How to Conduct a Delaware Business Entity Search

Discover the step-by-step process of conducting a Delaware Business Entity Search with BrandSnag. Uncover insights to make informed decisions for your company.

Selecting the perfect name for your business is a critical first step in the process of establishing your company. With over 336,407 businesses registered in Delaware in 2021 alone, finding a unique name that sets you apart from the competition is essential. In this article, we will explore how to conduct a Delaware business entity search to ensure the availability of your chosen name. We will also discuss the various types of business entities you may encounter during your search.

A Quick Overview of Business Entities

A business entity is a legal structure under which a company is organized and registered. Some common types of business entities include corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and limited partnerships. When you register your business in Delaware, the state legally recognizes your company as a separate organization with its own rights and responsibilities.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) Explained

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a type of business entity that offers a distinct separation between the owner's personal and business liabilities. This organizational structure is beneficial for tax purposes and provides a simplified method of tracking business expenses. Registering an LLC in Delaware requires a small fee and can be accomplished with the help of professional LLC services if needed.

The Process of Setting Up an LLC in Delaware

Delaware is a popular choice for establishing an LLC due to its lack of sales tax. To set up an LLC in the state, you must first choose a business name, file the necessary paperwork, and pay a $75 filing fee. Additionally, you must appoint a registered agent who has an address in Delaware and is available during regular business hours. You can act as your own registered agent or opt to use a registered agent service.

Conducting a Delaware Business Entity Search by Name

Once you have settled on a potential name for your business, it's crucial to perform a Delaware business entity search to determine if that name is already in use. Be sure to search for the exact name you wish to use, as well as any variations or similar names, to avoid any potential issues with the Delaware Division of Corporations.

Adhering to LLC Naming Conventions

When creating an LLC in Delaware, the chosen name must include "LLC," "L.L.C.," or "Limited Liability Company." The name cannot be too similar to existing businesses to prevent confusion, nor can it include words related to state or federal agencies. Furthermore, the name cannot contain the words "corporation" or "bank" unless the business is indeed a bank under state laws.

Conducting a Delaware Business Entity Search by File Number

In addition to searching by name, businesses in Delaware can also be searched by their official file number. This method allows you to view the official information the company has on file with the state.

Understanding the Delaware LLC Search

The primary purpose of a Delaware LLC Search is to investigate the availability of a desired business name before registering the company. Once registered, the search tool can be used to verify the business's information and analyze the details of other entities on file with the Secretary of State.

Searching by Name: Step-by-Step

  1. Visit the Delaware Division of Corporations website and enter the desired business name into the "Entity Name" search field. Click "Search."
  2. Review the search results to ensure no other businesses are currently using your chosen name. If an existing entity shares your desired name, click on the name to view the entity's details.
  3. Access the public information provided by the Delaware Secretary of State for the entity in question. Additional information can be obtained for a fee of $10 or $20, depending on whether you wish to view the entity's standing or franchise tax assessment.

Searching by File Number: Step-by-Step

  1. Navigate to the Delaware Division of Corporations website and enter the file number of the entity you wish to research into the "File Number" search field. Click "Search" when prompted.
  2. Review the search results, which will likely produce only one result. Click on the entity name to view its details.
  3. Access the available information pertaining to the entity provided by the Secretary of State at no cost. Additional information can be obtained for a fee of $10 or $20, depending on whether you wish to view the entity's standing or franchise tax assessment.

Reserving a Business Name in Delaware

Reserving a Business Name in Delaware

While the process of reserving a business name in Delaware involves some complex language, it is important to note that you are not required to reserve your LLC name. However, if you choose to do so, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Name Reservation website
  2. Read and agree to the disclaimer.
  3. In the "Entity Type" drop-down list, select "Limited Liability Company (LLC)."
  4. In the "Entity Ending" drop-down list, select your desired ending. "LLC" is the most common choice.
  5. Enter your desired LLC name without any endings. For example, if your LLC name is "ABC Widgets LLC," simply enter "ABC Widgets."
  6. Click the "Search" button.

If the results state that your desired LLC name is available for a fee of $75, you can reserve the name. However, this step is optional, and you can simply click "No" when asked if you want to reserve the name. If the results indicate that the name is unavailable for reservation, you will need to consider a new name for your LLC.

Performing a General Information Name Search

  1. Visit the General Information Name Search web page.
  2. Enter your desired LLC name in the "Entity Name" field without including the ending "LLC" or any punctuation. Capitalization does not matter.
  3. Leave the "File Number" field empty and click "Search." Browse the list of existing Delaware businesses.

If your desired LLC name does not appear in the search results, it is available for use. If the exact name you want appears in the results, regardless of the entity type, your chosen LLC name is unavailable, and you will need to create a new one. If the search results reveal names that are deceptively similar to your chosen LLC name, your preferred name is also unavailable.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a unique and memorable business name is a vital step in establishing your company in Delaware. With the vast number of businesses incorporated in the state, ensuring that your desired name is available and adheres to state regulations is crucial to your success. By conducting a thorough Delaware business entity search, you can save time, effort, and potential legal issues down the road.

Remember, the process of setting up an LLC in Delaware is quite straightforward, with the state offering an efficient online platform to search for available names, reserve your desired name, and register your business. With a bit of research and creativity, you can secure the perfect name for your company, helping you to stand out in the competitive Delaware business landscape.

Related Business Search Articles