Additional Resources For Incorporating In The State of
California INCORPORATION RESOURCES
SITE LEGAL INFORMATION
CHECKING NAME AVAILABILITY FOR A CORPORATION IN California
The State of California maintains a web site where you can check to determine whether the corporate name that you desire is available. To search for name availability online in California, CLICK HERE.
You may also make a telephone inquiry of corporate name availability by calling 916-653-2318
California does not accept Email name inquiries.
California also permits telephone inquiries of corporate names. However, there is a $4.00 charge per each inquiry and you must first set up an account with the state corporation's office. Setting up an account takes around 2 weeks according to the Secretary of State. This will not be a practical step for you to take if you are not doing multiple corporations. For more information about prepaid accounts you can call (916) 654-9889.
You need to be aware that checking the availability of a corporate name does not reserve the name and has no binding effect on the Secretary of State, nor does it confer any rights to a name. California permits you to reserve a name for a period of 60 days. The fee for name reservation is $10.00. For information on reserving a Corporate Name in California, CLICK HERE.
To reserve the name of a corporation with the Secretary of State's Office, complete the appropriate form, attach a check in the appropriate amount (made payable to the Secretary of State) and submit your request: by mail, along with a self-addressed envelope, to Secretary of State, Name Availability, 1500 11th Street, 3rd Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814. in person, to any Secretary of State office location. Please refer to Contact Information for office locations and addresses. A special handling fee of $10.00 is applicable for each name reserved. Only one reservation will be made per request form. You may list up to three names, in order of preference and the first available name will be reserved for a period of 60 days. The remaining names will not be researched.
If you are a holder of a tradename that is identical or non-distinguishable from the proposed name, you will be asked to provide a copy of the tradename certificate or "received" copy of the tradename application.
To search for name availability online in California, CLICK HERE. This link will take you directly to the name inquiring portion of the California Web Site. This search will give you a list of names organized alphabetically that are close to the name that you desire.
To order certified records from the State of California, Click HERE
It is suggested that you search in a few different ways depending upon what name you select. You should search for the entire name that you wish to secure. Print out the results of this search and keep it for your records. You should also do a partial name search to determine what names may be close, but not exactly like the name you wish to obtain.
For example, if the name that you have chosen is ABC Vending Supplies, Inc., you should search ABC Vending Supplies, ABC Vending, and perhaps ABC Vending so you will get a picture of what names may be similar to the one you have selected.
Checking the corporate name in advance is necessary and will save you a lot of time. If you do not check first, your incorporation papers will be returned to you if there is a conflicting name and you will need to start over again from scratch.