How to Check Corporation Name Availability in Rhode Island

Woman doing a Rhode Island corporation name search on her computer.

Before you form a corporation, you’ll need to complete a business name search with the Rhode Island Corporate Database tool to check if your corporation name is available.

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

Or, use a professional service:

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

Rhode Island Corporation Name Search

The Rhode Island Department 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 Rhode Island
  2. Rhode Island Corporation Name Requirements
  3. Rhode Island Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available Rhode Island Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets Rhode Island business name guidelines, make sure it’s available by using the Rhode Island Corporate Database 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 Rhode Island

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, known as a fictitious business name, that’s a separate process that requires filing a separate form with the Department of State and potentially the city where your business is located as well.

Reserve Your Name

While not required, you have the option to reserve your corporation name in Rhode Island for up to 120 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 via hard copy with the Rhode Island Department of State. The filing fee is $50.

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

Rhode Island Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

Rhode Island has official requirements for its corporation names.

The name must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited,” 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.

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

Distinguishability

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

The following differences do NOT make a name distinguishable in Rhode Island:

  • Articles
  • Plural forms of words
  • Obvious misspelling of the same name or word
  • Abbreviations 
  • Variations of the same word
  • Entity type identifiers
  • The addition of a numeric designation
  • Punctuation or special characters
  • Capitalization
  • Spacing
  • Numbers written as numerals versus as words

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.

Rhode Island Corporation Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Rhode Island Corporate Database tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Rhode Island 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?

Rhode Island corporation names must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “limited,” “incorporated,” or an abbreviation of one of these.

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

Do I need to renew my business name in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island doesn't require corporations to renew their legal name or fictitious business name.

Can my business name be different from my corporation name in Rhode Island?

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 a fictitious business name in Rhode Island. 

In Rhode Island, fictitious business names for corporations are filed with the Department of State.

Learn more about fictitious business names with our Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island DBA guide.