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 Reserving A Business Name

Why Reserve a Name?

If you are not quite ready to submit your organizing documents, applying for a name reservation could save a lot of trouble and expense.  A lot of work goes into the first stages of preparing to open a business.  You don't want to be one of the people who hired an attorney to prepare organizing documents and ordered letterhead and signs, only to find the chosen name unavailable.

What Does a Reservation Do?

A name reservation holds and protects the company name you have chosen for 120 days from filing.  Our staff adds the reserved name to the business organizations database, and it will then appear when a search is performed for name availability. 

What Limitations on Names Apply?

The name must be distinguishable by at least a one word difference from the name of any other company already registered with the Secretary of State, and from any other reserved or registered name.  Also, several business types have specific name limitations and requirements for suffixes.


How To Apply

Check name availability  Search the Business Organizations Information System, then call (304) 558-8000 to confirm availability.
Complete the application  Download the Name Reservation form, enter the information, print, then sign the form. Remember the name is "owned" by the applicant for 120 days after approval, and the applicant must also sign the business startup documents. 
File  Submit the application and $15 fee to the Business Organizations Division.  See Ordering & Payment for more information.