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Naming Your Business
Whether you’re searching for the right business name for your New York S Corp or New York C Corp, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct an NY Secretary of State business search, plus business naming rules, assumed names, and trademarks.
General Rules for Corporation Names
These rules generally apply to all corporations, wherever they're formed.
Your Corporation Name Must Be Unique
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 New York State corporation search before you begin your incorporation paperwork.
Your Corporation Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name
It’s not enough for your corporation name to be unique. It also cannot be similar 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.
- 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.
Your Corporation Name Must Contain Certain Words
All corporations must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited,” or their abbreviations.
Your Corporation Name May Be Subject to Other General Restrictions
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, New York Workforce Commission, New York 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 New York Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some New York corporation laws that apply to naming your business.
For example, per the state's BSC Article 3, § 301, the name of a corporation or foreign corporation must "contain the word 'corporation,' 'incorporated' or 'limited,' or an abbreviation of one of such words."
In addition, BSC Article 3, § 301 contains a long list of words that are prohibited from being used in business names.
Coming Up With the Ideal Business Name
The perfect business name can be difficult to find. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:
- Appeal to your customers
- Be memorable enough to stand out
- Best represent your product or services
- Not be used by another business
New York Corporation Name Search
Once you have an idea of the name you want, perform an NYS corporation search 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 New York corporation name doesn't infringe 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.
Make Sure Your Business is Starting Off on the Right Foot When It Comes to Intellectual Property.Bizee’s Trademark Service
Register a DBA in New York
You may do business under a name different from your corporation's legal name. While many states refer to this as a trade name, fictitious name or "doing business as" (DBA), it's an assumed name in New York. You may decide to use an assumed name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your primary business may be called Upstate Hospitality, Inc., and you have a chain called Hudson Valley Tours. You could register an assumed name just for that brand. You'd do that by filing a form for a Certificate of Assumed Name, or you can have Bizee do it on your behalf with our DBA service.
In order to keep your business names unique, you can also use the New York business entity search. You can perform a New York assumed name search to find out whether any other companies are already using the assumed 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 NY Department of State
You’ve performed a New York SOS business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need an assumed name. Now you can register your corporation name in one of two ways.
- If you don’t want to form your corporation right away, you can reserve the business name. You'll do this by completing an Application for Reservation of Name form and filing it with the New York State Division of Corporations. The name will be reserved for 60 days. If you're starting your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name.
- If you’re ready to start your corporation, you can indicate your chosen business name when you file your Certificate of Incorporation with the NY Department of State. Or you can have Bizee do this for you.
- Name of the organizer
- Name of the organizer
- Name of the organizer
Bizee Can Handle All Your NY Corporation Formation Paperwork for You — and We’ll Do It for Free!Incorporate Now
FAQs About Naming Your New York Corporation
How Do I Find an Available Corporation Name?
Are There Any Rules for Naming New York Corporations?
Yes. Most corporations will be bound by general rules (applicable to all corporations) and specific rules (applicable in the state of New York). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Can I Do Business Under a Name Different From My New York Corporation?
Yes. You can conduct business under an assumed name. Details are above.
Can I Reserve a Name for My New York Corporation?
Yes. The NY Department of State allows you to reserve a name if you're not ready to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you do want to start your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name.