How to Look Up an LLC in Indiana? (Most Effective Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
Methodology
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If you're searching for a particular service or company or simply planning to establish an Indiana business, you should conduct an Indiana business name search.

With over a decade of experience as a business consultant for limited liability companies and comprehensive research on ways to look up an LLC in various states, I’ll provide an in-depth guide backed with the help of our legal advisors and attorneys.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Indiana, visit the Secretary of State's official site and utilize the business search tool for detailed information.
  • LLC lookup in Indiana can be performed using various methods such as the entity's name, business ID, agent, or principal name on the Secretary of State's website.
  • The Indiana Secretary of State's website features a Business Entity Search tool, which saw over 15,000 trademark search queries last year, underscoring its importance for state-specific trademark research, according to the annual report.
  • My experience suggests that conducting an LLC search in Indiana is crucial for verifying business legitimacy, avoiding legal issues, especially on trademark infringement, and understanding the business structure.


How to Look Up an LLC in Indiana?

A man looking up an LLC in Indiana

To look up an LLC in Indiana, you can search online and visit Indiana State’s official site. You can also call or email the State's office with your inquiries.

The state provides multiple avenues to facilitate this search, ensuring accessibility and efficiency.

They include:

1. Use the Secretary of State's Website

The Indiana Secretary of State's website is the primary resource for LLC searches, offering detailed information about registered businesses.

Here are the steps you can use to search for an LLC using the website:

  • Visit the Indiana Secretary of State's website Business Entity page.
  • Use the business search bar on the homepage to enter the business name, ID, or filing number.
  • Optionally, refine your search by location, business type, or status.
  • Click "Search" to view a list of matching business entities.
  • Select a business to access detailed information, including the agent, mailing address, and principal address.
  • Review the business's filing history and filed documents on the Indiana Secretary of State's website.

There are several Indiana search options available on the state’s official site.

They include search by:

a. Indiana SOS Database for Name Availability

The Indiana Secretary of State has an Indiana LLC Name Search tool that you can use to search names that are already registered with the office.

b. Search Business ID or Filing Number

The Indiana Secretary of State has a Business Entity Search tool that you can use to search for businesses by business ID or filing number.

A filing number is a unique seven-digit code assigned by the state to newly registered limited liability companies at the time they were formed.

You must enter the ID or filing numbers in the "ID Number/Filing Number" field and click "Search."

c. Search By Registered Agent Name

If you know the registered agent name of an Indiana LLC, you can use the Indiana Secretary of State Business Entity Search tool to find the company.

The LLC owners assign a registered agent to receive service of process on behalf of the business entity.

d. Search for an Incorporator or Principal Name

You may enter the principal name or incorporator to search for an Indiana LLC. The individual may be either the owner of the business or a representative of the company.

2. Call the State

Direct communication with the state's office can provide personalized assistance.

This method is invaluable for resolving complex queries that cannot be addressed through online searches alone.

For instance, when I needed clarification on the filing history of a specific LLC, a direct call offered immediate and detailed responses.

You can call the Business Services Division at +1 (317) 234-9768 for direct communication and inquiries.

"Contacting the Indiana Secretary of State allows you to verify the availability of your LLC name, as their staff can assist with the Indiana Business Name Search and Name Availability Search, a service not provided by all states."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

3. Send an Email

Email inquiries allow for a written record of communication and are suitable for requesting official documents or detailed information.

This approach was particularly helpful when I needed certified copies of an LLC's Articles of Organization for a legal review.

For email inquiries, including requests for certified copies of an LLC's Articles of Organization or other documentation, you can contact the Business Services Division at corps@in.gov.

4. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives

  • Social Media Platforms: Many businesses maintain profiles on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, providing insights into their operations and public engagement.
  • Search Engines: A broad internet search can uncover news articles, official websites, and public records related to the LLC.
  • Business Directories: Websites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau offer listings and reviews that can be informative.
  • Public Records Websites: These sites compile legal and business records, offering a broader view of an LLC's public dealings.
  • Professional Networking Sites: LinkedIn and similar platforms can provide details about the business and its key personnel.

How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in Indiana?

An office worker registering a trade name

To check if a business name is trademarked in Indiana, you can check the USPTO database for federal trademarks and the Indiana Secretary of State's website for state-specific trademarks.

