When forming a company, one of the most important decisions to be made is that of the company name. It is suggested to make this decision early on during the business planning stage because states regulate the selection of business names. States require that a new company's name be substantially different from any existing company names on record with the state as to prevent confusion or misrepresentation to consumers. It is common to request a "Name Check" to ensure that your company's intended name is in fact available and distinguishable by the state standards. There is no limit to the number of name checks you may request, but it may be helpful to have several intended names selected that best describe your business and you do not believe to be in existence.
Once you select a company name that is available, it is recommended to request a "Name Reservation" immediately. A name reservation will secure the name for your use for a specified period of time, thus preventing others from registering the name before you file your incorporation documents. The amount of time that a name can be reserved as well as the amount of times a name can be reserved varies by state. Additionally, the type of entity you will be forming needs to be specified at the time of the name reservation. Most states require that you show the corporate indicator after the company name once in use (i.e., Inc., or LLC).
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