How to Check Corporation Name Availability in Massachusetts

Woman doing a Massachusetts corporation name search on her computer.

Before you form a corporation, you’ll need to complete a business name search with the Massachusetts business entity search and business name reservation search tools to check if your corporation name is available.

We'll show you how to check corporation name availability in Massachusetts in this guide.

Or, use a professional service:

4.7 out of 5 stars ZenBusiness ($39 + state fee)


Massachusetts Corporation Name Search

The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth requires all business names to be distinguishable from other business entities in the state. So, you’ll want to search and make sure no other businesses in the state are already using your name.

It is also useful to see if your corporation name is available as a web domain (URL).

SKIP AHEAD:

  1. How to Register a Corporation Name in Massachusetts
  2. Massachusetts Corporation Name Requirements
  3. Massachusetts Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available Massachusetts Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets Massachusetts business name guidelines, make sure it’s available by using Massachusetts’ two online databases: the business entity search tool and the business name reservation search tool.

Want to learn more about corporations? Check out our What Is a Corporation guide to get started.

How to Check Available Domain Names

When deciding on a name for your corporation, you should make sure that a similar or exact domain name is available. A matching URL will help potential customers find your corporation faster.

Find a Domain Now

How to Register a Corporation Name in Massachusetts

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your Massachusetts Articles of Organization. You can hire a professional service to form a corporation for you or start a corporation yourself.

Ready to register your corporation name? Use our Form a Corporation guide to get started.

If you want to register a DBA in Massachusetts, known as a business certificate, that’s a separate process that requires filing a separate form with the town or county where the business is located.

Reserve Your Name

While not required, you have the option to reserve your corporation name in Massachusetts for up to 60 days before you register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you are ready to register it yourself.

Name reservations can be filed via hard copy with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. The filing fee is $30.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation? ZenBusiness will get you started.

Massachusetts Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

Massachusetts has official requirements for its corporation names.

The name must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited;” an abbreviation of one of these terms; or words or abbreviations of the same meaning in a different language.

There are also restricted words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” that you cannot use in order to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

Additionally, Massachusetts corporation names cannot imply that the corporation is organized for an unlawful purpose or one other than what is outlined in its Articles of Organization.

For more information, check out the Massachusetts state statute on corporation names.

Distinguishability

Your name must be distinguishable from all other Massachusetts business names. In Massachusetts, this means it cannot be the same as or deceptively similar to any existing business in Massachusetts. This includes reserved names.

If your corporation name isn’t distinguishable, your Articles of Organization filing will likely be rejected.

What if my corporation name is already taken? Our AI-powered corporation name generator will give you thousands of new ideas. 

For a list of brainstorming tips, check out our guide to naming your business.

Massachusetts Corporation Name Search FAQ

How do I check if a corporation name is taken in Massachusetts?

You can use the Massachusetts business entity search and business name reservation search tools to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the Massachusetts Corporation Name Search section.

Should I name my corporation after myself?

While there’s no rule against naming a corporation after yourself, most experts advise against doing this. 

One of the benefits of starting a corporation is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.

To explore other naming options, use our free AI-powered business name generator.

What words can’t be used in a Massachusetts corporation name?

Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.

Additionally, Massachusetts corporation names cannot imply that the corporation is organized for an unlawful purpose or one other than what is outlined in its Articles of Organization.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Massachusetts Corporation Name Requirements section.

Should I use a business name generator?

If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your corporation, a business name generator can help you come up with some ideas.

Do I have to include ‘corporation’ in my name?

Massachusetts corporation names must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited;” an abbreviation of one of these terms; or words or abbreviations of the same meaning in a different language.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Massachusetts Corporation Name Requirements section.

Do I need to renew my business name in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts doesn't require corporations to renew their legal name, but business certificates (DBAs) must be renewed every four years.

Can my business name be different from my corporation name in Massachusetts?

Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or business certificate in Massachusetts. 

In Massachusetts, business certificates for corporations are filed with the county or town where the business is located.

Learn more about business certificates with our Massachusetts DBA guide.

Does my corporation need a DBA name?

Your corporation doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more with our Massachusetts DBA guide.