This dual approach ensures the business name is legally clear and reduces the risk of trademark disputes.

Research indicates that companies defending their trademarks in court face initial investor skepticism. This results in a short-term negative financial impact [1]. According to a study published in the Journal of Marketing, firms involved in trademark infringement lawsuits experience an average decline in stock price by 2% immediately following the lawsuit announcement, underscoring the cautious approach of investors towards legal disputes over brand protection.

Those who prevail in trademark infringement lawsuits experience positive long-term financial outcomes.

This suggests that the strategic trademark check can ultimately enhance the value and profitability of an LLC if done correctly.

Here is how you can go about it:

1. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Database

The USPTO's online database is the primary resource for checking federal trademarks.

This comprehensive database allows you to search for registered trademarks and pending trademark applications across the United States.

Searching here is crucial for ensuring that your business name or logo does not infringe on any federally registered trademarks.

To conduct a trademark search using the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS):

  • Go to the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System.
  • Select a search option. The "Basic Word Mark Search (New User)" is a good starting point for most users.
  • If you're searching for a specific phrase or name, enter it in the search box. Use quotation marks around the phrase for exact matches.
  • Consider variations of your trademark, including plural forms, common misspellings, and phonetic equivalents.
  • The search results will list any trademarks that match or closely resemble your search query.
  • Click on individual entries to view detailed information about each trademark, including the owner, registration date, and status.
  • Pay close attention to life trademarks with a similar appearance, sound, or meaning to your proposed mark.
  • If your initial search yields too many irrelevant results, refine your search by using more specific terms or the advanced search features in TESS.
  • You can use the "Free Form" search option for more complex searches, including or excluding certain terms or searching within specific fields.

2. Checking State-Specific Trademarks in Indiana

The Secretary of State's website provides a Business Entity Search tool for state-specific trademark searches in Indiana. According to the Indiana Secretary of State's annual report, this tool was utilized for over 15,000 trademark search queries last year, highlighting its critical role in facilitating trademark research within the state.

This tool allows you to search for business names registered or reserved within the state, offering an additional layer of due diligence beyond federal trademarks.

To conduct a state-level search:

  • To start your search, visit the Indiana Secretary of State's Trademark Search page.
  • Use the search bar to enter the trademark name you want to check. You can search by trademark name, owner name, or application or registration number.
  • Be as specific as possible to narrow down the results.
  • Choose the type of search you want to conduct. You can opt for an "Exact Match" if you know the precise name or details of the trademark.
  • Alternatively, select "Contains" to find trademarks that contain specific words or phrases.
  • After submitting your search, review the list of trademarks that appear.
  • Click on any trademark in the list to view more detailed information. This can include the trademark's registration date, expiration date, and a description of the goods or services it covers.

The reasons to perform a business search include:

  • Verify Business Legitimacy: Understanding an LLC's legal standing and operational status is crucial for assessing its legitimacy.
  • Avoid Legal Issues: A search can prevent potential legal conflicts related to name infringement and trademark issues.
  • Understand Business Structure: Gaining insights into an LLC's structure can inform potential partnerships or investment decisions.
  • Check for Availability: Ensuring a business name is available is essential to avoid legal and branding conflicts.
  • Due Diligence: Comprehensive searches are part of the due diligence process, which is crucial for informed decision-making.
  • Market Research: Identifying competitors and understanding the market landscape guide strategic planning.
  • Legal Compliance: Verifying that a business meets state regulations is necessary for lawful operation.
  • Preparation for Business Transactions: Detailed knowledge about an LLC is vital for negotiations, mergers, or acquisitions.

Related Articles:

FAQs

How Can I Reserve a Business Name in Kentucky?

You can reserve a business name in Kentucky by submitting a name reservation application and fee to the Kentucky Secretary of State. This will ensure your chosen name is held for a specified period.

What are the Indiana LLC Business Name Requirements?

The Indiana LLC business name requirements include a unique and distinct name from other registered business names. It should include "Limited Liability Company," "L.L.C.," or "LLC" at the end. Avoid using terms like "Corporation," "Corp.," "Incorporated," or their abbreviations, which could imply a different business structure.

What Indiana LLC Information Can You Look Up?

The information you can look up in Indiana LLC includes entity type, date of formation, status, Indiana registered agent, physical address, and completion date, among other added data.


References:

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1509/jm.17.0328

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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