Texas LLC Name Search – 2024 Update

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LLC names
A unique business name is important for branding, but it’s easy to get lost in all the Texas LLC name rules.

This page will teach you how to look up your LLC name and make sure it’s available to use.

How to search an LLC name in Texas

You can run a Texas LLC name search in three ways. Option #2 and #3 are the most accurate, but #1 is the fastest.

1. Use the Texas Business Name Search

While this method isn’t as reliable as the others, it may still be helpful.

Texas LLC and Entity Search

You can search existing businesses in Texas on the Taxable Entity Search page of the Comptroller’s website.

The video below will show you how to search LLC names in Texas.

  • The video starts with an overview of LLC name rules, then at 8 min. 20 sec. you can see searches being completed.
  • The user interface has since been updated, but the same principles still apply.
  • Don’t enter the LLC designator (LLC, L.L.C., etc) while doing searches.
  • Search the singular and plural form of words. For example, if your LLC name has the word “Contractors” in it, also do a search with “Contractor”.
  • Search the first 1-2 words of your LLC name. For example, if your desired LLC name is “Austin Roof Repair Company LLC”, do a search for “austin roof”.
Texas LLC - Name Search

2. Call the State

Texas LLC Name Call SOS
Call the State Business Information Line at 512-463-5555 and tell them: “Hello, I am creating an LLC and I’d like to check to see if my name is available.

We recommend having 1-2 alternative business names ready in case your desired LLC name is not available. This will save you from having to make multiple phone calls.

To avoid long hold times, it’s best to call right when they open at 8am.

Their phone hours are Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm Central Time.

3. Send an Email

The Texas Secretary of State replies to emails very quickly. You can send them an email and ask them to look up a few Limited Liability Company names.

We made an email template for you. Just click this link to generate a ready-to-send email.

Texas LLC Name Lookup Email

What LLC designators can I use in Texas?

As per Section 5.056 of the Texas Business Organizations Code, your LLC must have one of the following designators:

  • LC
  • L.C.
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • Ltd. Co.
  • Ltd. Company
  • Limited Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Company

Do Texas LLC name lookups cost money?

Texas LLC Name CostNo, you can do a Texas LLC name search for free.

While the state does provide access to information for a $5 fee, that’s only if you’re searching your LLC name by mail or by fax. But who searches their LLC name by mail or fax… what is this, the 1960s? LOL!

Anyway, the three methods at the top of this page are free.

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 usually just a waste of most people’s time and money.

The answer is no, an LLC name reservation is not required; it’s optional.

If you run through the 3 methods above, there’s a 95% chance your LLC name is good. If the state rejects your filing because of the name, they’re not going to steal your money. They’ll just send you a letter (or an email) telling you to file again with a different name.

When would an LLC name reservation apply?

If you’ve thought of a phenomenal LLC name months before you’re ready to form an LLC in Texas, you can reserve your LLC name and “lock it up” for 6 months.

Subchapter C (of Title 1, Chapter 5) governs LLC name reservations. In short:

  • a name reservation costs $40
  • it can be filed by mail (Form 501) or online via SOSDirect
  • a name reservation lasts for 120 days
  • it can be renewed for 30 days (no limit to the number of renewals)

For more information, please see the state’s website: name reservations

But aren’t Texas LLC name rules super strict?

They used to be crazy strict. You used to have to think of like 10 LLC names before you contacted the state… since most wouldn’t be available even if they were remotely close to an existing business name.

However, things have changed!

House Bill 2856 was signed and new LLC name availability rules went into effect in the summer of 2018.

In short, the bill loosened the rules around how strict name availability used to be. While your desired LLC name still needs to be “distinguishable”, the LLC examiners don’t have to follow such rigid Texas naming guidelines.

This also helped make Texas’ LLC name laws more uniform with other states.

Do I need a DBA name for my LLC, too?

No, you don’t have to file a DBA (“Doing Business As”) for your Texas LLC.

A DBA (officially known as an Assumed Name in Texas) lets your LLC do business under a name which is different from its true and legal name (the name in the Certificate of Formation).

If you want your LLC to do business under a name that’s different than its true and legal name, you have to file with the Texas Secretary of State (Form 503).

For more information, please see does my LLC need an Assumed Name?

What’s an example of when an LLC would use an Assumed Name?

Let’s say you form an LLC called “Jane’s Imports and Exports LLC”, but you also want to sell via a small retail shop. You’re thinking a friendlier, customer-facing name would be good, like “Jane’s Shop”. In this case, your LLC would need to file an Assumed Name called “Jane’s Shop”.

In another example, let’s say you have the same LLC, but you want to do business without the letters “LLC” in the name. In this case, your LLC would need to file an Assumed Name called “Jane’s Imports and Exports”.

Note: There is no limit to the number of Assumed Names an LLC can have.

