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In this lesson we will discuss searching your New Mexico LLC name. This is the first step to forming an LLC in New Mexico.
You need to compare your desired LLC name against existing businesses registered in the state to make sure no other company is using the name. This is referred to as an LLC name being “distinguishable upon the records“. You can use the Secretary of State Business Search to do this.
The New Mexico business name database is maintained by the New Mexico Secretary of State.
Your New Mexico LLC name must also comply with the requirements of the New Mexico LLC Act, in addition to other rules.
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New Mexico LLC Name Requirements
The rules that govern New Mexico LLC names are spelled out in Section 53-19-3 of the New Mexico LLC Act.
We’ve made them a bit easier to read below.
Comma in your LLC Name
Your New Mexico LLC name can include a comma, but it’s not required. The state will accept both variations, so it’s up to whichever you like best.
For example, if the “base” name of your LLC is ABC Management, your LLC name can be either of the following:
- ABC Management, LLC
- ABC Management LLC
Note: Instead of your LLC name ending with the designator “LLC”, there are other options.
New Mexico LLC Designator
Your New Mexico LLC name must include a designator (“ending”). The state allows for the following designators:
- Ltd. Co.
- Limited Co.
- Ltd. Company
- Limited Liability
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
Tip: If you’re not sure which designator to select, “LLC” is the most common.
Words and abbreviations not allowed in your New Mexico LLC name
Your New Mexico LLC name cannot imply that it is a Corporation or any other type of business entity that is not an LLC.
You cannot use the following words or designators anywhere in your New Mexico LLC name:
- Inc. or Incorporated
- Corp. or Corporation
- LP or L.P.
- LLP or L.L.P.
You also cannot use the following words in your LLC name:
- Insurance Company
Additionally, don’t make your New Mexico LLC name sound like it’s a government agency. Don’t use words like Police, Fire Department, Federal, Government, United States of America, City, Town, County, or anything else that will mislead the public.
If you have any questions about your LLC name, you can contact the New Mexico Secretary of State at 505-827-3600. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8am – 5pm Mountain Time.
Your New Mexico LLC name must be distinguishable
Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable (unique) upon the records of the New Mexico Secretary of State.
LLC name distinguishability has many components.
For example, when the LLC examiners (the people who review LLC documents) are looking at your LLC name, they will be comparing the “core” of your LLC name to existing businesses in New Mexico.
They will be ignoring:
- articles and conjunctions (the, and, &, a, an)
- certain special characters
- singular and plural words
- and certain abbreviations
As examples, the following names are NOT distinguishable:
- Smith Group, LLC vs. Smith Group, Inc.
- Apple Orchards, LLC vs. Apple Orchards, LLC
- Printing Shop, LLC vs. The Printing Shop, LLC
- Black & Yellow, LLC vs. Black and Yellow, LLC
- Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC vs. Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Inc
- Tier Three Consulting, LLC vs. Tier 3 Consulting, LLC
Recommendation: We’ve created a helpful page that shows you how to make sure your desired LLC name is distinguishable. We recommend checking that out and then coming back here to search your LLC name. Please see LLC University: LLC name distinguishability.
How to search your New Mexico LLC name
Tip: If you are visiting the link below from outside the US, you will need to use a proxy service or a VPN.
- Go to the NM Secretary of State: Business Search page.
- Leave “Starts With” selected.
- In the “Entity Name” field, enter your desired LLC name.
- Leave out the designator (ex: “LLC”) when doing searches.
- Leave out punctuation like commas, periods, apostrophes, etc.
- Don’t worry about uppercase or lowercase letters. The database ignores capitalization.
- Enter the first 2 to 3 words of your LLC name. This will help make sure that you see everything that is potentially similar. For example, if your desired LLC name is “Fitness Studios & Health LLC“, just search “Fitness Studio“.
- Your web browser’s back button will not work on the New Mexico business search page. Use the “back” button at the bottom of the search results instead.
- If you’re not 100% sure that your desired LLC name is available, you can still file your LLC paperwork with the state. If the name is not available, the New Mexico Secretary of State will send you back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.
How to interpret the New Mexico LLC name search results
- If the results show business names that are not too similar to yours (meaning your LLC name is unique and distinguishable), then your New Mexico LLC name is most likely available for use.
- If you see a “no data found” message, your New Mexico LLC name is most likely available for use. This usually means your LLC name is very unique and/or specific; that’s why there’s no other business names that are showing up.
- If your desired New Mexico LLC name appears exactly as you want it, then you’ll need to come up with a different name. This one isn’t available.
- If the results show a business name that is deceptively similar to yours, then you’ll need to come up with a different LLC name. This one isn’t available. Remember, the Secretary of State doesn’t accept names that mislead the public.
Need some LLC naming tips? Check out our how to come up with a good business name article. Or check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.
Don’t do the following until your LLC is approved
- Don’t apply for your LLC’s EIN Number (aka Tax ID Number)
- Don’t purchase a domain name
- Don’t purchase business cards, letterhead, signs, marketing materials, etc.
