How to Look Up an LLC in New Jersey? (A Complete Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: February 13, 2024
Methodology
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You can conduct a limited liability company name search online if you want to verify the availability of your intended business in New Jersey. If you simply want to find a specific company, service, or product, it can be accomplished the same way.

As an experienced business consultant for limited liability companies in various states and with comprehensive research on the topic, I’ll provide you with all the necessary information you need about searching for a business name in New Jersey.

I collaborated with our team of legal advisors and lawyers to maintain accurate legal information.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in New Jersey, you can visit the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) or use the Secretary of State portal to access information for a corresponding fee.
  • You can search by business name, keyword, or entity ID number.
  • The New Jersey Department of the Treasury allows businesses to reserve a name for six months, a measure widely used by entrepreneurs to safeguard their brand identity in the state.
  • My experience has shown that an LLC search helps in verifying legal registration, checking name availability, and understanding the business structure among other benefits. 


How Do I Look Up an LLC in New Jersey?

A woman looking up an LLC in New Jersey on laptop

To look up an LLC in New Jersey, you can access the online business search tool provided by the state.

Alternatively, you can also call or email the state's office to inquire more about an LLC.

1. Using the Secretary of State's Website

The New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) is responsible for registering and certifying all business entities in New Jersey.

Depending on the purpose of your inquiry, you may search for existing businesses or confirm business name availability.

The website offers four distinct search methods:

a. Business Name Availability

This method is used to check if a desired business name is available for new LLC registration.

It's essential for anyone planning to start a new business to ensure that the chosen name is unique and adheres to state naming guidelines [1].

According to the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, businesses can reserve their chosen name for six months to secure its uniqueness before official registration, a step utilized by a significant number of entrepreneurs to protect their brand identity in the state.

To confirm if your preferred name is available, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the DORES business entity search tool and navigate to the ‘search for available names’ option.
  2. Enter your desired business name and click “search.”
  3. The webpage will display if your name search was successful or not.
  4. If the name is available, you can register your LLC company under that name.

b. Name Search

If you have the name of the the business entity you want to search, the full or partial name of the LLC is in the search bar.

To search for a business, follow these steps:

  1. Access the DORES website and navigate to the Business Name Search tool.
  2. Provide the name of the LLC you are searching for.
  3. Submit the information to initiate the name search.
  4. Retrieve important information about the LLC.
  5. If needed, contact the DORES directly to request copies of specific filings and documents.

This method is particularly useful when you have a specific business in mind and must verify its legal standing or obtain basic information.

"Altering the spelling of a name or word to a phonetic version does not make it distinct."

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

c. Keyword Search

If you are unsure of the name, you can type in a keyword that would initiate a search for a company similar to or close to the entity you are looking for.

This approach is beneficial for market research, exploring industry trends, or finding businesses in a particular sector.

d. Entity ID

When you have the unique Entity ID number of an LLC, this search method provides the most direct and precise results.

It's especially useful for obtaining specific information about a particular business when you already have some details.

Take note that the New Jersey Business Portal is a paid online service.

With this portal, you will have access to:

  • The LLC's Articles of Incorporation
  • The LLC's Operating Agreement
  • The LLC's Certificate of Good Standing
  • A list of the LLC's current members
  • A list of the LLC's past members
  • The contact information for the New Jersey registered agent

2. Call the State

A man contacting a bank or a lender

When online resources do not suffice or when you're dealing with complex queries regarding LLC searches in New Jersey, a direct phone call to the (DORES) can be the most effective approach.

To make a direct inquiry, you can contact DORES at their customer service number (609) 292-9292.

3. Send an Email

In situations where you require detailed information or need to request specific documents related to LLC searches in New Jersey, sending an email to DORES is a viable and efficient option.

For email inquiries, you can contact DORES at their official email address business.records@treas.nj.gov.

When sending an email, it's advisable to be as specific as possible about the information or documents you seek.

This will help the DORES staff to provide you with the most accurate and relevant information in a timely manner.

4. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives

Apart from the above official channels for searching an LLC, you can also use the following:

  • Social Media Platforms: Investigating an LLC's presence and activity on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can provide insights into their business operations, marketing strategies, and customer engagement.
  • Search Engines: Utilizing search engines like Google for general information, news, and public perception about the LLC can offer a broader understanding of the business.
  • Industry-specific Databases: Accessing the LLC's industry databases can provide detailed insights and competitive analysis.
  • Professional Networking Sites: Platforms like LinkedIn can offer information about the LLC's executives, professional history, and network connections.
  • Local Business Directories: Local directories may offer insights into the LLC’s local presence, reputation, and community involvement.

How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in New Jersey?

Trademark showing on the screen

Checking if a business name is trademarked in New Jersey involves a few key steps:

1. State Trademark Database

The first step in ensuring your chosen business name is not already in use is to search New Jersey's trademark database.

The state-specific database provides comprehensive information on all registered or pending trademarks within New Jersey.

This search is essential to avoid infringing on existing trademarks within the state, which could lead to legal disputes or the need to rebrand.

To conduct this search, visit the New Jersey's Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services website.

Here, you can search by name to check if your desired business name or a similar one is already trademarked in New Jersey.

According to the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services, the platform processes thousands of name searches and reservations annually, ensuring that approximately 80% of new businesses in New Jersey successfully secure their unique business names without infringement issues.

In addition to checking the state database, it's equally important to search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database.

This is because federal trademarks supersede state-level registrations. A name that is not trademarked in New Jersey might still be protected at the federal level.

You can perform this search by accessing the USPTO's online database.

This database allows you to search for registered trademarks and pending applications across the United States, providing a broader scope in your trademark verification process.

While online databases offer a good starting point, they might not capture the full picture, especially in cases of unregistered (common law) trademarks or when the search results are ambiguous.

For a comprehensive search and expert legal advice, consider consulting with a trademark attorney.

A trademark attorney can provide specialized guidance, help navigate the complexities of trademark law, and offer advice on the likelihood of a successful trademark registration.

Legal professionals can also assist in interpreting search results, advising on any potential conflicts, and providing strategies to mitigate risks.

A person typing on a laptop

Such searches can reveal critical information about a business, guiding decision-making processes and strategy development.

You can perform a search to:

  1. Ensure that the business is legally registered and operational in New Jersey.
  2. Check if the desired business name is available for registration.
  3. Understand the history, background, and track record of the business.
  4. Evaluate public perception, reviews, and ratings of the business.
  5. Confirm that the business adheres to state laws and regulations.
  6. Research potential business partners before entering into collaborations or agreements.
  7. Investigate any legal issues, disputes, or filings associated with the business.

Related Articles:

FAQs

How Often Do I Need to Update My LLC Information in New Jersey?

You need to update your LLCs information in New Jersey anually by filing annual reports with updated information. This ensures that the state has the most current data about the business.

How Long Does It Take To Get Results From an LLC Search in New Jersey?

Online searches on the DORES website usually provide immediate results. However, requests for specific documents or detailed reports may take longer to process.

How Can I Verify the Legitimacy of a New Jersey LLC?

To verify the legitimacy of an LLC in New Jersey, search the LLC through the DORES website, check its registration status, and review its compliance with state regulations.


References:

  1. https://business.nj.gov/pages/business-names

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