Delaware is a very popular state in the US among entrepreneurs. About 67.8% of all Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware. Additionally, over 89% of all US companies that held an IPO were Delaware companies. Some of these top companies include Pinterest, Slack, and Uber. Delaware has the most favorable laws for startups, with higher flexibility in structuring and shareholder rights. In addition to this, it costs very little to incorporate in the state. It offers multiple tax advantages and has a very strong privacy protection law.
So, if you are planning to start a business in Delaware, then it is a perfect choice. But before you get there, you need to use the Delaware business entity search to see if the business name you have selected is available or not. This article will detail exactly how you can perform a Delaware secretary of state business search.
Delaware Business Entity Search
Before you start a business in Delaware, you need to ensure that the business name you have in mind is available to use or not. This is why it is important to note down all the potential names and see which one is available to register as your own business name. Remember that Delaware has more than 1.5 million companies incorporated in the state. So, be prepared to get a creative name ready and use the Delaware business search to see if it is available.
What is a Delaware business entity search?
In simple words, a Delaware entity search allows you to look up a company name to see if it’s already in use or not. However, before you can select a name and search for it, you need to understand what a business entity is. A business entity defines the way you organize a business. It defines the structure of the business and how you register it. There are two main types of business entities that are used in Delaware – an LLC and a corporation.
Benefits of conducting a Delaware business entity search
There are multiple benefits of conducting a Delaware corporate search. Some of these include:
- It helps you follow all the state’s guidelines.
- You can reserve your business name where no one else gets to use it.
- The business registration process gets completed faster due to minimal errors and changes required.
- It helps you stay clear of any trouble that might come your way from another business claiming that you have a similar business name as theirs.
- It helps you build your brand beautifully. With a unique name, you can create your own identity in the business world. A creative and unique business name represents your business for all the clients, customers, and vendors. It is your business identity and is an important thing, just like your own name.
Finding out which name is available helps you and your business in every way possible. It is one of the most important steps that helps in the preparation of your business before you file for its registration.
How to perform a Delaware business entity search?
Begin by brainstorming and choosing a business name that will become your company’s identity. It should give everyone an idea about what your company’s purpose is. But that is not all you need to take care of when choosing the business name; there are multiple rules and regulations that need to be followed in order to legally operate your business in the state.
One important rule to remember is that your business name cannot be the same or similar to any other business within the state of Delaware. You can also use any of the available Business Name Search tools found online, although it is advised to stick to the Delaware Secretary of State’s business search engine.
Here are the steps that you need to follow to complete a Delaware entity search:
- Visit the Delaware business search and type in your potential company name in the search field.
- The search engine will return a list of names that match or are similar to the business name you entered. These business names can be names of both active and inactive companies.
- This list can help you determine if your desired business name is available or not. Similar names might not be an issue, although it is always better to avoid having any similar names as well.
- Click on the individual entity name from the list and you will be able to view the entity information. The information will include the formation date, file number, and entity number. It will also include the registered agent’s information: their name, address, phone number, and residency.
You will not be able to see the company’s business structure in the search results. In addition, you will not be able to see the owner’s name or other details of the company in the search. As per Delaware law, all this information is hidden from the public for the privacy of the owners.
In the end, this search will help you get an overall sense of the number of conflicts you can face in the future due to your company’s name. This is mostly if there are many similar names to it. It is also one of the main reasons why it is important to select a company name that is far from similar to any other companies incorporated in the state.
You can find many companies that offer this service. IncParadise is one such incorporation service provider that also offers Delaware business entity search services within it. We are considered the top incorporation and registered agent service provider in Delaware. Contact us to have your business name searched and then, to register your business in Delaware!
Conditions for Naming Your Delaware Company
Delaware law has many rules that need to be followed when naming a corporation that will be registered in Delaware. The name has to include certain elements and cannot include some other elements.
Things that the business name should include:
For corporations – the name should have the following terms, which can be abbreviated with or without punctuation marks:
For LLC – the name should include any of the following:
- Limited Liability Company
The name you choose should be distinguishable from any other business name in the state. And it cannot include any of the words:
Without getting the approval to use the same from the Delaware Banking Commissioner.
Or, use the words:
Without getting the approval to use the same from the Delaware Secretary of Education.
Along with this, the name cannot include words that may be degrading, unacceptable or vulgar.
How to Reserve a Name?
Once you have completed the Delaware business search, it is time to reserve the name. A company’s name can be reserved with the Delaware Secretary of State easily. The fee for this is $75 and the reservation for the same can be done online. To do this:
- Go to the state’s website and on Name Reservation, select the Entity Kind and the Entity Ending.
- Add the potential business name you want to reserve.
- This search engine will also let you know if the specific business name is available or not.
- If it is available, you can choose to have it reserved for $75 or perform a new search again, with a revised name.
It is a good practice to reserve a name since it keeps it safe. This means that no one else will be able to use the name for their own company. As soon as you have the business name reserved, you will have 120 days from your company’s incorporation day to file for a Certificate of Incorporation with the state using the same name. In short, this reservation lasts for only 120 days. After this, the name will again be available for anyone to use and someone else can use the same name to register their own business or reserve the name to use in the future.
