How to Check Corporation Name Availability in Texas

Woman doing a Texas corporation name search on her computer.

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

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

Or, use a professional service:

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

Texas Corporation Name Search

The Texas 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 Texas
  2. Texas Corporation Name Requirements
  3. Texas Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available Texas Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets Texas business name guidelines, you can search for a corporation name in Texas via:

  • Online database
  • Email
  • Phone

Even if the online database shows that your name is available, we recommend calling or emailing the Secretary of State for preliminary name approval.

Online Database

You can check your business name availability by searching the Texas Taxable Entity Search tool.

Email 

You can email the Texas Secretary of State at corpinfo@sos.state.tx.us for a preliminary name availability screening.

Phone

You can call the Texas Secretary of State at (512) 463-5555 for a preliminary name availability screening.

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 Texas

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your Texas Certificate of Formation. 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 Texas, known as an assumed 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 Texas 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 Texas Secretary of State. The filing fee is $40. You can renew your name reservation for an additional 120 days if it expires.

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

Texas Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

The State of Texas has official requirements for its corporation names.

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

Texas also has the following restrictions for corporation names:

  • The name cannot imply that the corporation is organized for an unlawful purpose.
  • The name cannot include the words “lotto” or “lottery.”
  • The name cannot imply that the corporation was created by or for the benefit of war veterans or their families. The following words are expressly prohibited: veteran, legion, foreign, Spanish, disabled, war; and world war.

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

Distinguishability

Your name must be distinguishable from all other Texas business names. In Texas, 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 Texas:

  • Business entity type identifiers
  • Use of articles, prepositions, or conjunctions
  • Use of periods or spaces
  • Use or absence of letters that do not make the name readily distinguishable when spoken aloud
  • Geographic designations at the end of the name
  • Different order of the same words
  • Use of contractions of the same root words

If your corporation name isn’t distinguishable, your Certificate of Formation 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.

Texas Corporation Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Texas Taxable Entity Search tool to see if your business name is available.

You can also call the Texas Secretary of State at (512) 463-5555 or email them at corpinfo@sos.state.tx.us for a preliminary name availability screening.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the Texas 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 Texas 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, Texas corporation names cannot imply that the business is organized for an unlawful purpose, include the words “lotto” or “lottery,” or imply that the corporation was created by or for the benefit of war veterans or their families.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Texas 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?

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

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

Do I need to renew my business name in Texas?

Texas doesn't require corporations to renew their legal name, but assumed names must be renewed every 10 years with the Secretary of State.

You can renew online or via hard copy. The filing fee is $25.

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

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 an assumed name in Texas. 

In Texas, assumed names for corporations are filed with the Secretary of State.

Learn more about assumed names with our Texas 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 Texas DBA guide.

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