Reserve/Register a Business Name

Reserve/Register a Business Name

If you are not quite ready to submit your organizing documents to register your business, 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 business cards, letterhead and promotional signs, only to find the chosen name is unavailable.

What Does a Reservation Do?

A name reservation reserves and protects the company name you have chosen for 120 days from filing with Secretary of State. Our staff adds the reserved name to the business organizations database. It will then appear when a search is performed for name availability.

What Limitations on Names Apply?

  • The name must be distinguishable from the name of any other company already registered with the Secretary of State, and from any other reserved or registered name.
  • Several business types have specific name limitations and requirements for suffixes, such as, use of corporate name ending: “Corporation,” “Inc.,” “LLC,” etc.
  • Name reservations/registrations are filed through Secretary of State only and do not apply to structures registered only through the State Tax Department (i.e., Sole Proprietorships, General Partnerships, Joint Ventures or Associations).

How To Reserve a Name

  1. Check name availability - Search Business Organizations online database to see if the name you want is available.
  2. See Our Business Name Guidance - use the Business Name Guidance to understand how we approve names.
  3. File the application - Submit the Name Reservation (form NR-1) application and filing fee to the Business Division. Once approved, the name is reserved exclusively for the applicant for 120 days. The same applicant who reserved the name must also sign the initial business startup documents.​

If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.8000   toll free 866.767.8683  email: