New Jersey LLC Name Search

Business Name Search in New Jersey

Selecting the right name is an essential first step for your New Jersey LLC, requiring you to ensure the name’s availability. This process is vital to avoid infringing on existing business names and intellectual property rights within the state.

Our New Jersey LLC name search guide offers essential tips on checking LLC name availability in New Jersey, reservation, and registration, helping you secure a unique and compliant business identity efficiently.

Look Up an LLC or Business Entity in New Jersey (Summary)

An illustration of a woman at a desk, with a laptop, looking up an LLC name in New Jersey

To look up New Jersey LLC name search availability, you can follow these steps:

  1. Search the New Jersey Department of Treasury Business Name Search tool to check if your chosen business name is available.
  2. Click on “Business Name Search” on the left-hand side of the page.
  3. Enter the name of the LLC you are searching for in the “Business Name” field. You can also search by the business ID number or the name of the registered agent.
  4. Click on “Search” and the website will display a list of LLCs that match your search criteria.
  5. Click on the name of the LLC you are interested in to view its details, including its registered agent, filing status, and any other relevant information.

Alternatively, you can also search for LLCs using the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services’ Business Entity Search page: https://www.njportal.com/DOR/businessrecords/EntitySearch. This page allows you to search for businesses by name or entity ID number.

Man in New Jersey looking up an LLC on a laptop

Businesses can be searched through the NJportal.com site by:

  • Business Name
  • Keyword Search
  • Entity ID

What is a New Jersey Business Entity?

A man doing an online search for the definition of a New Jersey business entity

A New Jersey business entity is an organization that is legally recognized and registered to operate within the state of New Jersey. The process of setting up and managing a business entity in New Jersey is administered by the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.

There are various types of business entities that can be established in New Jersey, including:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: This is a business run by a single person. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. The owner is personally liable for the business’s debts.
  2. Partnership: Partnerships can be general partnerships, limited partnerships, or limited liability partnerships. This type of entity is formed by two or more people who agree to share the profits and losses of a business.
  3. Corporation: This is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders. The shareholders elect a board of directors to oversee the organization’s activities. Corporations can be for-profit (C corporation or S corporation) or non-profit.
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a hybrid type of legal structure that provides the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies and operational flexibility of a partnership.

The process of creating a business entity in New Jersey typically involves filing the appropriate documents (such as a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Incorporation) with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, and paying a filing fee.

Search and Look Up Business Names in New Jersey

A New Jersey LLC search is vital in order to ensure that your business name is unique and not identical to another registered company. A service offered by the state allows you to do a Name Availability Search. The site also allows you to browse the names of other businesses for free.

Searching for Names

When searching for names, you want to be precise. Search results can be affected by punctuation and spacing. The state will deny you permission to form a company using a registered name.

If your LLC was established outside of New Jersey but wants to do business there, you will need to verify that the name you used to create the company in your home country can be used in New Jersey. If the wrong name is used, it can hinder your ability to do business with New Jersey.

Business Name Must Be Unique

You must find a new name for your company if the preferred name is already taken. If your preferred name is already taken, you will need to create a secondary or “doing business under” name for New Jersey.

A “dba” is not allowed for domestic businesses. It is only available to foreign entities. If this happens, the registration of domestic business could be rejected. Filing online is impossible if you are a foreign company using a “dba”.

Reserve a Name

A name can be held until the formation documents is filed. The type of business you are operating will determine the amount and time required to reserve the name. You can only do business in New Jersey under an alternate name after you are authorized to do so.

Searching for a Registered NJ Business

For registered businesses, you can use three criteria:

  • Business name This is a case-sensitive search for the exact name. An optional wildcard is automatically added to the end of your search string. You can enter as much information about the business name as you like. If you aren’t sure how the name is used, it might be a good idea not to include “LLC” and “Inc.” in your search string.
  • Keywords You can enter up to five keywords with one keyword in each field. This is the best search method if you don’t know how your business name begins.
  • Entity ID – To search this way, you must enter the 10-digit entity ID the New Jersey Department of Revenue & Enterprise Service issued to a company.

Verify Name Availability on the NJ Secretary of State’s Website

A woman with a laptop perfoming a business name search on the New Jersey Secretary of State's website.

If you need to find a name available for your LLC or want to verify the status of an existing business entity, you can search the Secretary of State’s website. The website also offers a business entity search tool that allows you to perform administrative tasks on behalf of your LLC.

Search for Available Names

  • Choose a name that conforms to the State LLC naming guidelines.
  • Use the tool to search for the name you are looking for and check if it is available in New Jersey.
  • Although it is optional, you can check if the title you are looking for is available as a URL. An email address is also worth considering when choosing an LLC name. You can purchase the domain name if it is not available. This will prevent others from buying the URL until you are ready to create your site.

You can find the following information by doing a search for business entities:

    • How well is the business doing
    • Address for business
    • If the company was legally formed
    • Registered Agent Address

Using the business entity search engine, you can also pay the Franchise Tax and obtain a Certificate Of Good Standing. This tool allows you to perform specific administrative LLC tasks.

