State of Massachusetts Corporation Search: Everything to Know
State of Massachusetts corporation search is an essential step to ensure that your desired business name is available for registration.3 min read
2. Criteria for LLC Name Distinguishability
3. Name Reservation
4. Name Search
5. Search by Individual Name
6. Search by Identification Number or Filing Number
7. Searching the Massachusetts Name Database
Massachusetts LLC Name Requirements
- The name of your Massachusetts LLC must end with “LLC” or “L.L.C.,” which are common abbreviations for “Limited Liability Company.”
- Since an LLC is not a corporation, you cannot use words like “corporation,” “corp.,” “incorporated,” or “Inc.” as part of your LLC's name.
- The name you choose for your LLC must be unique; it must be different from the names of existing businesses in Massachusetts.
Criteria for LLC Name Distinguishability
Identifiers like "LLC," "Corporation," and "Inc." used at the end of the name are not taken into account for determining distinguishability. Neither can you claim distinguishability on the basis of grammar alone (e.g., singular, plural, hyphen, periods, possessive, spelled out numbers, etc.)
For example, the following names are not distinguishable:
- Smith Enterprises, LLC vs. Smith Enterprises, Inc.
- Orange Farm, LLC vs. Orange Farms, LLC
- 3 Day Tour, LLC vs. Three Day Tour, LLC
- Bulls & Bears, LLC vs. Bulls and Bears, LLC
- Red Rose Studios, LLC vs. Red-Rose Studios, Inc.
If you wish to reserve a business name before incorporating your business, you can file a name reservation request. An application for name reservation must be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth along with a filing fee of $30.
If the secretary is satisfied that the requested name is available, he will reserve the name exclusively for you for a period of 60 days. Any time during these 60 days, you may apply for an extension of the reservation period by another 60 days by paying an additional fee of $30.
Search by Individual Name
You can perform a search by the name of a business or even by the name of a person, like an officer or director of the company. The search process is similar in both the cases and consists of the following steps:
- Open the search page and tick the checkbox corresponding to the individual name search.
- Enter the person's name in the provided space.
- Choose the search type you wish to perform.
- Click on “search corporations.” Just like in case of search by business name, you will get a list of businesses matching your query.
- Select the business entity you'd like to have more information about. This will take you to the information page that will display almost everything you may be interested to know about the selected business entity. The page will also have a list of links to request a certificate, view the list of filings, and begin a new entity search.
Search by Identification Number or Filing Number
The search page also allows you to perform a search by identification and filing numbers of a business entity.
- Tick the checkbox corresponding to the identification number search or filing number search.
- Enter the number.
- Click on “search corporations.”
In either case, since the number you entered would pertain to a specific business entity, the search results page will not display a list of business entities. Instead, it will take you directly to the searched entity's page. On this page, you'll be able to view complete information about the entity. It will also have links to allow you to see the itemized list of filings, request a certificate, and start a new search.
Searching the Massachusetts Name Database
- Visit the search page on Massachusetts' state government website.
- Tick the radio button corresponding to the section, “search by entity name.”
- Enter the LLC name you'd like to search for. Leave out the “LLC” and punctuations, if any, at the end of the name. Don't worry about capitalization either.
- Let the “Search type” option be at its default value, “Begins with.”
- In order to broaden your search, enter only the first one or two words of your LLC name.
- Click on “Search Corporations.”
- This will throw up a number of entities matching your query.
- Click on a specific entity name to reach the detailed information page, where you will be able to view the list of filings, request a certificate, or carry out a new search by clicking on the given links.
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