An NYC corp search will be a critical step if you are planning to incorporate in New York. The New York Department of State's Division of Corporations files and maintains a range of business and state documents. If you are wondering how to incorporate, here is everything you'll need to know. 

Search the Corporation & Business Entity Database

Within the Corporation and Business Entity Database, you will find all business and non-profit corporations, as well as LLCs, LLPs, and limited partnerships. This online database search addresses status inquiries related to entities that are on file with the Department of State. 

Although this search is a great starting point for finding out whether your desired business name is taken, it is not a complete indication as to whether to a name is available or not. The department makes every effort to ensure that the information is up-to-date, but they cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy.  

Unlike corporations, limited partnerships, and LLCs, sole proprietorships and general partnerships file directly with the county clerk.

If you have any questions during your search, it is best to contact the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporations at 518-473-2492. They accept calls Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Corporation & Business Entity Database

If you have never conducted a corporation and business entity search before, you will find the following information valuable. 

When it comes to the "entity name" box, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter the business name you are searching for. 
  2. You can input the name in either upper, lower or mixed case. 
  3. Be mindful of the "Search Type" selected. Typically, the more of the name you enter, the fewer entity results will be listed. 

In terms of the "status type" box, please follow these steps:

  1. Select one of two options.
  2. If you select "Active Only," this will only search entity names that are currently active. 
  3. If you select "All," this will search both inactive and active entity names, providing a more complete search. 

In terms of the "search type" box, please follow these steps:

  1. Select one of three options, including "Begins With," "Contains," or "Partial."
  2. "Begins With" will require the exact beginning part of an entity's name. This includes non alpha-numeric characters. 
  3. "Contains" will require you to know at least one word within the full entity name. The order of the words does not matter and in this case, non-alpha-numeric characters are not required. 
  4. "Partial" is similar to the "Contain"' search but differs in the sense that the last word may be partial. 

How Do I Determine If the Name I Want to Use Is Available?

While you are conducting an NYC corp search and developing unique names for your proposed corporation, it is important that you be mindful of the following points:

  • The Division of Corporations will reject any name that is not distinguishable from any other existing name on file. This applies to corporate names, limited liability company names, and limited partnership names. 
  • The only way to know for sure whether or not your desired name is taken is to make a name availability inquiry. 
  • To do so, you will need to send a written request to the Department of State, Division of Corporations, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231. This will cost $5 per name. 
  • Within this request, list the name or names you would like to search. Although not required, it is recommended that you attach a copy of your original search.
  • If they find that the name is available, this is NOT an approval of the name. 
  • Please note that the Department's determination of a name's availability only applies to the date that the name search was completed. 
  • Requesting information about a name's availability cannot be handled by telephone. 

New York Secretary of State Corporation & Business Entity Search

When planning to incorporate in New York, you can find information on any corporation or business by performing a search on the Secretary of State website. Please be aware that this site if not affiliated with the government and that in most cases, you can access information for free.

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