The other nitty-gritty Texas Limited Liability Company name rules

In addition to the LLC name guidelines in the Texas Business Organizations Code (BOC), you can find further details in Subchapter C (Title 1, Part 4, Chapter 79) of the Texas Administrative Code.

We’ve highlighted some important rules and guidelines below.

Letters, characters, numbers, and symbols

Your LLC name can include the following:

  • letters of the Roman alphabet
  • numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9)
  • the following symbols: ! ” $ % ‘ ( ) * ? # = @ [] / + & –

Keep in mind:

  • All LLC names will appear in exactly the same font in the database (this is how the state “normalizes” their records)
  • Subscript and superscript characters are not recognized (CO2 will be input as CO2 in the database)
  • Letters can be UPPERCASE, lowercase, and/or Capitalized

Corporate designators

Different “endings” don’t make names distinguishable.

  • “Mike’s Bikes LLC” and “Mike’s Bikes Inc.” are not distinguishable

Articles of speech (a, an, the) and conjunctions (and)

The use of articles of speech and conjunctions usually don’t make names distinguishable.

  • “A Pizza Shop”, “Pizza Shop”, and “The Pizza Shop” (regardless of designator) are not distinguishable
  • “Mountains Climbing” and “Mountains and Climbing” (regardless of designator) are not distinguishable

DISTINGUISHABLE: Use of Spanish or different language

You can use Spanish words or words from different languages, as long as the characters utilize the Roman alphabet. The Texas Secretary of State will not translate the words, so if your LLC name (written in Spanish) has the same meaning as an LLC name that’s written in English, you’ll be allowed to use it.

  • “LÁpiz Azul” and “Blue Pen” are distinguishable
  • “Inteligente Solutions” and “Intelligent Solutions” are distinguishable

Words you can’t use and things you can’t do

  • You can’t imply your LLC is a part of the federal or state government
  • Unless you have authorization, your LLC name can’t imply that it issues insurance
  • Unless you have authorization, your LLC name can’t imply that it is a bank
  • An LLC name can’t imply that the company engages in illegal activities
  • You can’t use a name which is grossly offensive
  • You can’t use the word “bail bond” in an LLC name


Unless you have written authorization from the U.S. Olympic Committee, you can’t use the words Olympic, Olympiad, or Citius Altius Fortius in your LLC name.


Unless you have written authorization from the Texas Banking Commissioner, you can’t use the words Bank, Bank and Trust, Trust, Trust Company, or any similar words or terms in your LLC name.


Unless you have written authorization from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, you can’t use the words College, University, School of Medicine, Medical School, Health Science Center, School of Law, Law Center, or Law School in your LLC name.

For the benefit of war veterans

Unless you have written authorization from the appropriate veterans organization (pursuant to Section 5.062), you can’t use the words Veteran, Legion, Foreign, Spanish, Disabled, War, or World War in your LLC name (and imply that your LLC is for the benefit of veterans).

You can however use these words if your business name doesn’t imply that it’s for the benefit of veterans.

Note: If you’re a veteran you can form a free Texas Veteran LLC.

Further distinguishability details

While there are far more details about LLC name distinguishability (79.38, 79.39, 79.40, 79.43, and 79.44), their examples are too long to list out here.

Feel free to browse through to learn more about LLC name distinguishability. This is especially important if you want to use the Texas business name search online.

However, the fastest and easiest way to check your LLC name is to call or email the state (see top of page).

Questions? Texas Secretary of State contact info

If you are having technical difficulties with the online search, or you are still not sure if your desired LLC name is available for use, you can call the Texas Business Information Line at 512-463-5555.

Their hours are Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm Central Time.

And check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.

Texas LLC Name Search FAQs

How do I find out if an LLC name is taken in Texas?

You need to do a business entity search on the Texas Comptroller’s website (not the Texas Secretary of State). This will show you if the name for your LLC or other business entity is taken.

However, Texas business entities have to follow very strict rules regarding name distinguishability (uniqueness). So it’s actually best to call the state and check on your specific name before you transact business in Texas. We have instructions on how to do this above.

You can also send an email to Texas Business Services instead of calling, however, calling is generally faster.

Once I have a name, what are the next steps for my Texas LLC?

After you have a name that is available, you can file the LLC paperwork (called Certificate of Formation) with the Texas Secretary of State and pay the $300 filing fee.

Alternatively you can do this online via the SOSDirect site, the State’s online filing portal.

After they approve your LLC, you can then get an EIN Number from the IRS and open a business bank account.

Can I use the name of another Texas entity?

No. You can’t use the same name as another Texas business.

And it doesn’t matter what entity type it is – your LLC can’t have the same entity name as another corporation, LLC, or any other entity type.

You can’t use another business’s name even if the entity is in “delinquent” status on the Texas Secretary of State website.

