In New York, the business name registration process is both structured and accessible.

Whether establishing an LLC, a corporation, or pursuing a “Doing Business As” (DBA) designation, entrepreneurs must first ensure their chosen name’s uniqueness within the state.

After selecting the business entity type, registration is conducted through the New York Secretary of State.

While the state permits direct registration, there are online services available, streamlining the filing and offering supplementary business startup support.

Conducting a Business Name Availability Search in New York

Before finalizing a business name, it is essential to ensure its availability and legality.

Here’s how you can conduct a name availability search in New York:

  1. Explore the New York Secretary of State’s website: The New York Department of State’s website provides valuable resources for checking the availability of business names. Utilize their online database to search for existing business names in New York. This will help you avoid duplicating names that are already in use.
  2. Visit the New York Business Entity Search Page: Utilize the online database to search for existing business names in New York. This will help you avoid duplicating names that are already in use.
  3. Select a unique and memorable name: Choose a name that reflects your business’s identity, is easy to pronounce and remember, and resonates with your target audience. Be sure to read our next section on trademarks and naming restrictions.
To register a name and form a new business, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent for just $39

Considering Legal Restrictions and Trademark Issues

New York has specific guidelines and restrictions for business names.

Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Understand New York naming guidelines and restrictions: Familiarize yourself with the naming guidelines outlined by the state of New York. These guidelines may include requirements for including specific words or phrases in certain types of businesses or industries. Ensure compliance with these guidelines to avoid any legal complications.
  2. Conduct a thorough search for trademark conflicts: To safeguard your business name from trademark infringement issues, it is crucial to conduct a comprehensive search. Begin by checking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database to ensure your chosen name does not infringe upon existing trademarks. This step will help protect your brand and avoid potential legal disputes.

Understanding Different Business Structures in New York

In New York, entrepreneurs have several options when it comes to choosing a legal structure for their business. If Each structure has its own set of characteristics, benefits, and considerations:

  1. Sole Proprietorship:
    • Definition: A business owned and operated by a single individual.
    • Advantages: Easy and inexpensive to set up, complete control over decision-making, and simple tax reporting.
    • Disadvantages: Unlimited personal liability for business debts and obligations, limited ability to raise capital, and potential difficulty in attracting investors.
  2. Partnership:
    • Definition: A business owned by two or more individuals who share profits, losses, and decision-making responsibilities.
    • Advantages: Shared financial and managerial resources, simplified tax reporting (in the case of a general partnership), and potential for diverse skills and expertise.
    • Disadvantages: Partners have joint and several liabilities for business debts, disagreements and conflicts between partners, and the potential for individual partner actions to affect the entire partnership.
  3. Corporation:
    • Definition: A legal entity separate from its owners (shareholders) that offers limited liability protection.
    • Advantages: Limited personal liability for shareholders, the potential for raising capital through the sale of shares, and longevity independent of its owners.
    • Disadvantages: Complex formation and ongoing compliance requirements, double taxation (unless structured as an S Corporation), and increased administrative formalities.
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC):
    • Definition: A hybrid legal structure combining elements of a corporation and a partnership/sole proprietorship.
    • Advantages: Limited personal liability for owners, flexible management structure, pass-through taxation (unless structured as a corporation), and simpler formation and compliance requirements compared to a corporation.
    • Disadvantages: State filing fees and ongoing administrative responsibilities, the potential for disputes among members, and limited ability to raise capital compared to a corporation.

If you plan to form an LLC, visit our guide on the best LLC formation services.

Protecting Your New York Business Name

Protecting your business name is crucial for establishing a strong brand identity and safeguarding your intellectual property.

In New York, one of the key ways to ensure the legal protection of your business name is through trademark registration.

Understanding the Importance of Trademark Registration

When it comes to protecting your business name, it’s essential to differentiate between business name registration and trademark registration.

While registering your business name with the state provides some legal rights, it doesn’t grant exclusive ownership or protection nationwide. Trademark registration, on the other hand, offers stronger legal protections and nationwide recognition.

Conducting a Trademark Search

Before proceeding with trademark registration, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough trademark search to ensure your business name is available and not already trademarked by another entity.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides a comprehensive database where you can search for existing trademarks. By utilizing this database, you can assess potential conflicts and avoid potential legal issues in the future.

Applying for a Trademark Registration

If your trademark search confirms the availability of your business name, you can proceed with applying for a trademark registration in New York. To navigate the registration process successfully, it is advisable to consult with an experienced intellectual property attorney who can guide you through the intricacies of the application.

