How to Do a Business Name Search in Massachusetts

A Massachusetts business name search is an essential step in forming a Massachusetts corp. It ensures that your business name does not resemble that of an existing corporation.

Common Wealth of Massachusetts

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Entity Name Search and Reservation

A corporate name cannot be identical to one of an existing corporation, registered entity, or business name that has been reserved by another person. You can apply for name reservation if you want to reserve a corporate title before you file the incorporation documents.

You must follow these steps to reserve corporate names:

  • Send an application to the Corporations Section of the Commonwealth.
  • A $30 filing fee is required.

If the secretary is satisfied that you have the required corporate name, he will hold the name for you for 60 days. You can request an extension for the reservation within 60 days for a $30 fee.

A preliminary search is usually done to check name availability.

Search by Name

These steps will guide you through the process of searching the entity database.

  1. Go to the search page.
  2. Check the box that corresponds to the entity name search.
  3. Enter the company name that you wish to search.
  4. Select the type of search you want to perform.
  5. Choose “Search corporations”

You will get a variety of results when you query the entity. To find out more about any entity, click on its name to visit the information page. This page will provide all information about the chosen entity. This page will allow you to see filings, request certificates, and perform a new search.

Click on the “Search by entity Name” option. In the “Enter name” field, enter the LLC name. When entering the name, do not include the word “LLC”. If possible, you should also leave out punctuation. Capitalization is not necessary. Change the “Search type” setting to “Begins With.”

You don’t have to enter the entire name. Instead, you can just enter the first one or two words. This will allow you to see any similar results. If you want to use “Johnny Apple Farm”, just type “johnny” instead.

You can also try entering more letters than the first word to make your search even more comprehensive. To search for “Printing Solutions LLC”, type “print” and you will get the results.

You can set the results to display 100 pages of items, then click on “Search Corporations”.

If no records are found, this means that your preferred name is not available.

Your proposed business name can be used if the names in the results are not similar to yours (meaning people are unlikely to mistake your business for any of the listed entities).

If the name you searched is listed in the search results exactly the way you intended, it means your name is unavailable. You will need to look for a new name. If you see a name that is identical to yours in the search results, your name will not be available. You’ll need to create a new name.

Search the Massachusetts Name Database

  1. Visit the Business Entity Search Page of the Corporations Division.
  2. You might try searching for your name with several variations.
  3. Enter the name you want to register and perform a search. Print the search results and keep them for your records.
  4. To find names that are similar to yours, don’t forget to do a partial search.

Search by Individual Name

A search can be done with the individual’s name, such as the name of an officer or director of an entity. This process is very similar to the entity search.

  1. Go to the search page, and check the box that corresponds to individual name search.
  2. Continue by entering the name of the person.
  3. Select the type of search that you wish to do and then click the “search corporations” button.

Based on your query, you’ll receive a list of names. You can select the entity name that you wish to view more information.

You will find all information on the chosen entity on the information page. You will be able to see a complete list of filings, request certificates, or conduct a new search.

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