You’ll want to wait until your LLC is approved (and therefore your LLC name is approved) before doing the above. This ensures you don’t spend money only to find out your LLC name isn’t available.
Do I have to file an LLC name reservation?
There’s a lot of incorrect information on the internet that makes it sound like an LLC name reservation is required. This is incorrect and usually just wastes people’s time and money.
Some people think that you first have to get your LLC name approved and then you form your LLC. That is also incorrect. By forming a New Mexico LLC (which happens by filing an Articles of Organization), the LLC’s name is automatically approved. Therefore, there is rarely a point to reserving an LLC name.
Again, an LLC name reservation is optional and most people don’t need to file one. If you thoroughly search for your desired LLC name, there is a 95% chance that your LLC name will be approved.
And if the New Mexico Secretary of State rejects your LLC filing because of its name, they aren’t going to steal your money. They’ll just send you an email letting you know the name was not approved and that you’ll need to re-file.
When would an LLC name reservation apply?
If you thought of an amazing LLC name months before you’re ready to form an LLC, you can reserve your LLC name and “lock it up” for 120 days. The cost to reserve an LLC name in New Mexico is $20.
Next Step: LLC Registered Agent
Once you find a New Mexico LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: New Mexico LLC Registered Agent.
New Mexico Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the New Mexico Secretary of State at 505-827-3600. Their hours are Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm (Mountain Time).
New Mexico LLC Act
New Mexico Secretary of State: Domestic LLC
New Mexico Secretary of State: Start a business
NEW MEXICO LLC GUIDE
Follow the lessons below to form your New Mexico LLC.
19 comments on “New Mexico Name Search”
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.
I am interested to use New Mexico LLC’s to function as holding companies for several Real Estate properties that I own free-and-clear in Oregon. The goal is to protect privacy and also shield one property from the other as far as liability is concerned.
Is this a feasible approach? And is your firm able to advise on the procedure for transferring property from personal ownership to the LLC?
Hi Norm, yes, this is a feasible approach and common among more sophisticated investors. You’ll form the Parent LLC first and then the Child LLCs. Regarding transferring title, you can work with a local title company or a real estate attorney. After title is transferred, you’ll also want to change insurance policies and utilities and anything else that was registered in your name. Hope that helps.
You mention Parent and Child LLCs.
In the case of my question above, would these all (Parent and Children) be New Mexico LLCs?
Hi Norm, I forget to specify. The Parent LLC would be in New Mexico and the Child LLC(s) would be formed in the state where the property is located because that is where the Child LLCs will be doing business.
Trying to find if it’s possible to register a “doing business as” (or tradename or whatever it’s called) in New Mexico.
It seems not…can you confirm?
Hi Nick, you are correct. New Mexico doesn’t require the registration of DBA (Doing Business As) names. If your LLC wants to operate under a DBA in New Mexico, it simply can. However, you’ll want to disclose that, such as “ABC Company LLC dba ABC Shipping” and include that on your website and in any contracts or agreements.
Thanks for the answer!
Well, that’s both convenient and limiting
You’re welcome. Yes, I hear you.
The link you give (https://portal.sos.state.nm.us/BFS/online/CorporationBusinessSearch) to search a name is dead or, at least, not accessible from Europe
It works while using a proxy/VPN. You should probably mention that in your article since many of your readers are non-resident aliens
Hi Nick, the link works and is up to date. You’ll need to use a VPN to access.
Hi Nick, great point! We just updated the page and added a “tip” right above the search link. Because of server caching, you may need to view the page in a private/incognito browser window to see the change. Thanks :)
Matt first off love your site! I did a search for the name I want in the New Mexico llc search link you provided above. The name that I want says (Process of Appeal) next to it. Can I still get that name? I even punched it in on legal zoom: the (name that I wanted) and (New Mexico) and It says It’s Available (on legal zoom).
Thanks buddy can’t wait to hear from you!
Hey Michael, thanks so much! You’ll want to stay away from names that are in the appeal process. That’s an open court case. Details on which… who knows. I also wouldn’t rely on any non-Secretary of State searches either. Hope that helps.
Awesome thanks again!!
Thanks for the lifesaving methods of streamlining this stuff for us!
Question: I see we cannot use a PO box as a registered agent, however, if the location allows us to use a street address plus a number , such as 1234 elm street #12, city, state, zip, can we use it in this form as the registered agent?
If yes, can we also use the same address for a separate mailing location on the same application?
Hi Virginia, you’re very welcome :) At this time, the New Mexico LLC Act (see section 53-19-5) is silent on the matter, as in most states. Many people use a street address of a mailbox rental. There are a handful of states which specifically don’t allow it, but again, most statutes are silent. Word on the street is that’s it’s okay in New Mexico, as New Mexico is a bit more progressive on its LLC stance. The address is fine to use as the mailing address, too. Hope that helps.
if I have co. name as sole proprietor how do I change to llc and keep name? in new mexico.
Hi Gil, we have that information on this page: changing Sole Proprietorship to LLC. Hope that helps!