One of the first steps to take when starting a company in California is to conduct a search for companies in California. The California Secretary of State maintains an organized registry of California business entities that exist or have been dissolved. The database is free to use and makes it easy to search for existing companies or to query an available business name. Names can be checked for availability by searching the California Secretary of State's database of business names.
An available name can be reserved for up to 60 days by submitting a name reservation request form. The form must be mailed or hand-delivered to the California Secretary of State's office. When selecting a California business name, it's important to understand the different naming requirements for each type of entity. Instead of relying only on the word of a company, you can use a California business license search.
For more information, see the Business Entities section of the Secretary of State's website and the Nolo article, Qualify to Do Business Outside Your State. For more information, visit CalGold on the California Office of Economic and Business Development website. You can also search for California business licenses by name, company, or license number at the top of this page. It is important to ensure that the name of your LLC is distinguished from the names of other companies on file with the California Secretary of State.
You can also perform a California Secretary of State business search above by entering a license number, individual name, or company name and selecting a state. You can search for California business licenses on the Secretary of State's website if it appears as an LLC, corporation, or partnership. The purpose of the waiver is to temporarily ease the burden of creating a new business in California. LLCs limit the owner's personal liability for business debts and lawsuits and offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to business ownership, management, and taxes.
A DBA (doing business as), or trade name, is a fictitious business name that companies operate outside of the LLC's formal name. The California Secretary of State business search is available on the government website, or you can perform a search on a local government website. You can also search for the company to review consumer complaints in the Better Business Bureau by looking for where the company is located or where it is doing business. The Governor of CalGold's Office of Business and Economic Development is responsible for helping you find the right permit for your business.