What are California's business naming requirements and how can I confirm the availability of a name?
Among other requirements, the California Secretary of State requires that businesses register with a name that does not conflict with the name of any existing registered business. If you attempt to register with a name that is unavailable, you will be responsible for resubmission fees. For additional information or questions about California’s business name requirements, see:
- California Secretary of State Name Availability
- California’s Business Entity Name Regulations & Additional Statutory Requirements and Restrictions
Confirming California Name Availability
At a minimum, we recommend you make your own assessment about the availability of a name by using California’s Business Search.
- Search both the Corporation Name database and the Limited Liability Company/Limited Partnership Name database because a company's name cannot conflict with any existing business.
- Using California's Business Search does not provide conclusive evidence that a name is available.
- The name may be available if a search for the name you want returns:
- “Record not found" or
- an existing business with a status of Forfeited, Dissolved or Surrendered.
For additional assurance that a name is available for registration and to help avoid any resubmission fees, you can authorize the California Secretary of State’s $14 name availability confirmation fee by simply emailing firstname.lastname@example.org immediately after completing the California Foreign Qualification on Clerky.