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Ideas for Choosing a Corporate Name

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The name you choose for your new corporation should convey the image you want for the company. For retail companies, a wise choice is to describe the type of business in the name. This permits prospective customers to know that the company provides the product or service desired.

Generally, only professional service firms use an individual’s name followed by “Inc.” or “Corporation” after that person’s name.

A general rule is to exercise caution in selecting a name that’s geographically limiting. This is especially true if you are reaching customers worldwide over the internet. In fact, any name you select for your corporation should be available as an internet domain name. This is a reason for avoiding generic names that are already taken as domain names.

A sound technique is asking for suggestions about possible corporate names from potential customers, friends, and business colleagues. At least get feedback from them about your name ideas. Failure to choose your corporate name wisely can only be corrected by a cumbersome change process.

If you’re creating a corporation as a successor to an existing business you have as a proprietor, you probably want to simply add “Inc.” or “Corporation” to the currently used name. The state in which you create a corporation must verify that the corporate name you select is not the same as—or even similar to—any name already incorporated in the state. New corporations also cannot have a name that’s deceptively similar to a name already registered. For example, adding “.com” to the end of a name that’s already in use on the state’s corporate registry does not create an available name.

You probably want to start with several name ideas and then research their availability in your state of incorporation. The state agency responsible for corporate registry—usually the secretary of state—confirms whether a name you’re considering is available. This information may be available on the agency’s website or is obtained from writing or calling the agency.

If the name you choose is available, some states permit you to reserve it. A fee can be assessed for this service. You permanently possess your corporate name only after filing incorporation papers and continuing to comply with future requirements that maintain good standing.

Using an incorporation service is a valuable method for incorporating. These services may charge a fee to determine corporate name availability and complete the registration process.

To find out if your company name will be available in your state, you can use the Free Company Name Search provided by our company.