How To Run A Business Entity Search In Oklahoma
Choosing a creative name for your new business is one of the more fun aspects of starting a business. But you shouldn’t set your heart on just one option. The state of Oklahoma requires that every business have an entirely unique name that is distinguishable from every other business name that has already been registered.
In order to check whether the proposed name for your business is available, you need to conduct a Business Entity Search.
What Is A Business Entity Search?
A business entity search allows you to search for every business that has been registered in the state by name. When checking for the availability of a business name, you would use the name search platform. A list of results will be returned to you that may be the same or similar to the name that you have chosen for your business.
If a name appears on the list that is the same or similar, you will not be able to use that name. However, you can make a few changes to the name in order to distinguish it from the names on the list.
It is important to understand what distinguishes a business name from an existing, registered business name. The following changes will not distinguish the name:
– Exchanging a word for a symbol or vice versa. While some symbols are allowed to be used in business names, the full word for the symbol should be used when registering the business. When running a business entity search, the same applies.
– You cannot exchange an alphanumeric for a written word – for example, the number 2 for the latter two.
– You cannot make simple spelling changes to one word in the business name in order to distinguish it from an existing business name.
– You cannot simply swap or switch words around to make the business name unique.
It is important to apply the deceptively similar rule when choosing a business name to make it unique. A new business name shouldn’t sound or look the same as a registered business name. If you choose a name that is not unique, the application that you filed to register your business will be rejected.
It takes between 7 and 10 days to register an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Oklahoma and between 1 and 2 days with online registration. However, choosing a business name that is not unique can delay the process unnecessarily. You may also have to pay the filing and other fees again when you restart the registration process.
How To Run A Business Entity Search
The Oklahoma Secretary of State has compiled a database of all registered businesses in the state. The database can be accessed by anyone via the search platform provided on the official website.
Simply visit https://www.sos.ok.gov/corp/corpInquiryFind.aspx and enter the proposed name for the new business in the business entity search box. A list of names that are similar or the same as the search criteria will be returned to you as well as other information such as the legal status of the business.
It is important to enter different variations of the same name to conduct a more accurate search. It is also recommended to have a minimum of 3 to 5 names to choose from before starting a search. Each proposed name for the new business should be as different from the last name as possible. This will help avoid disappointment when the name you really want to use is not available.
The advanced search option provides you to narrow down your search and receive a results list that is closer to the parameters that you have set. While using the advanced search will save you time, if you are uncertain how to set the different parameters, it is recommended to run a general search and take your time.
Once you have found a name that is available and suitable for your business, you should reserve the name. Although the process to register a new business in Oklahoma is relatively fast, the name you want may be selected by someone else while you are awaiting confirmation of registration.
If the business is going to be trading under a different name to the one that it is being legally registered, then you will have to conduct a business entity search and register the Trade Name as well. This is often referred to as “trading as” or “doing business as”. The Trade Name of the business also needs to be unique and distinguishable from other registered business names.
It is important to note that registering a business name is not the same as registering a business name as a trademark. You can however apply to have your business name registered as a trademark on the Oklahoma Secretary of State website. This trademark registration will be conducted separately from your business registration.