How to Look up an LLC in Texas? (Most Effective Method)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: March 10, 2024
Methodology
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Before establishing an LLC in Texas, it is crucial to perform an LLC lookup to ensure that your desired business name is available for use. This initial step is essential before delving into the details of branding and marketing your business.

With extensive experience in business research and a thorough understanding of the LLC registration process, I’ve prepared an in-depth guide to look up an LLC in Texas.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to look up an LLC in Texas, along with some helpful tips.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Texas, use the Texas Business Entity Search provided by the Texas Secretary of State.
  • The SOSDirect portal requires users to create an account and charges a $1 fee for each search.
  • The Texas Secretary of State's comprehensive registry aids over 100,000 startups yearly in selecting unique LLC names, highlighting the state's competitive business environment.
  • I advise to regularly check the availability of business names since it's crucial for startups to avoid potential legal complications.


How Do I Look Up an LLC in Texas?

An image of a man holding a laptop and searches for LLC in Texas

To look up an LLC in Texas, you can utilize several methods, including browsing the Texas Secretary of State database, or else, perform a search by entity number or its executive name.

You can use the Texas Business Entity Search to see if the name you want is available before submitting a request to reserve it [1]. Utilize the Texas Business Entity Search on the Texas Secretary of State's website, which facilitates over 10,000 monthly searches, to efficiently look up LLC availability in Texas.

The SOSDirect portal of the Texas Secretary of State allows you to look for corporate entities and see if a name is available. You must generate a username and password to create an account. Additionally, there is a $1 legally permitted cost for each search.

The best way to do an LLC name search is to enter the desired name, leaving off identifiers like "LLC" and all other boxes empty. This way, your search will return all entities with the same or comparable names.

You can also email the Texas Secretary of State and request them to look up various LLC names. They respond to emails pretty fast.

"The Texas Secretary of State replies to emails very quickly. You can send them an email and ask them to look up a few Limited Liability Company names."

- Matt Horwitz, Leading Authority in LLC education

A top view image of a man browsing for Texas search options using a laptop

Finding a unique business name might seem complicated, but you can use the Texas Taxable Entity search widget to look up LLC names in Texas [2]. According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website, annually, over 100,000 startups utilize the Texas Taxable Entity search widget to ensure their chosen LLC names in Texas are unique, reflecting the competitive nature of business naming in the state.

The Texas Secretary of State website keeps a registry of all active and defunct business names since every limited liability company must submit a form with them.

Once you've chosen a name for your LLC, you do a business entity search for it to see whether it's already taken or needs to be tweaked a little so you have a unique name.

3. Entity Number

An entity number is given to each recognized corporate entity in Texas. You may search by entity number to locate a firm's formally registered name under which it does business in Texas.

4. Executive Name

Executives must be listed in the records of business companies. You may search for a company using the executive's name to discover whether they are also listed as executives for other companies.

If you try these options and nothing shows up, it's likely the name you seek is available. It's wise to double-check whether a possible name is available for usage.

Contact the Texas Secretary of State's office by phone or email for assistance. If they give you the go-ahead, your desired name will be available to secure.

If you need to change your current LLC name, read our article and learn the easiest way to rename an LLC in Texas.

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

A man drinking coffee while checking if a name is trademarked using a laptop

You can use a federal trademark check or a state trademark check to check if a business name is trademarked in Texas.

1. Using the USPTO

I learned the hard way that just because a name is available doesn't mean it's not trademarked. After my initial Texas search, I made sure to check for trademarks to avoid any legal issues later on.

Before authorizing an LLC name, the state doesn't look for trademarks.

Luckily, you can do a trademark search through the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website [3]. You’ll download and fill out a trademark search application form from the website.

You may contact the office by calling the state business information line, emailing, or paying to search the SOSDirect site.

Once you find that your name isn't trademarked yet, you can download and fill out form 901—Trademark Application—to register a trademark for your LLC name in Texas [4].

2. State Tradmark Check

To look up an LLC in Texas using the State Trademark Check, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Texas Secretary of State's website.
  2. Navigate to the "Businesses" section, then look for a link related to "Business Search," "Business Entity Search," or a similar term. This section allows you to search for business entities registered in Texas, including LLCs.
  3. Once you're in the search section, you may have the option to search by various criteria, such as the name of the LLC, the trademark name, or the file number if you have it.
  4. If you're specifically interested in a trademark associated with the LLC, look for a search option that allows you to search the state's trademark records. This might be a separate search function from the general business entity search.
  5. Enter the name of the LLC or the trademark you're interested in. Make sure to follow any instructions for how the search query should be formatted (e.g., exact match, partial name).

Related Articles:

Reasons to Perform an LLC Search in Texas

A business man working on papers needed to reserve his business name

Here are the main reasons why an LLC name search is essential:

  • Due Diligence: To verify the existence and status of a business you're considering partnering with or investing in.
  • Legal Compliance: To ensure your LLC name is unique and doesn't infringe on existing trademarks or business names in Texas.
  • Market Research: To identify competitors or potential partners within a specific industry or geographic area.
  • Litigation Purposes: To find legal information about an LLC, such as its registered agent or address, for serving legal documents.
  • Acquisition or Merger: To evaluate the assets, liabilities, and overall standing of an LLC before proceeding with a business acquisition or merger.
  • Financial Transactions: To assess the credibility and financial health of an LLC before engaging in loans, investments, or other financial relationships.
  • Intellectual Property Protection: Check for potential trademark conflicts or ensure your business name or logo is not already in use.

FAQs

How Much Do Online Texas LLC Lookups Cost?

Online Texas LLC lookups cost nothing, as searching your LLC name is free. But if you're searching your name by fax or mail, then it'll cost you $5.

When Do I Need to File a Name Reservation for My Texas LLC?

You must file an LLC name reservation for your Texas LLC as soon as possible, especially if you have a unique business name and must trademark or protect it. Otherwise, filing a name reservation is entirely optional.

Can I Name My Texas LLC After Myself?

You can name your Texas LLC after yourself as long as you do so per the LLC naming guidelines.


References

  1. https://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/index.shtml
  2. https://mycpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/
  3. https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/search
  4. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/15762-how-to-register-trademark-brand-name.html

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