They can provide expert advice on preparing and submitting a strong trademark application to the appropriate authority.

To register your trademark, you’ll need to prepare the necessary documentation, including a clear representation of your business name and its associated goods or services.

The application will also require payment of the filing fees, which can vary based on the type of registration and the number of classes you choose to protect.

In New York, the appropriate authority for trademark registration is the USPTO. Their website offers comprehensive information and resources to help you navigate the registration process smoothly.

Updating a New York Business Name

When you decide to update your business name in New York, it’s essential to inform the relevant government agencies and update your licenses, permits, and financial records accordingly.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to update your business records and licenses seamlessly, ensuring compliance and a smooth transition.

Informing relevant government agencies about the business name change

To begin the process of updating your business name, it is crucial to inform the necessary government agencies. Here are the key steps to follow:

  1. New York Secretary of State:
    • Visit the New York Secretary of State’s website: New York Department of State.
    • Access the appropriate forms to update your business name.
    • Submit the required information, including your old and new business name, address, and other relevant details.
    • Pay any applicable fees for the name change process.
  2. Internal Revenue Service (IRS):
    • Visit the IRS website: Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    • Update your business name with the IRS by completing Form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number) if you have an EIN (Employer Identification Number).
    • Inform the IRS about the name change in your tax returns and other relevant documents.
  3. Other applicable agencies:
    • Identify other government agencies related to your industry or business activities.
    • Contact these agencies individually to update your business name in their records.
    • Examples include the New York Comptroller’s Office, industry-specific licensing boards, and regulatory bodies.

Updating business licenses and permits

Updating your licenses and permits is crucial to maintain compliance with local regulations.

Follow these steps:

  1. Review existing licenses and permits:
    • Identify the licenses and permits your business currently holds.
    • Determine if they need to be updated due to the name change.
    • Take note of renewal dates and any additional requirements.
  2. Contact relevant licensing agencies:
    • Research the appropriate licensing agencies associated with your industry.
    • Reach out to these agencies via their official websites or contact information.
    • Notify them about the business name change and inquire about the specific process for updating your licenses.
    • Provide any required documentation, such as the updated Certificate of Formation or Assumed Name Certificate.

Updating business bank accounts and other financial records

To ensure a smooth transition, it’s essential to update your financial records after changing your business name.

Follow these steps:

  1. Notify your bank and financial institutions:
    • Contact your bank or financial institution where your business accounts are held.
    • Inform them about the name change and request the necessary updates to your accounts.
    • Provide any supporting documentation, such as the updated Certificate of Formation or Assumed Name Certificate.
  2. Update business checks, credit cards, and other financial documents:
    • Order new checks and update them with your new business name.
    • Notify credit card companies and update your business name on all relevant accounts.
    • Update other financial documents, such as invoices, contracts, and billing systems.

Updating your business records and licenses in New York after a name change is crucial to maintain legal compliance and ensure a seamless transition.


Registering a business name in New York is an essential step in establishing your business and ensuring its legal protection. Take the necessary steps to register your business name in New York and set your venture on the path to growth and recognition.

New York Business Tips

When it comes to forming an LLC in New York, it’s essential to consider the best LLC services and registered agents in New York. A good LLC service may prevent delays and effect the length of time to form your New York LLC due to filing errors from diy entreprenuers.

To begin, conduct a New York LLC name search to ensure the availability of your desired business name.

Once you’ve confirmed its availability, you can proceed with preparing the essential formation documents, including registering your New York business name and drafting a New York LLC operating agreement, which outlines the internal structure and management of your LLC.

It’s advisable to gather all required information and submit your filings promptly. Furthermore, applying for a business licenses in New York if you are required is something to consider and obtaining a New York Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS is essential for tax purposes if you plan to have employees.

You may want to be your own registered agent in New York, or if you ever want to change your New York registered agent, the options are available for a smooth transition.

In the event that you decide to dissolve an LLC in New York, ensure compliance with the state’s dissolution procedures to avoid any potential legal or financial complications.

Consulting with professional dissolution services like Incfile can provide valuable guidance and assistance throughout the dissolution process, ensuring a smooth conclusion to your LLC’s operations in New York.

