New York Business Entity Search – NYS Corporation Search

New York Business Entity Search provides information on the existence and status of a business entity in the state. This can be used to get information on an existing business entity, or to check for name availability when you intend to register a NY LLC or another business.

The business entity search lists existing entities. By searching this database when forming a new LLC, you can ensure that the name you’ve chosen is truly unique and distinguishable from other existing businesses. Similarly, you can use the search to find more information about an existing business, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. 

NY Corporate Lookup Availability And Scope

NYS Corporation Search and business entity search are the same database. It’s also called The Corporation and Business Entity Database. It includes information on:

  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Not for profit corporations
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Other miscellaneous businesses

The database doesn’t include information on assumed names. Though a database for assumed names is maintained by the NYS Division of Corporations (which also maintains the business entity search), it isn’t available online. For information on assumed names, it is necessary to write, fax, or email a written request to the NYS Division Of Corporations.

The entity database is maintained by the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporations and is available for online access.

New York LLC Lookup Through New York Business Entity Search

For New York LLC lookup you’ll see the following options on the screen. It’s worth noting that though we’re talking of LLC lookup here, the same process also applies to NY Corporate lookup. The available options on the form are:

  • Entity Name – This is where you enter the name of the entity to lookup. For existing entities, you can simply enter their name. If you’re looking to check a new name, enter that and see if results are available.
  • Name Type – Show results from all entities or only active entities.
  • Search Type – Choose from begins with, contains, or partial.
  • Captcha – Enter the captcha as displayed on the form.
  • Once the above information is entered, press the “Search the database” button. Alternatively, you can also press the “enter” key to submit the form after all the information is entered.

Understanding The ‘Search Type’ Options

Here are the Search Type options on the NY secretary of state corporate search and what they mean.

  • Begins With: Enter the exact beginning or the entire entity name in the “entity name” field. This option will match the search term exactly with the beginning of existing names. Relevant results (if any) will be displayed.
  • Contains: You should know at least one word in the name of an existing business entity. Enter that word (or words) in the “entity name” field and the relevant results will be displayed. If you enter multiple words, the order of words doesn’t matter.
  • Partial: This is quite similar to the “Contains” search type. However, in this case, you don’t need to enter a full word, even partial spellings will do. As an example, if you’re searching for “Walma” might have “Walmart” amongst the results displayed. As an aside, it may also display “Walmag Publishing LLC” (if such an entity exists).

Working With The New York Business Entity Search Results

Once you’ve completed the search, the website will display relevant results. Clicking on the entity names in this section will take you to the details of the chosen NY business entity. The resulting page shows detailed information on the business entity, which includes:

  • Current Name (of entity)
  • DOS ID
  • Filing date
  • County (where the office of the LLC or the NY Registered Agent is located)
  • Entity Type
  • Entity status
  • Address information
  • Stock information (where applicable)
  • Name history (where applicable)

How To Reserve A Business Name In New York State

Generally, if you hit on a good business name idea, it makes sense to reserve it quickly before someone else grabs the name. It’s quicker and generally safer than grabbing the name by filing the articles of organization for your NY LLC. 

You could reserve a name if you have a good name in mind but aren’t immediately prepared to launch your company. 

Alternatively, in most states, using this option is a good way to see if your chosen (desired) name is available for registration. In NYS, you can also submit a written inquiry to the Department of State, Division of Corporations to check for name availability. 

This request costs $5. However, the state says that this information doesn’t guarantee that the proposed name satisfies the requirements of law for naming a business entity. Though working in conjunction with the entity lookup, this can be a viable option.

Even so, once you hit a name, it is worthwhile to consider reservation.

Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Name In New York State?

No, you aren’t required to reserve a name in the state. Reserving a name is entirely optional, and its purpose is securing a business name rather than fulfilling any legal requirements. 

In the same vein, if you’re not particularly interested in ensuring name reservation, or don’t quite see a use for it, it might be a good idea to save your resources and skip reservation.

How Long Does A Name Reservation Last And What Does It Cost?

Once a name reservation request is accepted, New York State will reserve your chosen name for 60 days. The cost of filing the form for name reservation request is $20.

When the reservation period is close to ending, you can choose to request an extension for reservation. It is possible to file a maximum of two requests of extension. Each extension request must be accompanied by a $20 fee. 

This is a good setup that allows greater flexibility in name reservation. Any extension request must be submitted before the reservation period ends.

Assuming you use all available extensions, you can keep a name reserved for 180 days at a total cost of $60.

Reserving A New York Business Name

To reserve a business name, you can visit the page for Application for Reservation of Name for Domestic and Foreign Limited Liability Companies. This will take you to the relevant form (available here). The required $20 filing fee can be made by check, money order, or credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, or American Express.

Checks and money orders should be made payable to “Department of State”. If you choose to pay via credit cards, the relevant authorization form must be included. 

Once you’re ready, mail the completed name reservation request form and payment to:

Division of Corporations, State Records, and Uniform Commercial Code
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Ave.
Albany, New York 12231-0001

There is a different form for the Request for Extension of Reservation of Name for Domestic and Foreign Limited Liability Companies. However, the submission process remains the same. If you no longer need a name previously reserved, you can file a form for the Request for Cancellation of Reservation of Name for Domestic and Foreign Limited Liability Companies.

All of these, and other forms are available on the Corporations and Business Entities section of the NY Department of State website.

When filing for a name reservation request, remember to first use the New York Business Entity Search to check for name availability. Due diligence on your part increases your chances of succeeding and receiving a Certificate of Reservation.