But if a business is dissolved, they no longer have rights to that name. This means you can form an LLC with the same name.

How do I change my LLC name?

You can change your LLC’s name later by filing an Amendment form with the Secretary of State.

We have step-by-step instructions on how to change an LLC name in Texas.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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17 comments on “Texas 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.

  1. Hello, Matt. Thank you SO much for your informative article! Texas SOS should hire you to write their content!

    • You’re very welcome Ali! Apologies for the slow reply. Thank you for your kind words :)

  2. Hi, I am wondering your thoughts if I were to want one “umbrella” LLC. In this umbrella company I’d like to have 1 consumer product brand with the potential to launch another down the road. What would you recommend? Would I have to do something specific for each brand that I would launch under the “umbrella” company?

    • Hi Charlie, what do you mean by umbrella company? Some people use that term to refer to a holding company, meaning a company that doesn’t transact any business, but rather, it simply owns other companies. Those child companies (aka subsidiaries) transact business. Is that what you mean, or something different? Also, what are you trying to accomplish with this structure?

  3. Hi Matt, thanks for being super informative. I have 2 different real-estate businesses first one is fix & flips and the second is Airbnb. Do I have to get a separate LLC or can they both operate under same LLC?

    • Hi Menachem, you’re very welcome. You don’t have to form 2 LLCs. It’s up to you. You can if you want to, but no rule forces you to do so. You can operate multiple business activities under one LLC. We have some more details here: two businesses under one LLC. Hope that helps!

  4. Hello Matt,

    Thanks for such a helpful and easy to digest information source, it made my life easy, and I finally filed my LLC application yesterday.

    I have some questions related to DBA.

    I operate business in business services related to business analysis reports & business training programs, digital marketing and bookkeeping. I have separate websites for marketing and bookkeeping services, and I am using different names for to marketing these services. This even helps with SEO by having different websites.

    I want to have only one bank account and one EIN to keep everything simple, easy and faster.

    Do I need to file DBA for these different services which I am marketing with different names? ( I have mentioned on these websites that these are our brands of my LLC)
    I am even planing to jump in e-commerce and have some websites for on-line selling. These will be only on-line selling stores. I will market these websites with different names but will display that these are products/brands of my LLC. Do I need to file DBA for these websites?


    • HI Victor, it’s challenging to say for sure. Some would say it’s necessary since the LLC is doing business under multiple names, and others would say it’s overkill, especially since it sounds like you have a lot of sites and are testing a lot of things. If you make it clear that people are doing business with the LLC, you likely don’t need to register all those DBAs. However, to be on the safe side, you may need to register the DBA if the LLC is doing business under a name other than its true and legal name. Hope that helps a bit.

  5. Am I required to file an Application for Reservation of an Entity Name?

    Or can I just file the Certificate of Formation if I have verified my business name is available?

    • Hi Jonathan, LLC name reservations are not required. You can just file the Certificate of Formation. Hope that helps.

  6. Hi Matt,
    If there is an existing entity, as an example, in the database as “Blue Frogs, Inc.”, is at allowable for me to get the name “Blue Frogs, LLC” or “Blue Frog Interests, LLC”?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Stuart, “Blue Frogs, LLC” is not distinguishable. “Blue Frogs Interests, LLC” likely is, however, we recommend calling the Texas Corporations Section to double-check. The state also loosened some of their name distinguishability rules earlier in 2018. Hope that helps.

  7. We are ready to file for an LLC named ‘Petrodecks’ operating in the oil and gas industry but there is another entity named ‘Petrodex USA’ that manufactures dental products for animals/pets. What is your opinion on the distinguishability of these names? Thank you.

    • Hi Spencer, Texas has recently adjusted their name distinguishability laws this year (making them more relaxed), so the best thing to do is call the Texas Corporations Section and ask them. They run searches by phone and will let you know. Hope that helps.

  8. We want to reserve the names:
    Asante Design
    Asante Industries

    We were told recently that they are available. I cannot find where I can reserve these names. We were told it would cost about 49.00 each. Please send link to where I can pay to reserve. Thank you.

    Sousanne Miller

    • Hi Sousanne, you’ll want to file Form 501 (“Application for Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of an Entity Name“). The filing fee is $40 per name. However, before sending this form in, I strongly recommend calling the Texas Corporation Section at 512-463-5555 and asking them to do a preliminary LLC name check for clearance. Call shortly after 8am (if you can) to avoid longer hold times. Texas has very strict rules regarding LLC name distinguishability. If you’re ready to form your Texas LLC right away, you don’t have to file a Name Reservation ahead of time. You can just go ahead and file Form 205 (“Certificate of Formation“). However, if you’re not ready to form your LLC just yet, then of course you can reserve the names for use at a later date. Your LLC Name Reservation will be good for 120 days. Hope that helps!

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