alternate name being used.

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