Business Licensing

Selecting a Name for your Business

Whether you are selecting a name for your corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or wishing to register an existing or assumed business name, it is advisable to conduct a thorough search prior to submitting a name for consideration in order to avoid legal conflicts and to make certain you are not infringing upon someone else's business name. 

In general, the Division cannot accept a name that is not distinguishable from other names on file. Please see our new regulations which are posted here.

The proposed name is not distinguishable by the presence, or lack of, a business indicator (Inc, Ltd, LP, LLC, LLP, etc.). 

In addition to the above, names may not contain the words "city," "borough," or "village," or otherwise imply that the business is a municipality or an instrumentality of the government. A name may not contain a word or phrase which implies that the business is organized for a purpose other than the purpose(s) for which the business is being formed.

People who have used a business name for a long period of time may have created a common law right to the use of the name. Therefore, you are strongly advised to conduct a thorough search BEFORE choosing a name. Places to look include, but are not limited to, business license records, telephone directories, trade magazines, trademark records, catalogs, and so on.

It is important to note that the Division's role is ministerial, not judicial. Our function is to approve or disapprove a name based upon the statutory standards and these guidelines. Approval or disapproval of a name is not a determination of legal rights. A determination made by the Division may be appealed to the Superior Court for a trial de novo. To see if a business name is already being used, it is advisable to search our database via the Internet or you may contact the division before filing by calling (907) 465-2550.