You must conduct a Mass. corp. search (Massachusetts corporation search) in order to move forward with your plans to incorporate a business in the state. This will help you uncover all associated disclaimers, policies, legal information, etc. This process will also help you verify certification. Once you have all the information you need, you can reserve your corporate name. 

Massachusetts Business Entity Search 

To begin your Massachusetts corporation search, head to the "search for a business entity" through the Corporations Division. 

Here, you will be able to search by:

  • Entity Name 
  • Individual Name 
  • Identification Number 
  • Filing Number 

There are several steps to take when searching for the database by name, individuals, identification number, or filing number. Depending on your specific corporation search, the process will vary slightly. Utilize the information you currently have in order to uncover all relevant data and keep notes throughout your search. 

As mentioned, once you open the search database, you will have the option to select search by identification number, search by filing number, and so on. This will allow you to view the results that you require.

Here is an example for searching the database by individual name:

  • Step 1: Head to the search page and check the following box — "search by an individual name." You will then need to input the legal name that you would like to search. 
  • Step 2: You will now be able to view results. Simply select the entity you would like to learn more about. 
  • Step 3: Review all of the information provided. A series of links will also be accessible.

The Corporations Book 

Each year, the Corporations Subject to Taxation in Massachusetts listing (also known as the Corporations Book) is published online only. The online search program allows for both community-based and keyword searches. A link to the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Corporation Database can also be found, allowing you to access additional information that is not found in the corporation listing. 

Please note, since peak hours of operation can cause issues or delays when using the Corporation Book, it is recommended that you search for corporation information using the Downloadable Data Files. To do so:

  • Press the "Control" and "F" key simultaneously. 
  • A pop-up box will be displayed, allowing you to enter keywords to locate a corporation's name. 

The following links will be of use to you during this process:

If at any time you have questions or concerns, you can use the contact email: Corpbook@dor.state.ma.us.

Name Reservations

When reserving a name for your new business, here are some things you need to be aware of:

  • A corporate name can NOT be the same as any other existing corporation. It cannot even be close enough that it may be mistaken for another authorized business. 
  • Know that a corporation or business can submit a reservation request prior to filing a certificate with the Corporations Division. This will be filed in accordance with M.G.L Chapter 156D, s. 4.02. 
  • You can reserve a corporate name by delivering an Application of Reservation of Name (PDF) and a $30 filing fee to the Secretary of the Commonwealth. If that name is available, it will be reserved for 60 days. During this period, the applicant can extend his reservation for an additional 60 days, which costs an additional $30. 
  • Visit the Name Reservation Database and the Trademark Search Database

Massachusetts Lien and Litigation Search Options 

For your reference, here is a quick guide to better assist you in searching for specific information on Massachusetts liens and litigation:

  • Secretary of the Commonwealth — UCC, State Tax Lien, and Miscellaneous Files.
  • U.S. District Court — IRS access and Federal Tax Liens.
  • County Register of Deeds — Recorded/Registered Land, UCC, Fixture Fillings, etc. 
  • Superior Court — Litigation and Civil Judgment. 
  • U.S Bankruptcy Court — Bankruptcy Proceedings. 

Depending on the information you seek, you may also need to contact the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, or even Probate and Family Court at the county level. If you require any assistance, your attorney can guide you through this process. 

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