New York Secretary of State Business Entity Search

Do you know what are the necessary steps to name your business in New York? If not, we’ve drafted a step-by-step guide to doing a New York business entity search and naming your new business in the state under the rules set by the New York SOS. Our guide will also talk about what you should do after selecting a suitable name for your business.

Why set up a new business in New York? New York state is buzzing in terms of opening new businesses. Many business owners thrive to expand or relocate their business to New York. Metropolitan cities like Manchester, Rochester, and the main New York city seem to be the most business-friendly in the state. New York is also the fastest-growing tech hub in the country. This makes New York the perfect destination for setting up new businesses.


New York Business Entity Search


Business entity search helps you to find a name for your business that’s not currently used by another business in your state. To form a new business in New York, the first step must be to do a New York business entity search. On top of that, It is important to select a name that relates to your business and is presentable as well.

By performing a business entity search, new entrepreneurs can ensure that their business will not be confused with any other business name. This will make the business more distinguishable. Now that we know the importance of the New York business entity search, we can move forward to take a look at the naming guideline for New York LLC.

New York LLC Naming Guidelines

  • Your New York LLC name should be different from any existing New York LLC or corporation. That’s why performing a New York Secretary of State business search is very important.
  • The following words cannot be used to make your LLC name sound different from others.
    • Adding Corporation, Company, Ltd, and so on will not make your business name unique from others
    • Adding articles (A, An, and The) will also not make a difference from an existing LLC name.
    • You cannot add conjunctions (And, &, or) to differentiate your name from an existing LLC or corporation.
  • Your LLC name must contain limited liability or its short form LLC or L.L.C 
  • On top of this, words that indicate any New York government agency are prohibited.
  • This includes words like FDA, New York Police, FBI, NY Revenue Department, etc.

New York Business Entity Search Methods

Different states in the US have different ways to do a business entity search. So what are the available options to conduct a New York business entity search? There are three possible ways for doing a New York SOS business search and ensuring that your selected name is not already taken by another business. 

  1. Entity search by name
  2. Entity search by DOS ID
  3. Search by Assumed Name/Name ID

New York business entity search can be performed by visiting the New York Secretary of State business search page. Also, you are allowed to make a search for a specific entity like corporation, LLC, Limited partnership, or limited liability partnership company. 

1. Entity Name Search

  • This can be done by visiting the New York SOS business search page.
  • Just type your desired entity name in the “Entity Name” search box and press the “search the database” button.
  • You will see a list of businesses in New York which are using that name. This will also show you the details like their filing date, DOS ID, and status of the company.
  • If you get a result of “No business entities were found then it means that your desired name is not taken by any other entity and you are free to register a business by that name.

2. Search by DOS ID

DOS ID translates to the department of state ID number. It is a unique number assigned by the New York secretary of state to business. By searching the DOS ID, you can easily know the details like its status, registration date, assumed name, etc.

  • Go to the New York SOS business search page and make a search by typing the DOS ID number of any specific business in the state.
  • All companies have different DOS IDs for different states. Thus, you will get a single specified result by searching through DOS IDs.

3. Search by Assumed Name and Assumed Name ID

An assumed name makes it possible for a company to operate with a name that is different from its legal name. It is simply a legally registered DBA (doing business as). For example, Ramsey Food Service Inc can register a DBA “Ramsey’s Catering”.

  • So, if you know the assumed name/name id of any business in New York, then follow the same procedure as mentioned in the “Search by Name” section. 

Note: Searching through any methods mentioned above will give you the same details. The only difference is that a DOS ID is Unique and searching through the DOS ID of a specific business in your state will display a single result. 

Reserving Your New York LLC Name

You can reserve your chosen LLC name by visiting the New York SOS official website and filling the Reservation application form. Your name will be reserved for 60 days which will cost about $20. This amount will be payable to the NY Department of state. Name reservation protects your desired name for 60 days after which it will again be available to all.

Registering Your New York LLC Name

If you are successful in selecting an available and presentable name that relates to your LLC business forte, then the next step is to form your New York LLC. This will require filing the New York Articles of Organization. The filing fee is $200. The Articles of Organization officially forms your LLC in New York. However, If you are not prepared to start a business yet, you can always choose to reserve it for the future. If you’ve succeeded in finding a perfect name for your New York LLC, then it’s time to make it yours by filing the Articles of Organization to the NY Secretary of State. A NY Articles of Organization legally forms your LLC in the state.

Revising your New York LLC Name

Changing the LLC name is a big and risky step for any business. But it must be done if there is a mistake in the name due to wrong paperwork, a Change in ownership, or a simple change in mind. You can change your New York LLC name by filing the Certificate of Amendment form on the NY Department of State. The filing fee is $60 which will be paid to the New York Department of state.

Domain and Trademark


One piece of advice from our side would be selecting a domain name that’s similar to the official business name. you can also secure your business by filing a trademark. Trademark protects your business name, logo, symbol, etc. Anyone using that trademarked name or logo can be penalized. Trademark is also helpful if you are looking to expand your business. To register your NY business name trademark, you’ll have to file an application by filling this application form

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I make sure that my business name is not already taken in New York?

As mentioned, go to the New York Secretary of State business search page and do a search using your preferred credential. The result will show whether your preferred business name is already in use.

2. Are there any rules for naming an LLC in New York?

Yes. Most LLCs have some general LLC rules and some state-specific rules. We’ve talked about the rules on naming a New York LLC above,you can go through our article to know more.

3. Can I do business with a different name than my legal business name?

Yes. You can run your business with an assumed name as mentioned above.

4. How can I reserve my LLC name in New York?

You can reserve your LLC name by filing the Reservation application form.

5. How much will it cost to reserve my business name in New York?

New York SOS allows you to reserve a name for 60 days which costs $20.

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