Whether you are an LLC or any other kind of business entity, the name of your business entity is what makes your business distinct and unique in the market.
The name is also a legal requirement since the business entity has a separate legal existence from that of the owner. In this respect, the only exception is that of the sole proprietorship but most proprietors generally tend to give a distinct business name to their proprietorship business as well.
Before you start doing business, you would have to register it with a suitable name. If you do not register with the State, anybody can use your business name for their purpose and you won’t be able to stop them.
Perhaps, you are not yet ready for registering the business. It might be because you don’t have all the required documents or maybe you are facing any other specific issue.
In any case, the State of Georgia gives you an option to reserve a name for your business entity. I am here to explain the process of reserving a business name in the State of Georgia.
CHECK THE AVAILABILITY
First, you need to check if a competing business in Georgia is using the same name as you desire for your business. According to the law of Georgia, the name of your corporation/LLC/partnership/proprietorship must be distinguishable from the name of any other such business entity filed in the records of the Secretary of State.
In order to comply with this requirement, you should do a name search at the Georgia Secretary of State website. Your next step should be to do a similar search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO's) website since you would not want to infringe on anybody’s trademark and get into a legal trouble.
During this course, it is also suggested that you should search for domain name availability. You can make this search on the GoDaddy website. It would be better if you also reserve a domain name for your business even if you don’t want to make a website right away.
APPLY FOR RESERVATION
You have two ways of reserving your business name with the Secretary of State –
1. Apply online at the Secretary of State website - Corporate division. You can do this only if you have an online account on the website.
2. Apply by downloading the application form from the website and mailing or delivering it to the Secretary of State’s office.
The State requires following information in the application:
- Applicant name
- Contact Information
- Up to 3 names to be reserved
The filing fee is $25 in case of the online application and $35 in case of the paper application and it is non-refundable. If your first name is already taken by somebody else, the agency will continue searching the names you provided in your stated order of preference. If all three names are taken, you will receive a rejection notice.
DURATION OF RESERVATION
Once reserved, your business name is valid for 30 days. You have to register your business entity within this time period, otherwise, the reserved name would be available for others after the period expires. You may apply for the reservation again by paying the $25 fee if you are unable to take action within 30 days' time period.