Doing a New Jersey LLC name search is essential in helping to make sure you have a business name that is not similar or the same as another registered company. You can do a Name Availability Look-Up by using a service provided on the state website. You can also browse names of other businesses free of charge on the site.

Searching Names

You want to be exact when browsing names. Punctuation and letter spacing can change the results of your search. If you try to form a business using a name that is registered, you will get denied by the state. If you created your LLC outside of New Jersey but want to do business in the state, you need to find out if the exact name used to form the company in your home state can get used in New Jersey. It can delay your ability to do business in New Jersey if the incorrect formation name gets used. 

If the desired name is already taken, you must come up with another name for your business. If you are a foreign business and the preferred name is taken in the state, you can establish a "doing business as" name or secondary name to do business in New Jersey. A domestic business cannot have a "dba" name, it is reserved only for foreign entities. Otherwise, the registration for domestic business may get rejected. You cannot file online if you are a foreign business using a "dba" name. 

Reserving a Name

You can hold a name that is available before filing the formation documents. There is a fee and the length of time you have to reserve a name depends on the business type. Additionally, you can do business in the state under an alternate name only after you have been authorized to conduct business in New Jersey.

You can search by three criteria for registered businesses:

  • Business name - It is a case-sensitive search of the exact name. A wildcard automatically gets inserted at the end of the search string. Enter as much of the business name you know. You might want to avoid including "LLC" or "Inc.' in your search string unless you know exactly how it gets used in the name.
  • Keywords - You can enter up five keywords, with one in each field. Searching this way is best if you are unsure of how the business name starts.
  • Entity ID - You must enter the exact 10-digit entity ID that the New Jersey Department of Revenue & Enterprise Service issues to a company to search this way.  

Checking Name Availability

You can do a name availability search if you are trying to pick a name for your LLC or you want to check the status of an existing business entity by visiting the Secretary of State webpage. You can also do administrative tasks for your LLC by using the business entity search tool on the website. To perform a name availability search:

  • Pick a name that adheres to the state LLC naming guidelines.
  • Search using the tool and see if the desired name for your business is available for use in New Jersey.
  • It is optional, but you can also see if the desired title is available as a URL. Also, an email address is worth considering when picking an LLC name. If the URL is available, you can buy the domain name to keep others from taking it until you are ready to create your website. 

By doing a business entity search, you get the information listed below:

  • Whether the business is in good standing
  • Business address
  • If the company has been formed legally
  • Address of the registered agent

You can also pay the franchise tax and get a Certificate of Good Standing by using the business entity search tool to do specific administrative LLC tasks. 

Deciding on a Name for Your LLC

If you are forming an LLC, you do not have to reserve a business name with the Department of the Treasury. When you register an LLC, the name gets automatically reserved for your business. Even if you are not planning on forming the company anytime soon, then you would want to reserve the name. 

If you need help with the New Jersey LLC name search, 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.