Last updated: January 20, 2023

Before starting an LLC in Texas, you need to do an LLC lookup to check if the business name is available for use before you get into the nitty gritty of branding and marketing your business.

In this post, we share the crucial steps you need to follow and extra tips for conducting a Texas LLC name search.

Read along.

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, use the Texas Business Entity Search to see if the name you want is available before submitting a request to reserve it.

You can also use the online search engine provided by the Texas Secretary of State to look up firms by name, file number, or registered agent.

The SOSDirect portal of the Texas Secretary of State allows you to look for corporate entities and see if a name is available. Note that you have to 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 a Texas 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.

If you're looking to run an online based business entity, it's important to do a domain name search to see if your preferred web domain name is available.

It's crucial to have a URL that accurately reflects your company's name. This apparently insignificant action can significantly impact how potential online clients discover your business entity.

Online searches utilizing your selected domain registry are the best approach to determine if your desired URL is available.

Information For Texas LLC Look Up

An image of a man writing down the information for Texas LLC look up

Once your business name search is complete for the Texas LLC lookup, you'll be able to access the following entity information:

  • The Tax ID: The tax ID or EIN is essential for businesses to file taxes, open a business bank account, or get business entity licenses.
  • Status: Under the status section, you get to see if an LLC is active and has good standing with the Texas Secretary of State. It specifically indicates that a given company has submitted the necessary paperwork and paid taxes and fees to the Texas state authority. This certification also attests to the LLC's legal ability to operate in Texas.
  • SOS Number: This is a file number assigned to any business entity in Texas by the Secretary of State after filing their article of incorporation by that office. This means that if an LLC is up and running, you should be able to see its SOS number during a search.
  • Mailing Address: Here, you'll get details of the LLC's primary business entity place and its physical location in Texas. This is also the primary address where business formation documents for a given company are delivered.
  • State of Incorporation: If you're doing a multi-national business name search, this information narrows down to the specific state that an LLC was incorporated and is allowed to transact business activities.
  • Office Address of the Registered Agent: Basically, this is the principal office address of the registered agent that works together with a given limited liability company

Texas Search Options

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

If you're a startup in Texas, you can do a business entity search in three ways: business name, entity number, or executives name.

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.

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 company, 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 for you to secure.

Checking If A Name Is Trademarked

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

Once you've completed a Texas nationwide search and decided on an LLC name, you should see whether it has already been trademarked. If it is, you could have to deal with some problems in the shape of notices of trademark violations.

Before authorizing an LLC name, the state doesn't look for trademarks. But the real kicker is that you can check this yourself using various techniques.

You may do a countrywide search by going to the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website. There is a trademark application form available that you can download and fill out.

If you're looking for state-level trademark information, you can check with the Secretary of State's website to access different Texas business resources, including the state's laws.

You may get in touch with them by calling the state business information line, sending an email, 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.

Reserving Your Business Name

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

Sections 5.101 through 5.106 of the Texas Administrative Code allow the reservation of the names of:

  • Limited liability companies 
  • Limited partnership corporations
  • Corporations cooperative associations
  • Other business entities 

Your LLC name will be held for 120 days. By filing a renewal application, you can renew it within 30 days of its expiration date.

Steps to reserving your company name:

  • Download and fill in the application.
  • Include a $40 fee and mail directly to the Texas Secretary of State.

FAQs

How Much Do Online Texas LLC Lookups Cost?

Online Texas LLC lookups cost nothing, as it's free to search your LLC name. 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 need to file an LLC name reservation for your Texas LLC as soon as possible, especially if you have a unique business name and need to trademark or protect it. Otherwise, filing a name reservation is entirely optional.

Can I Name My Texas LLC After Myself?

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

Conclusion

One of the first decisions you'll make before starting a Texas limited liability company (LLC) or corporation is deciding on an LLC name for your firm per the Texas naming guidelines.

You undoubtedly have a lot of potential business names in your mind already, but before you choose one, you have to do an online Texas LLC name search to make sure an existing business does not already take it.

If you're unsure where to begin with picking a desired LLC name or conducting a Texas business search, then utilize our handy guide.

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