How to Check if a Business Name is Already in Use

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but it's important to make sure that the name you choose is available for use. The best way to do this is to conduct a thorough search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Electronic Trademark Search System (TESS), and ICANN domain name registration data. Additionally, you should check with the Office of the Secretary of State in the state in which your company is located. It's essential to conduct these searches, as they may not cover all local businesses with similar names.

If you submit incorporation documents to the Secretary of State and the company name is already in use, your application will be rejected. If you choose a name for your company that is confusingly similar to the name of one of your competitors, you have committed trademark infringement. The best way to find out if another company has your desired business name is to use ICANN, which is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It's also a good idea to consult e-commerce sites such as Amazon for unconventional but useful search tools when selecting a name for your business. Be sure to do your research to make sure you're choosing a domain name that won't be confused with another company's domain name.

Additionally, it's important to check if the name of a company has been adopted before ordering business cards and stationery and before opening a bank account in the name of your company. If you pass all the formalities and start doing business under the name of the business entity you have chosen, it is possible that another company that created before yours accuses you of violating trademark laws. The right lawyer can help you conduct your search and will let you know if the use of the business name you want is likely to lead to a trademark infringement lawsuit. Basically, with a quick search, you'll type the trademark or business name you want into an online search engine to see what you can find. While this process may seem overwhelming, conducting a business name search will make you less likely to inadvertently choose a business name that is already in use. If you're starting a new company, it's important to make sure that the name you choose is available for use in your state and that it doesn't infringe on another company's trademark.

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