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Alaska Business Entity Search – Business Name Availability
Choosing a name for a business is a creative and most fun process. Ideally, the name should be unique and stand out from the competition while providing the general public with an idea of what the business is about. But choosing a business name is not only about branding.
Like most states in the U.S., businesses in Alaska must have a name that is entirely unique. This means that no two businesses can share the same name. Below are some steps to follow to ensure that the business has a name that distinguishes it from other existing businesses in the state of Alaska:
1. Choosing A Business Name
It is recommended to have a list of at least 5 business names before conducting a business entity search. If the preferred name for the business at the top of the list is not available, the next name on the list can be checked for availability and so on. Each name on the list should be as different as possible from the one before to improve the chances of finding an available business name.
It is important to keep the following factors in mind when choosing a name that is distinguishable from existing business names:
– Capital letters, plurals, and possessive nouns/pronouns are not distinguishable. In other words, a business name cannot be made unique simply but capitalizing a letter, making a words/s plural or possessive.
– Articles (a, an, the) are not distinguishable.
– Hyphens, commas, periods, and slashes may not be distinguishable in most cases.
– Written numbers are not distinguishable from the alphanumeric symbol. Substituting the word “two” with the number “2” will not distinguish the name.
The state of Alaska employs the rule of “deceptively similar” when distinguishing names. This means that simply changing the spelling of a name or a couple of letters is not sufficient to make a business name unique. If the name choice sounds the same as an existing business name but is spelled entirely differently, it is not considered to be distinguishable.
How To Run A Business Entity Search In Alaska For Corporations And LLC’s
Once you have a list of potential names for the business, visit the Alaska Division of Corporations website and got to the Search Corporations Database. The search entry provides the option to search by number or name. For name availability, search using the name entry box.
Next to this box, there are two options – “starts with” and “contains”. To check availability for a new business name, use the “contains” option which will search for all words and numbers contained in the preferred name. Search for different variations of the name that may include capitals, numerals, alphanumeric, other symbols, punctuation, and capitalization.
Also, remember to include the form of business – i.e. LLC or corporation. Use the full words as well as abbreviations in different formats. For example LLC, L.L.C., (LLC), and so on. The same applies to corporations – Inc., Inc, Corp., etc.
It is extremely important to search as many different variations of the same name to ensure that it is distinguishable and cannot be considered to be deceptively similar to any existing registered business names in the state of Alaska.
Keep in mind that it is up to you to perform due diligence in selecting a business name that is distinguishable. If the name is found to be the same or deceptively similar to an existing business name in Alaska when you register the name or apply for a business license, the name will be rejected. Fees associated with the name registration and/or business license application will not be refunded.
You will have to start the entire process of choosing a business name, registering it, and applying for a business license from scratch. The relevant fees will need to be paid again.
The database will return any results that contain the words in the search criteria in differing formats. It will also provide the current status of the business. For example, “In Good Standing” means the business is currently in operation and has a business license.
“Involuntarily Dissolved” means that the business is insolvent and was dissolved involuntarily. “Expired Name” means that the business is no longer in operation or that the business license has not been renewed. This does not mean that the name is available. The business may be reinstated and assume the former name. It is therefore not recommended to select any name that is returned in the results page regardless of the current status.
Entity Search For Sole Proprietors And Partners
Registration for sole proprietorships and partnerships are processed at a local level. Business name registrations for these entities are therefore not conducted at a state level and do not form part of the Alaska Division of Corporations Database.
It is recommended to contact the municipality where the business is located to find out how to run a business entity search specific to that area.