If you’re searching for the perfect business name for your Nevada C Corporation, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a Nevada SOS business search, plus business naming rules, fictitious names and trademarks.
General Rules for Corporation Names
These rules generally apply to all corporations, wherever they're formed.
The name you select cannot be in use by any other business in the state. This is why it's so important to perform a Nevada Secretary of State corporation search before you begin your incorporation paperwork.
It’s not enough for your corporation name to be unique. It also cannot be comparable to the name of another business in the state. In addition, you cannot use any of the following features in an attempt to differentiate your corporation name from that of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., etc.
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An” or “The”
- The conjunction "And" or “&"
- Numbers in place of numerals (or vice versa), e.g., "One World" is the same as "1 World"
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All corporations must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited” or their abbreviations.
Most states will not allow you to incorporate with names that:
- Are similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Nevada Labor Commissioner, Nevada Rangers, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
- Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific Rules for Nevada Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Nevada corporation laws that apply to naming your business.
For example, per the Nevada Revised Statutes Title 7, Chapter 78, NRS 78.035:
"The name of the corporation. A name appearing to be that of a natural person and containing a given name or initials must not be used as a corporate name except with an additional word or words such as "Incorporated," "Limited," "Inc.," "Ltd.," "Company," "Co.," "Corporation," "Corp.," or other word which identifies it as not being a natural person."
In addition, some words are restricted by the state of Nevada. Depending on which service you wish to provide, you may not be able to use certain words within your corporation name.
Coming Up with the Ideal Business Name
The perfect business name can be difficult to choose. We have a complete guide to finding the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.
Nevada Corporation Name Search
Once you have an idea of the name you want, perform a Nevada business lookup to make sure another company isn't already using that name.
You can use the state's online portal to perform a name search.
You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search tool, which will search the state's business registry for you.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Nevada corporation name doesn't encroach on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to ensure you're not infringing is to perform a trademark search through Bizee. If the trademark isn't already in use, you can even register it yourself.
Register a DBA in Nevada
You may do business under a different name than your corporation's legal name. While many states refer to this as a trade name, assumed name or "doing business as" (DBA), it's a fictitious name in Nevada. You may decide to use a fictitious name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your primary business may be called Great Ridge Hospitality, Inc., and you have a chain called Great Ridge Tours. You could register a fictitious name just for that brand. In order to register a fictitious name in Nevada, you must file a form with your County Clerk of the county in which the business is being conducted. Each county will likely have a filing fee that they charge for this service.
Important: The filing of a fictitious name does not give you exclusive rights to the use of that name. An FFN filing is also required by the Business License office before issuing a business license under a fictitious name. Each individual business name must have a separate filing and multiple fictitious names cannot be included on a single certificate.
In order to keep your business names unique, you can also use the Nevada SOS online portal to perform a Nevada DBA name search and find out whether any other companies are already using the fictitious name you want. We can also help you with this via our DBA name service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the Nevada Secretary of State
You’ve performed a Nevada Secretary of State corporation search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need a fictitious name. Now you can register your corporation name in one of two ways.