Business Name Availability Check
You can do a preliminary check on the availability of a business name in Oregon through the Business Name Search online application. The Name Availability Check function can help determine if someone already has the name you’re considering filing.
Basically, the Name Availability Check looks at the main words in the name you want to check and compares them to active businesses on file. If there isn’t anything close, it suggests that the name can be filed on our records. The final determination, however, is done by a filing officer at the time of filing.
Your business name has to be "distinguishable on record" for you to file that name. When the Secretary of State makes that determination, it doesn't consider the following:
- Words that tell what kind of a business entity it is, such as "Inc.," "LLC," "Co.," "Corp."
- Words that don’t really change the meaning of the name.
- Punctuation such as periods, commas and apostrophes.
For more on the exact rules, see OAR-160-010-0010 – 160-010-0014.
The Name Availability Check also looks for words that might confuse people even if the name is technically available. Words that sound alike but are spelled differently and some abbreviations will make names show up so that you can avoid confusing your future customers with a business name that sounds like someone else’s.
Note: Registration of a name doesn't grant you rights to the name. If someone else has trademarked the name or is well known under a similar name, you may be infringing on their rights. It's unwise to get so close to a name that people could be confused. It's best if your business name stands out.