SunDoc Filings is able to perform a California corporation name search by checking corporate name availability with the California Secretary of State on an expedited basis. Reservations are good for 60 days.
Choose a corporate name***
Provide us with three name choices, in order of preference. You are not required to provide a second or third name choice but, keep in mind that many times, the first name choice will already be taken by another company or the first name choice is considered by the California Secretary of State name reservation unit as "deceptively similar to an existing company" and the California Secretary of State will not allow the reservation. Secondly, we charge a service fee per phone call. If you only provide us with one corporate name choice and it is not available, you will be charged another name availability service fee for the second phone call to the Secretary of State. Therefore, it is important to have a second and third corporate name choice.
NOTE: The most common names include initials such as ABC Inc. or MLD Corporation. Changing the ending (Inc., Corp., Incorporated, Corporation) adding punctuation or making the name plural will not make your name different. The Secretary of State considers ABC Inc., ABC Corp., A&BC Incorporated, A-B-C Corporation to be the exact same name.
Complete the corporate name reservation online order.
We will email your completed name reservation to you within hours. If you do not hear from us within an hour, please call us at 888-595-2747.
Form a California corporation.
When you are ready to form your company, please click here to form a California corporation with the Secretary of State in Sacramento. We offer routine and 24 hour rush services.
NOTE: If after the reservation period you are still not ready to form an entity, the name can be reserved again but not until after the reservation expires.
State and Service Fees
To check corporate name availability and/or reserve a corporate name, our fee is $39 per entity. Our fee includes checking up to 3 name choices per order, per entity. If the 1st name choice is available, the remaining names will not be researched.
Secretary of State Fees:
Name Availability and Reservation Fee is $17.00.
Once we check the name for availability or reserve the corporation name, we can incorporate your business by filing your Articles of Incorporation with the California Secretary of State on an expedited basis. For a "for profit" corporation, click here for more information including forms, fees, and procedures. For a "nonprofit" California corporation, click here.
California Secretary of State Corporate Names
The following is general information about name availability and name style requirements relating to corporations. In order to facilitate the filing of corporate documents, please ensure the name is consistent with the statutes related to the type of corporation being formed (i.e., close corporations, professional corporations, banks, etc.).
***NOTE: The reservation of a name does not guarantee the name meets all federal and state requirements related to a specific entity type. Names are reviewed for compliance at the time documents are submitted to the California Secretary of State's office for filing.
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California Corporate Name Guidelines and Tips
- Proposed corporate names are checked only against currently reserved corporate names and active corporations of record in the California Secretary of State's office. Since there is no legal requirement that corporate names be checked against other business entity names, corporate names are not checked against general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company or limited liability partnership names, nor are names checked against trademarks, service marks or local fictitious business names filed at the county level.
- The Secretary of State's office cannot file a document which contains a name that is "likely to mislead the public or which is the same as, or resembles so closely as to tend to deceive," the name of a domestic or foreign (out of state or country) corporation that has registered with this office or a name which is under reservation for another corporation. California Corporations Code sections 201(b) and 2106(b).
Please note, names are considered deceptive if the only difference is a corporate ending.
- A corporation may adopt a name that is similar to, but not the same as, the name of an existing domestic or foreign (out-of-state or country) corporation if the existing corporation consents in writing to the use of the name and the Secretary of State's office finds that under the circumstances the public is not likely to be misled. The consent letter should be submitted on the letterhead of the consenting corporation and signed by an authorized officer of that corporation. If a proposed name is reserved utilizing consent, a currently dated consent must accompany each renewal request.
- The corporate name may not falsely imply governmental affiliation.
- All names must use the English alphabet or Arabic numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) or a combination thereof. Roman numerals are treated as letters and not translated into their numeric equivalent. Symbols are not allowed in an entity name, except an ampersand (&) whichmay be used in an entity name as a conjunction in place of the word "AND".
- There is no distinction between upper and lower case letters, typeface or font.
- The words "bank", "trust", "trustee" or related words may not be a part of the corporate name of a domestic corporation unless a Certificate of Approval from the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (Commissioner) is attached to the Articles of Incorporation. If the proposed corporation is subject to the Banking Law, the articles must include the endorsement of approval from the Commissioner. California Corporations Code section 201 and Financial Code section 400.
- The words "credit union" or related words may not be a part of the corporate name of a domestic corporation unless a Certificate of Approval from the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (Commissioner) is attached to the Articles of Incorporation. If the proposed corporation is subject to the Credit Union Law, the articles must include the endorsement of approval from the Commissioner. Financial Code section 14100.
- If the business of the corporation is that of an insurer, a Certificate of the California Insurance Commissioner approving the corporate name must be attached to the Articles of Incorporation (California corporation) or to the Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation form (out-of-state or country corporation) at the time of filing. California Corporations Code sections 201.5 and 2106.5.
- The word "cooperative", or any abbreviation or derivation thereof, or a word similar thereto, may not be a part of a corporate name unless the corporation is incorporated within the definition of California Corporations Code section 12311(b). If the applicant is a foreign (out-of-state or country) corporation, documentation must be included indicating the corporation is organized as a cooperative corporation under the laws of the foreign jurisdiction.
- The name of a close corporation subject to the provisions of California Corporations Code section 158, must contain the word "corporation", "incorporated" or "limited" or an abbreviation of one of those words. California Corporations Code section 202.
- The name of a corporation authorized to incorporate as a professional corporation, pursuant to the Business and Professions Code, must comply with the name style requirements of the regulatory agency which has jurisdiction over the particular profession. Please refer to the appropriate sections of the Business and Professions Code and the regulatory agency for the specific type of profession authorized.
- Fictitious business names filed with the county cannot include any word(s) indicating corporate or limited liability company status unless organized as such pursuant to the laws of the State of California. Business and Professions Code section 17910.5.