Pennsylvania Secretary of State Business Entity Search

Doing a business entity search prior to naming your business will help you check for entity name availability in your state. This is important as you cannot select a name that is already taken by another entity in the state. So how can you conduct a Pennsylvania business entity search? Just follow along and you will get all the answers.

Why start a business in Pennsylvania? Pennsylvania is located on the heart east coast of the USA. When compared to its neighbor NYC city, Pennsylvania is very fortunate in terms of living costs which is great for small business owners. People love Pennsylvania because of Its proximity to NYC city. All this certainly makes people start their businesses in Pennsylvania. To set up your new business, forming a Pennsylvania LLC is a great option. You’ll be able to get your business running with the utmost simplicity and security of your personal possessions.


Pennsylvania Business Entity Search


The Pennsylvania secretary of state allows the Pennsylvania business entity search, this means anyone can search their database to find any particular business in different ways. Before moving on to the different methods, let us see how is it helpful. In case you have a name for your LLC, you should make sure that no one else is using the same name at the moment. As two businesses can not have the same name. The Pennsylvania secretary of state business search helps with that. The first and foremost step to forming an LLC is to find a name for your LLC. Hence let us take a look at the guidelines that you must follow after which we can move on to understanding how to do the Pennsylvania SOS business search. 

Pennsylvania LLC Naming Guidelines

Your Pennsylvania LLC name should satisfy the rules and regulations set by Pennsylvania SOS.

  • Your Pennsylvania LLC name must be clearly divisible from other entities in the state including the reserved names. To make sure of this you must conduct a Pennsylvania business entity search by visiting the Pennsylvania SOS business search page.  
  • The term-limited or limited liability company or its abbreviation must be present in your LLC name. You can also use the abbreviation of these words. For example, LLC, limited co., and so on. 
  • Your Pennsylvania LLC name cannot include words that would confuse it with any government agency. This includes words like department, bureau, Pennsylvania Police, agency, and so on.
  • Your Pennsylvania LLC should not indicate that your business is illegal in the state to be carried out.

Pennsylvania Business Entity Search Methods

Different states have their ways to facilitate business entity search. So, what’s the procedure of conducting a Pennsylvania business entity search? There are following two ways for conducting a Pennsylvania Secretary of state business search.

  • Search by business name
  • Search by entity number

1. Search By Business Name

  • To do this, visit the Pennsylvania SOS business search page.
  • Make a simple search by typing your desired name in the search field. Here you can also narrow down the results by selecting the active-only search filter.
  • Press the search button and you will be redirected to a page showing the list of all Pennsylvania businesses that contain that word. This page will show all the details like entity status, address, entity number, and so on. Refer to the image below.
  • To know more about any of the listed businesses, you can either click on their business name or entity number.

2. Search By Entity ID

  • On the Pennsylvania SOS business search page, you can also directly search the Entity number of any particular business located in the state.
  • Searching through the Entity number will give you a more accurate and refined result as a particular business in the state will only have one entity number.
  • This will help you to know more about a particular business in Pennsylvania. i.e, Its status, filing date, registered agent, etc. Refer to the image below.

Pennsylvania LLC Name Reservation

If you are not sure about using a specific name for your Pennsylvania LLC, then you can reserve the name for the time being. You can do this by filing the Pennsylvania DOS Name Reservation form. Pennsylvania DOS will reserve your LLC name for 120 days. The fee for the same is $70.

Pennsylvania LLC Name Registration

If you are successful in finding a name that’s distinguishable from other entities in the state, then the next step is to make it yours by filing the Articles of Organization. The filing fee for the Articles of Organization in Pennsylvania is $125. The formation of this document legally forms your Pennsylvania LLC and makes the name officially yours.

Revising Your Pennsylvania LLC Name

There could be many reasons why business owners have to revise their LLC names. It could be because of business expansion, the name no longer describes your business niche, and so on. To revise your Pennsylvania LLC name, you’ll have to fill the Pennsylvania Name Amendment form. The cost of changing a business name in Pennsylvania is between $250 and $600.

Domain & Trademark


Finding a good domain name is important. Therefore we would suggest getting a domain name the same as your LLC name. This way people will remember it very easily. If your entity is already formed in Pennsylvania then it is also a good option to trademark your name. Especially, if you are planning to expand your business nationwide. To do this, you will have to file the trademark registration form issued by the Pennsylvania Department of state. The cost for filing a trademark in Pennsylvania is $50 which will register your trademark for 5 years.  

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I make sure that my desired LLC name is not already taken in Pennsylvania?

As mentioned above, visit the Pennsylvania Secretary of State business search page and perform a Pennsylvania business entity search for your desired name in Pennsylvania.

2. Can I reserve my LLC name in Pennsylvania?

Yes. If you are successful in finding a unique and appropriate name for your business but are not sure about using it, then Pennsylvania SOS allows you to reserve the name for 120 days.

3. What is the business name reservation cost in Pennsylvania?

It will cost you $70 to reserve a name for your business in Pennsylvania.

4. How can I reserve my LLC name in Pennsylvania?

To reserve your LLC name in Pennsylvania, you’ll have to fill the Pennsylvania DOS Name Reservation form and submit it to the Pennsylvania SOS.

5. What is the name reservation period for bank names in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania SOS allows Bank name reservations for a period of six months.

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