Deciding on a name for your LLC

You don’t need to reserve a business address with the Department of the Treasury if you are creating an LLC. The name is automatically reserved for you when you register an LLC. Even if the company is not planned to be formed anytime soon, it’s a good idea to reserve the name.


New Jersey LLC Name Search FAQ

  1. Why is it important to search for a business entity name in New Jersey? Searching for a business entity name in New Jersey is crucial for ensuring that your chosen name is not already in use. This step is necessary to comply with state regulations and to establish a distinct identity for your business in the marketplace.
  2. How can I conduct a business entity name search in New Jersey? You can perform a business entity name search using the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services’ online business name search tool. This tool allows you to check the availability of your desired business name against existing registered names.
  3. Is there a fee to conduct a business name search in New Jersey? No, conducting a basic search for business name availability on the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services’ website is generally free. However, there may be fees for more detailed information or certified documents.
  4. What should I do if my preferred business name is already in use in New Jersey? If your preferred business name is unavailable, you will need to choose an alternative name that is unique and adheres to New Jersey’s business naming regulations. Having a list of alternative names can be helpful.
  5. Can I reserve a business name in New Jersey, and what is the process? Yes, New Jersey allows business name reservations. You can reserve a name for a specific period by submitting a name reservation application along with the required fee to the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.
  6. What are the naming rules for businesses in New Jersey? In New Jersey, your business name must be distinguishable from other registered business names. Additionally, certain business entity types like LLCs or corporations must include a specific designation in their names. The state provides guidelines on restricted or prohibited words.
  7. How do I ensure my chosen business name complies with New Jersey’s legal requirements? To ensure compliance, review the naming guidelines provided by the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Additionally, conducting a trademark search can help avoid potential legal issues.
  8. After finding an available name in New Jersey, what are the next steps? Once you confirm that your business name is available, you can proceed with registering your business entity by filing the necessary documents and paying any associated fees with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.
  9. Can I use a different name than my registered business name in New Jersey? Yes, in New Jersey, you can operate under a ‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) name. However, you must ensure that the DBA name is appropriately registered and does not conflict with existing registered names.
  10. How frequently is the New Jersey business name database updated? The New Jersey business name database is regularly updated to reflect new registrations and changes. For the most accurate and current information, it’s recommended to conduct your search close to the time you plan to register your business.

Additional Steps

1. Trademark Search

An illustration of a man sitting in a chair with a laptop and checking if a business name is trademarked

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

It’s a good idea to check the availability of multiple domain name options as your first choice may already be taken.

Additionally, if you are considering registering a domain name for your business, make sure to also check for any existing trademarks that may conflict with your chosen domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

To check if a social media name is available for a new business, you can follow these steps:

  1. Start by choosing a social media platform where you would like to create an account for your business. Some of the popular options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
  2. Once you have selected the platform, go to the sign-up page and try to create an account using your desired social media name.
  3. If the name is already taken, the platform will display an error message indicating that the name is not available. In this case, you may need to consider alternative names for your social media account.
  4. If the name is available, the platform will allow you to create an account using that name.
  5. It’s important to note that just because a social media name is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free to use. You should still do your due diligence to ensure that the name is not already a registered trademark or being used by another business in your industry.

5. Register New Jersey Business Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of New Jersey will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Incfile, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search. I recommend using any of these 3 services to assist you with forming a new business. They can save you time and provide you with guidance through the formation process.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

Here’s how you can get an EIN:

  1. Determine if you need an EIN: You’ll need an EIN if you have employees, operate your business as a corporation or partnership, file employment tax returns, have a Keogh plan, or are required to file any of the following tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  2. Apply for an EIN: You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by phone. The quickest and easiest way is to apply online through the IRS website.
  3. Provide the necessary information: When applying for an EIN, you’ll need to provide your legal name, trade name (if applicable), business address, and the type of legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC).
  4. Wait for your EIN: If you apply online, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the application. If you apply by fax or mail, it can take up to four weeks to receive your EIN.

Note that there is no fee to apply for an EIN. Once you receive your EIN, be sure to keep it safe and use it on all tax documents and forms.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.
  2. Determine the design style: Decide on the design style you want for your logo. Do you want it to be modern or classic, minimalistic or intricate, colorful or monochromatic? Consider your brand personality and target audience when making this decision.
  3. Choose the colors: Pick a color palette that reflects your brand personality and complements your design style. Colors have psychological meanings and can affect how people perceive your brand.
  4. Brainstorm ideas: Brainstorm several logo design concepts based on your brand personality, values, and mission. You can use online resources for inspiration or hire a professional logo designer to create a custom logo for you.
  5. Sketch your ideas: Once you have some logo design concepts, sketch them out on paper to visualize how they might look. This can help you narrow down your options and refine your ideas.
  6. Design the logo: Use a graphic design software program like Adobe Illustrator or Canva to create your logo design. Make sure it is scalable and can be used across different mediums.
  7. Get feedback: Share your logo design with colleagues, friends, or family to get feedback. This can help you refine your design further.
  8. Finalize the logo: Once you have incorporated feedback, finalize your logo design. Be sure to use high-quality images and files for your logo.
  9. Protect your logo: If you want to protect your logo, consider trademarking it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This will prevent others from using a similar logo and protect your brand’s identity.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more. Here are some steps to guide you in writing a business plan and links to resources that can help you:

