New Jersey Business Name Search (Step-by-Step Guide)
Even with the help of business services through the Secretary of State, registering a business has financial consequences. Always discuss business setup with a business attorney.
How to search for New Jersey business names
Before registering a business entity name, a business owner can save a lot of time by searching for name availability. New Jersey does not allow a prospective business owner to use a name that is already in use or that is too similar.
The search tool at the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services is a simple search. The only search criteria the business owner needs to enter is the business name.
Once you click the ‘Search’ button, the system will display exact matches and similar names.
If an exact match exists, the business owner must choose a different name.
If a name is too similar, the business owner must also choose a different name. A “similar” name means that the entity type is the only different thing.
Additionally, if only an article is different, the name is too similar. For example, if the business owner chooses ABC Widgets and a company named ‘The ABC Widgets’ exists, the name is too similar.
How to register a business name in New Jersey
Any business that has employees, plans to contract with state agencies and other public agencies in New Jersey, is applying for a tax credit or state grant, or plans to apply for a casino license needs to register with the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.
Before registering a business, all businesses should apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
Once the business receives the FEIN, it can file the appropriate certificate of formation for the entity type the business owner chooses.
Once the business owner files the certificate, it can complete and file the tax/employer registration form.
General partnerships must also obtain a FEIN. While the FEIN is not mandatory for other businesses, it is mandatory for a general partnership.
The business owner can apply for the FEIN himself, or we can obtain the FEIN for the business owner.
New Jersey trademark/DBA name search
New Jersey does not have a search tool to search for trademarks. A business owner can register a trademark, service mark, or trade name.
A business owner can, however, search for a trade name online. However, the system does not give the searcher a place to enter a description of the intellectual property.
If a business owner files a trademark or other intellectual property in New Jersey, the intellectual property is only protected in New Jersey. Businesses and other states can use the same mark. To protect intellectual property on a national level, the business owner must file with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
If a business owner wishes to determine whether a business name or logo has been trademarked at the federal level, search the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Check if the domain name is available
Before a business registers its name, the business owner should take additional steps to ensure that the name is available for domain and social media use. While the domain name and social media accounts or pages do not have to have the same name as the business, it is better for marketing purposes. If another person or entity is already using the name, a prospective business owner can choose another name to register at the state level or use a different name that describes the business for the domain name and social media accounts.
Business owners should also check into domain name availability. If possible, register a domain name that is the same as the business name. To check for domain name availability, navigate to a domain registry such as GoDaddy. Enter the business name in the search box.
If the name is available, the site will tell you it is available. We recommend registering the dot-net and dot-org extensions with the same name so that someone else cannot use them. A business owner could create landing pages on the other extensions that point to the main dot-com site.
If a domain name is not available
If the name is not available, the system will return suggestions for similar names. If a business owner chooses a suggested similar name, he should ensure that the name is not too similar. It’s too easy for customers to get confused and end up on a competitor’s site.
Check if the social media name is available
To check for name availability on social media platforms, enter the business name in the search box. If the social media platform does not display the business name, create an account as soon as possible.
If the name is being used by someone else, some social media platforms will allow you to create an account with the same name. We do not recommend this as it is too easy for customers to look for you and end up on a competitor’s website.
Naming considerations for New Jersey business entities
New Jersey requires certain business entities to append a phrase, word, or abbreviation after the name, depending on the entity type.
Sole proprietorships and partnerships
Sole proprietorships do not have to register with the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services; thus, a sole proprietorship does not need to append an entity type after its name.
General partnerships must obtain a FEIN and register. A business owner can apply for a FEIN on his own or can have our staff apply for the FEIN himself.
Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
If a business owner chooses to incorporate as a limited liability company, the business owner must append one of the following to the end of the name:
- Limited liability company.
The business owner may also abbreviate ‘limited’ as “Ltd.” and ‘company’ as “Co.”
If a business owner chooses to incorporate as a limited partnership, the business owner must append one of the following to the end of the name:
- Limited partnership.
Limited liability partnership
If a business owner chooses to incorporate as a limited liability partnership, the business owner should append one of the following to the end of the name:
- Limited liability partnership.
If a business owner chooses to incorporate as a corporation, the business owner must append one of the following to the end of the name:
How are business licenses obtained in New Jersey?
New Jersey does not have a general business license requirement at the state level. However, certain industries must obtain a business license. NJ.gov lists the various industries that require business licenses.
Does my New Jersey business need a registered agent?
Yes. If the state requires a business to register the business entity, the business must have a registered agent. The registered agent ensures the business remains in compliance. It also accepts service of process and other legal documents, including those from the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Revenue, and Enterprise Services.
Where do I mail a trademark application?
When registering a trademark, mail the trademark application to the New Jersey Department of Revenue, Trade/Service Mark Unit, PO Box 453, Trenton, NJ 08646-0453.
What information do I need to file the NJ-REG form?
A business owner needs the entity number (file number, entity ID), the FEIN, NAICS code, and the NJ business code.
What taxes does my business need to pay?
Depending on the type of business, it could pay several taxes. Most businesses must pay New Jersey’s income tax and the state’s sales and use taxes.
How do I find out if a creditor placed a lien against my business or certain business property?
Navigate to the New Jersey UCC page. Choose the type of search: Certified, non-certified or bulk data. Enter the search criteria the system asks for (dependent on the type of search).
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