Revising Your Company’s Preferred Name
It is important to keep in mind that the very first that you choose might not be available. There are many companies in the state and there is a high chance that you might have to revise your company’s name. So, the best way to stay ahead is by creating an extensive list of multiple possible names that you might use for your company. Then, use this list to conduct the Delaware business search and see which ones are the best to move ahead with.
In case the names have all been taken, you might have to consider modifying one of these names. Here are some tips to modify the potential business name:
- Turn any one of the words in the name into a plural. You just need to add an ‘s’ or ‘es’ at the end of it.
- You can add an industry-generic word in the company’s name. For instance, if it is a technology company, try to use words like infotech, technology, and so on. Other words you can use for other industries include products, precision, industrial, telecom, etc.
- Substitute whole words for initials or initials for whole words, if there are any and they can be changed.
- Substitute a look-alike or a sound-alike word with a word that is different from the word you used for the business name.
Kindly note that if you add the word ‘The’ in the name, it will not be considered a modification. Changing the name would involve a much more potent change to it. It is mostly because the database ignores words like the, a, an, of, etc.
Some of the other techniques to modify a corporation’s name includes:
- Substituting a foreign language word for the English word you used.
- Using a thesaurus to get a synonym for a word that can make a lot of difference in the business name and remove all the similarities it has to any other business name.
Domain Name and Trademark Issues
One thing that people do not realize is that the reservation of a business name after you have used the Delaware business search does not mean that it has been trademarked. This does not mean that you will find the exact same internet domain name available as well. Domain names and trademarked names are different. If you want to ensure that you are not causing any other trademark infringement issues, you will need to cross-check to see if the name has been used by a domain and has been trademarked or not.
Internet domain names are registered via ICANN-WHOIS using an authorized commercial registrar. You can use their website to see if the domain name is available. On the other hand, you need to check the trademark names as well. Let us say, you do not do this and begin to use the name in the market. From here, you can come across products or services that have a similar name. How? Well, unincorporated businesses can trademark their business trade name as a DBA (doing business as). These names are not displayed in the Delaware business entity search results.
If you end up using a name that is similar to another trade name, it can cause trademark infringement issues for you. So, before you spend money on reserving a name or forming a business with a potential business name, check with everything. Search the trademark database of the USPTO (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) for possible trade names that might be similar. You will need professional help for this and it might cost you about $100 to $500 to get it done, depending on the service you hire.
In case you ignore this and move ahead with the half-searched business name, you can come across an infringement case, and lose everything you build for your business. So, spending a bit to be prepared is not a bad thing, since it is better to be safe than sorry.
Need any expert assistance for the Delaware business entity search?
In the end, there are many businesses incorporated in Delaware. This makes it much more important to cross-check before you use a business name. And although it is easy to conduct a Delaware business search, it is better to have a professional handle it for you. A professional service will make sure that there is no scope for error at all. IncParadise is one such company that offers Delaware entity search services. We also help in registering your business once the name is cleared. Contact us to know more!
FAQs about Delaware Business Entity Search
Here are some FAQs to help you with any doubts you might have.
How do I look up a business in Delaware?
It is very simple. Google Delaware Secretary of State business search, or visit the state’s Division of Corporations website. On the home page, go to Services and you will find the Search for a Business Entity tool. Click on it and search for the business name you are hoping to use. If it shows up in the results, that means it has already been used and you will need to try another name. You can also look for a business using the Delaware business search using its entity number.
Is Delaware a good place to start a business?
Yes, it is considered to be one of the best states in the USA to begin your business journey. Most of the top companies have been incorporated in Delaware. One of the reasons why this state is the best is because it offers the flexibility to the founders to structure the business as they please. Additionally, it has friendly tax laws and offers protection to every business owner, where the owner’s information is not published on the public database of the state. Due to all these benefits, investors tend to favor Delaware companies more, which is another benefit for a business owner who wants to expand someday.
How do I find my Delaware entity number?
Every business in Delaware has an official file number which is given to them when they register with the state. You can use this number, which is also called the entity number, to search for the business on the Delaware business entity search tool. This will take you to the business information page where you can view all the publicized information about the respective company.
How do I find out who owns a company in Delaware?
If the company has been incorporated, you cannot find out the owner of the company. Delaware is known for its protection law. This is one of the main reasons why people tend to choose Delaware as the state in which they incorporate their company. However, you can find the registered agent’s details on the business information page. But if you go to them and ask them for the owner’s details, you will not get it. It is not possible to get the owner’s details unless and until it is for a legal matter and the court gets involved.
Want to Start a Delaware Company?
If you have your idea and business name ready, IncParadise can help you with registering your company in Delaware. IncParadise is considered to be one of the top incorporation and registered agent service providers in Delaware.
We know every nook and cranny of the state’s business industry. Our professionals can guide you and offer you the best of services, keeping our knowledge and experience in mind. In addition to the registration services, we offer many additional services that will keep your business compliant and for it to run smoothly in the state, including EIN assistance, and annual report filing. Contact us today to know more!