  1. Executive summary: This section provides a summary of your business plan, highlighting key information about your business, target market, products or services, and financial projections. It should be brief but comprehensive.
  2. Company description: This section describes your company’s mission, vision, values, and legal structure. It also includes information about the management team, business location, and history.
  3. Market analysis: This section provides a detailed analysis of your industry, target market, competition, and customer demographics. It also includes information about market trends and growth projections.
  4. Marketing and sales strategies: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategies, including branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution channels.
  5. Products and services: This section describes your products or services, their features and benefits, and how they will meet the needs of your target market.
  6. Financial projections: This section provides a detailed financial forecast for your business, including projected revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. It also includes a break-even analysis and funding requirements.

Here are some links to resources that can help you in writing a business plan:

  1. Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, including templates and sample plans.
  2. SCORE: SCORE provides free business plan templates and guides, as well as mentoring and counseling services.
  3. Bplans: Bplans offers a wide variety of business plan templates, tools, and resources, including sample plans for different industries.
  4. LivePlan: LivePlan is a cloud-based software that provides business planning tools and templates, financial forecasting, and collaboration features.
  5. Canva: Canva offers a range of customizable business plan templates and design tools to help you create a professional-looking plan.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in New Jersey

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

Having a separate bank account for your LLC will help you keep track of your business’s income and expenses, which will be useful for tax purposes, accounting, and financial management. It will also make it easier to accept payments from customers and pay bills, suppliers, and employees.

To open a bank account for your LLC, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

  1. Certificate of Formation: This is a legal document that shows that your LLC has been registered with the state.
  2. Operating Agreement: This document outlines the rules and procedures for running your LLC and is required by some banks.
  3. EIN (Employer Identification Number) Confirmation Letter: This is a letter from the IRS confirming your LLC’s tax identification number.
  4. Identification documents: You will need to provide personal identification documents, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID, and proof of address, such as a utility bill.

Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.


New Jersey Secretary of State Contact Info

Office of the Secretary

Call 609-777-2581
P.O. Box 300, Trenton, NJ 08625

Department of State

Call 609-777-2581
P.O. Box 300, Trenton, NJ 08625


New Jersey LLC Name Search FAQ

How can I verify if an LLC is registered in New Jersey?

You can use the New Jersey Availability tool to check if your business name has been made available in New Jersey.

Do I have to name my LLC after me?

Although there is no prohibition against naming your LLC after yourself (most experts recommend against it).

An advantage of an LLC is that you can choose a different business name, which can make your business sound more professional.

What words are prohibited in a New Jersey LLC’s name?

It is not possible to include words in business names that suggest that the company is a bank or financial institution, or that it is affiliated with a local or state government agency.

New Jersey LLCs must be approved to include the following restricted words: bank, banker and banking; citius, concon, dba. e-com; express mail, handicapped; little league, mail; olympiad.

Do I need an LLC name generator?

An LLC name generator is a great tool to help you choose a name for your LLC.

What is a brand?

A brand name is the name that a company gives to a product line or product. It can be the exact same as the company name, or something else.

Do I need to include LLC in the name?

Yes.

What do I need to do to renew my New Jersey business name?

New Jersey does not require LLCs renew their legal names, but alternate names must still be renewed by the Department of the Treasury every five years.

You can renew online, or by mail. The $50 filing fee

Is it possible for my business name to be different from the name of my LLC in New Jersey?

Sometimes companies may choose to operate under a different name than their legal name. You can call this a “doing Business as” (DBA) or an alternative name in New Jersey.

New Jersey has a Department of the Treasury that accepts LLC alternate names.

Do I need a DBA for my LLC?

If your LLC plans to conduct business under another name than its legal name, a DBA is not required. You can find out more about New Jersey DBAs in our guide to.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Avatar Anthony Torres says:

    Brian, your article and the links you provided for New Jersey name searches was very useful. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Avatar Sofia Wood says:

    I’m starting a new business for real estate and I needed a name, I wasn’t picky, anything decent was ok, I did some name searching before hiring Northwest to take care of everything. I’m please with them, it was pretty easy.

  3. Avatar Audrey Turner says:

    Brian, I also appreciate the article’s guidance on navigating the official channels provided by the state, such as the New Jersey Department of State’s website, where people can access the necessary resources and information for starting their businesses.

  4. Avatar David Garcia says:

    Great insights, Brian! Your post on business name searches in New Jersey has reminded me of the importance of a solid foundation when starting a business. My LLC has the name that I wanted and I had Northwest do the filing.

  5. Avatar Andrew Foster says:

    Brian, I’m starting a business and performing a business name search in New Jersey, this article is a fantastic resource for aspiring entrepreneurs. You did a good job of breaking down the process into easy-to-follow steps, making it much less intimidating for those venturing into the world of business ownership.

Comments are closed.

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