Learn the process of conducting a Utah business entity name search. Familiarize yourself with the tools provided by the Utah Secretary of State, understand the state’s business laws, and sidestep trademark conflicts with the USPTO.
Business Entity Name Search in Utah
It is important to ensure that your name is legally available in Utah before you set up your Utah business. You can search Utah business entities to see what is available and what has been taken.
Searching for a business name in Utah is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Visit the website of the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.
- Look for the “Business Search” option. This is where you can search for registered business names in Utah.
- Enter the business name you are looking for in the search field.
- Click the “Search” button.
- Browse the results. They will typically provide the name of the business, the type of business entity, the status of the business, the registered agent’s name, and the business’s address.
Remember, if you are searching for a business name because you want to use it for your business, it’s important that your business name not be too similar to an existing name. This could confuse customers and could potentially infringe on another business’s rights.
What is a Utah Business Entity?
A Utah business entity refers to a business organization that is legally recognized in the state of Utah. The Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code is the state agency that manages business registrations and renewals.
The types of business entities that you can form in Utah are similar to those in other U.S. states. These include:
- Sole Proprietorship: This is a business run by one individual. The business and the individual are the same legal entity, so the owner has personal liability for the business.
- General Partnership (GP): A business run by two or more people. The partners share personal liability for the business.
- Limited Partnership (LP): A partnership with both general partners (who manage the business and have personal liability) and limited partners (who are investors and have limited liability).
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): A partnership where all partners have limited liability, meaning they are not personally liable for the debts of the business.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC): This 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 “owners” of an LLC are referred to as “members.”
- Corporation (Inc. or Corp.): A business entity that is owned by shareholders, managed by a board of directors, and is separate from its owners. It can be either a C corporation or an S corporation, depending on tax election.
- Nonprofit Corporation: A legal entity that operates for a cause or mission that is not about making a profit. Nonprofits in Utah are often eligible for tax-exempt status but must meet certain criteria.
Utah Secretary of State Entity Name Search
To form a business entity in Utah, you must file the appropriate documents with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code and pay any necessary filing fees.
The process and requirements can vary depending on the type of business entity.
Utah’s Secretary Of State provides a free entity searching database so you can quickly determine if your name is available.
Utah Business Entity Search
Business entities are the legal entity that governs how a business is organized. There are several ways to form business entities in Utah.
These include partnerships, LLCs, and corporations. The LLC (limited liability company) is the most commonly used business entity.
Your LLC is your official business name. This allows the state to know about your business operations. You can also protect your personal assets and start claiming company expenses in your tax filings.
Why form an LLC?
Even if your business is a sole proprietorship, an LLC can help you protect your assets and yourself while your business grows. You can hire and scale employees through an LLC, which is more flexible than a business entity. However, you don’t have to create a board to oversee your business operations.
The foundations of an LLC
You will need to register with the Utah Department of Commerce and have a unique business name in order to create an LLC in Utah. You can also outsource this work to a company that assists in forming LLCs so that you can focus on your business operations.
Utah Business Entity Search by Name
You should search the Utah Department of Commerce database for your business name before registering it with the Utah Department of Commerce. This will ensure that your business name isn’t already taken.
It might be worthwhile to change the name of your business, even if it is not available. It is important that your business stands out from the rest and that customers don’t get confused, especially in small communities.
Business Search by Entity Number in Utah
An entity number is also assigned to business entities. This is the Employer Identification Number (EIN). Some businesses have a different public-facing address (a DBA). You can also use an EIN to locate their official registered name.
Utah LLC Search by Executive Name
You can also use the name of an executive of a registered company entity to search for businesses. This information is essential if you wish to contact the executive and see their business entities or how many businesses they own.
Looking for a unique business name in Utah?
It is essential to choose a unique name for your company. You should remove apostrophes from your business name search to avoid similar names. It’s easier to pick your business name if you know what is out there.
The first step to forming your company is choosing and registering your business name.
1. Trademark Search
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:
- Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
- In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
- Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
- 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:
- 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.
- Once you have selected the platform, go to the sign-up page and try to create an account using your desired social media name.
- 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.
- If the name is available, the platform will allow you to create an account using that name.
- 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 Utah 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 Utah 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get feedback: Share your logo design with colleagues, friends, or family to get feedback. This can help you refine your design further.
- Finalize the logo: Once you have incorporated feedback, finalize your logo design. Be sure to use high-quality images and files for your logo.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Marketing and sales strategies: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategies, including branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution channels.
- 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.
- 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:
- Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, including templates and sample plans.
- SCORE: SCORE provides free business plan templates and guides, as well as mentoring and counseling services.
- Bplans: Bplans offers a wide variety of business plan templates, tools, and resources, including sample plans for different industries.
- LivePlan: LivePlan is a cloud-based software that provides business planning tools and templates, financial forecasting, and collaboration features.
- 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 Utah
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:
- Certificate of Formation: This is a legal document that shows that your LLC has been registered with the state.
- Operating Agreement: This document outlines the rules and procedures for running your LLC and is required by some banks.
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) Confirmation Letter: This is a letter from the IRS confirming your LLC’s tax identification number.
- 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.
Is a Utah business license required for an LLC?
Utah does not issue business licenses. However, it requires that business entities be registered with the Department of Commerce. The city or county will then issue a business license.
You may need to obtain different licenses for regulated businesses, such as law firms, doctor’s offices, or general contracting companies. It’s best to contact the Department of Commerce with any questions specific to your company.
How can I check if a Utah business has a license?
The Secretary of State’s database allows you to search for Utah businesses. You can search by name or entity number to find more information.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org