New York Business Name Registration: Terms and Topic Definitions

  1. New York business name availability search: The process of researching and checking the availability of a desired business name in New York to ensure it is not already in use or infringing upon existing trademarks.
  2. Legal structure of the business: Refers to the organizational framework or form under which an New York business operates, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC).
  3. Registering a business entity in New York: The process of formally establishing a legal entity in New York, such as a corporation or LLC, with the appropriate government agency to obtain legal recognition and protection for the business.
  4. Trade name registration process: The procedures involved in registering a trade name or “doing business as” (DBA) name for an New York business, which allows it to operate under a name different from the legal name of the owner or entity.
  5. Choosing a unique business name: The act of selecting a distinct and original name for a business that sets it apart from competitors, is memorable to customers and complies with legal requirements.
  6. Protecting brand identity: Taking measures to safeguard the reputation, image, and distinctive elements associated with a business, including its name, logo, slogan, and overall brand, from unauthorized use or infringement by others.
  7. Registering a fictitious name: The process of registering a business name in New York that is different from the legal name of the owner or entity, commonly used when operating a business under a name other than the individual or entity’s legal name.
  8. Business entity formation: Refers to the process of creating and establishing a legal entity for a business, such as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship, by fulfilling the necessary legal and administrative requirements.
  9. Trademark search and registration: Conduct a comprehensive search to ensure that a proposed business name, logo, or other identifying mark is not already in use and then apply for legal protection of the mark through the trademark registration process.
  10. Business license application process: The steps involved in applying for and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits required by local, state, or federal authorities to operate a specific type of business or engage in certain activities.
  11. Steps to incorporate a business: The sequence of actions and legal requirements involved in forming a corporation, including drafting and filing articles of incorporation, appointing directors, and fulfilling other formalities to establish a separate legal entity.
  12. Registering a sole proprietorship: The process of formally declaring oneself as a sole proprietor and registering the business with the appropriate government agencies to establish legal recognition and fulfill any necessary licensing requirements.
  13. Partnership agreement and registration: Creating a legally binding agreement that outlines the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of partners in a partnership, and subsequently registering the partnership with the relevant authorities.
  14. Corporate bylaws and registration: Drafting and adopting a set of internal rules and regulations that govern the operations and decision-making processes of a corporation, and registering the corporation with the appropriate government agencies.
  15. Annual report filing requirements: The obligations imposed on businesses, particularly corporations, and LLCs, to submit an annual report or statement to the relevant regulatory authorities, providing information about the company’s activities, financial status, and changes in key personnel.
  16. Company formation: The process of establishing a legally recognized business entity, such as a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or partnership, by fulfilling the necessary legal and administrative requirements.
  17. Fictitious name: Also known as a “trade name” or “DBA” (Doing Business As), it refers to a name under which a business operates that is different from its legal name. It allows businesses to conduct operations and build a brand identity using a name other than the registered entity name.
  18. Business entity selection: The process of choosing the appropriate legal structure for a business, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or LLC. It involves considering factors like liability protection, tax implications, management structure, and compliance requirements.
  19. Trademark infringement: The unauthorized use of a registered trademark or a similar mark that could cause confusion among consumers. It involves using a protected mark for goods or services without permission, potentially leading to legal consequences and damages.
  20. Business name reservation: The process of temporarily reserving a business name with the appropriate government authority before formally registering it. This reservation ensures that the desired name is secured for a certain period, allowing time for the registration process to be completed.
  21. Doing business as (DBA): A term used when a business operates under a name different from its legal entity name. It is also known as a trade name or fictitious name and is often required to be registered with the appropriate government agency.
  22. Registered Agent: An individual or entity designated to receive legal and official documents on behalf of a business entity. The registered agent ensures that important communications, such as legal notices and tax forms, are properly received by the business.
  23. Intellectual property protection: The legal safeguarding of intangible assets, such as inventions, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Intellectual property protection helps prevent unauthorized use, copying, or exploitation of these assets by others.
  24. Compliance requirements: The regulations and obligations that businesses must adhere to in order to operate legally and ethically. Compliance requirements can include laws and regulations related to taxes, licensing, employment, data protection, environmental impact, and more.
  25. Employer identification number (EIN): A unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes. An EIN is required for filing tax returns, opening business bank accounts, hiring employees, and conducting various financial transactions.
author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
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 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: Phone: 972-776-4050


  1. Avatar Isaac Gonzalez says:

    Brian, your article “How to Register a Business Name in New York” is an absolute lifesaver for budding entrepreneurs! You’ve managed to simplify a potentially complex process into an easy-to-follow guide. Your advice on conducting a name availability check and navigating the New York Department of State’s requirements is invaluable. The explanations of different business structures and the emphasis on legal compliance are excellent, especially for those starting a business. Thank you for providing such a clear and informative resource. It’s a must-read for anyone considering registering a business in New York!

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