Business Entity Formation/Management
How do I research business name availability?
It is important that new business owners put thought into choosing a business name. Most importantly, the name a business owner chooses should be unique; no other business should have the same name. If a name is already in use and is legally protected, for example through a trade mark or service mark, the new business owner is not legally able to use the name. Be sure to verify name availability.
The Connecticut Secretary of the State (SOTS), in collaboration with the CT Data Collaborative, offers a Connecticut Business Registration Database that houses details on all business entities that file with SOTS (corporations, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies). All entities that register with the Secretary of the State must have a unique name in that more than one business can not share or have a similar name.
NOTE: Sole proprietors and general partnerships register with the town clerk in the town in which the business is based and are excluded from registering with the Secretary of the State.
The Secretary of the State also registers and administers state level trade and service marks. For a fee, the agency accepts search requests. Online searching is available. The agency offers additional information and forms in the following link.
Contact the agency: (860) 509-6002 - business filing questions (860) 509-6006 - trademark questions or firstname.lastname@example.org Agency website: https://portal.ct.gov/sots
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Verify that the name has not been protected on the federal level through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Contact the office at 800-786-9199 Agency website: www.uspto.gov.
Additionally, assistance is available through official patent and trademark depository libraries. Although Connecticut no longer has a library, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have one or more libraries. For a complete listing of depository libraries and links to their web sites visit www.uspto.gov.