Performing a Massachusets LLC name search is an important step in forming a new Limited Liability Company. When you start a new business, the name of your company must be easily distinguishable from the names of any other companies that are currently doing business in the state.

One of the first steps in starting a Limited Liability Company in the state of Massachusets is searching for your intended company name to make sure it is not already in use by another local business. If you are not completely sure that your intended name is available, it is possible to simply file your incorporation with the state. If the name you intend to use is not available, the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth will return your paperwork, indicating that the name is not available and you will need to change it before continuing.

Massachusetts, like many other states, has a method for searching for your intended company name online. This database allows you to search for specific companies, their information, or browse through the state's database by searching against multiple criteria. Once you have arrived at the state's search page, you can search by any of the following:  

  • Company name  
  • An individual's name  
  • Company identification number  
  • Company filing number

It is important to make sure your intended company name is not already in use by another business by running a name search against the State of Massachusetts' database.

Massachusetts LLC Name Requirements

When you form an LLC in the state of Massachusetts, the name of your company must include one of the following abbreviations:  

  • LLC  
  • L.L.C  

Most business owners use "LLC" in their company's name. In Massachusetts, a Limited Liability Company and a corporation are completely different business structures. This means your intended company name cannot make use of any of the following words or abbreviations:  

  • Corporation  
  • Incorporated  
  • Corp.  
  • Inc.

Your company's name needs to be easily distinguishable from the names of any other companies currently doing business in the state. In simple terms, this means that your name needs to be completely unique from any other company names currently on file with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Minor differences, such as using different identifiers at the end of your company's name are not sufficient to establish distinguishability. Differences in the grammatical structure are also not sufficient to establish distinguishability.

Certain words are restricted and may require additional paperwork and professional licensing if you wish to include them in the name of your company. Examples of these restricted words include, but are not limited to:  

  • Bank  
  • Attorney  
  • University  
  • Doctor  
  • Lawyer

Additionally, certain words that might cause your business to be confused with a government agency, such as the FBI or Secret Service, are completely restricted from appearing in your company's name.

Searching the Massachusetts Name Database

To begin your name search, you'll need to visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website and navigate to the Corporations Division Business Entity Search page. Next, select the "search by entity name" option and enter the company name you would like to search for. Do not include designators such as "LLC" or any punctuation in your name search. Capitalization is not important. The search type should default to "begins with." It is ok to leave this option unchanged.

For a more thorough search, enter only the first one or two words of the name you would like to search for. This will help to make sure you get results for any similar names that you need to be aware of. For even more thorough results, consider entering only the first portion of the first word of your intended company name. For example, if your intended name is "Multimedia Solutions LLC," enter "multi" to get results for anything that may be potentially similar to your intended name.

Toggle "Display number of items to view" to show 100 companies per page to make viewing your search results easier. Once you've done this, simply click on the "search corporations" button and you'll be provided with a list of companies that are currently registered in the state with names that are potentially similar to the name you intend to use for your business.

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