How to Check Corporation Name Availability in Ohio

Woman doing an Ohio corporation name search on her computer.

Before you form a corporation, you’ll need to complete a business name search with the Ohio Business Search tool to check if your corporation name is available.

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

Or, use a professional service:

4.7 out of 5 stars ZenBusiness ($49 + state fee)

Ohio Corporation Name Search

The Ohio Secretary of State 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 Ohio
  2. Ohio Corporation Name Requirements
  3. Ohio Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available Ohio Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets Ohio business name guidelines, make sure it’s available by using the Ohio Business 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 Ohio

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your Ohio Articles of Incorporation. 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 Ohio, known as a trade name, that’s a separate process that requires filing a separate form with the Secretary of State.

Reserve Your Name

While not required, you have the option to reserve your corporation name in Ohio for up to 180 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 online or by mail with the Ohio Secretary of State. The filing fee is $39.

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

Ohio Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

Ohio has official requirements for its corporation names.

The name must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” or an abbreviation of one of these terms.

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.

Ohio also has the following restrictions for corporation names:

  • The name cannot imply that the corporation is connected with a government agency of Ohio, another state, or the United States.
  • The name cannot include any of the following words without prior approval from the superintendent of financial institutions: bank, banker, banking, trust, or words of similar meaning in any other language.
  • The name cannot include the following unless the corporation is registered as a cooperative: cooperative, coop, co-operative, or co-op.
  • The name cannot contain profanity or words or phrases that are generally considered a slur against an ethnic group, religion, gender, or heredity.

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

Distinguishability

Your name must be distinguishable from all other Ohio business names. In Ohio, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all other existing or reserved business names in the state.

The following differences make a name distinguishable in Ohio:

  • The use of numbers in a name, including using numerals versus spelled out numbers
  • Addition of letters
  • Different order of words
  • Spelling variations
  • Different forms of base words

The following differences do NOT make a name distinguishable in Ohio:

  • Use of punctuation, contractions, or abbreviations
  • Use of articles
  • Business entity type designators
  • Different tenses or singular/plural forms of the same word

If your corporation name isn’t distinguishable, your Articles of Incorporation 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.

Ohio Corporation Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Ohio Business Search tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the Ohio 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 an Ohio 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, Ohio corporation names cannot:

  • Imply that the corporation is connected with a government agency of Ohio, another state, or the United States.
  • Include any of the following words without prior approval from the superintendent of financial institutions: bank, banker, banking, trust, or words of similar meaning in any other language.
  • Include the following unless the corporation is registered as a cooperative: cooperative, coop, co-operative, or co-op.
  • Cannot contain profanity or words or phrases that are generally considered a slur against an ethnic group, religion, gender, or heredity.

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

Should I use a business name generator?

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

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

Ohio corporation names must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” or an abbreviation of one of these terms.

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

Do I need to renew my business name in Ohio?

Ohio doesn't require corporations to renew their legal name, but trade names must be renewed every five years with the Secretary of State.

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

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 trade name in Ohio. 

In Ohio, trade names for corporations are filed with the Secretary of State.

Learn more about trade names with our Ohio 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 Ohio DBA guide.