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How to Conduct a Business Entity Search in Alabama

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Conduct a Business Entity Search in Alabama

How to Conduct a Business Entity Search in Alabama

Before you register and form your limited liability company (LLC), you need to make sure the name you’ve chosen is available in your state. If you choose a name that’s already in use, the state will deny your LLC application. So checking name availability is absolutely crucial. In Alabama, it’s a simple process — just follow the steps outlined below. 

Follow Alabama LLC Naming Guidelines

Like all states, Alabama has a set of restrictions when it comes to business names. You need to follow these, or your preferred name could be rejected by the state. 

In Alabama, it’s important that your name include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.), and your name cannot include words that could confuse your Alabama LLC with any government agency. Your name also cannot include words like “bank”, “insurance”, or “university” without approval from certain state authorities. 

Additionally, your name must be distinguishable from all other business names in the state and cannot imply that your business does anything else other than what is stated in your articles of organization. 

Search for Name Availability

Now it’s time to do the actual search. In Alabama, this requires a visit to the Secretary of State’s website, as detailed in this screenshot. 

Alabama Business Entity Search Form

Next, enter your preferred name in the search box and press search. Do this with similar names as well to see if businesses exist with similar names. If you find the name during your search, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and choose a different name.

Before you register or reserve the name for your LLC, you should visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure it’s not already trademarked. If it has been, you’re not allowed to use the name. 

Checking for Domain Name

Check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. Once you’ve finished your name checking process, you can register the domain name by choosing an ICANN-accredited registrar such as GoDaddy.

The fee for maintaining your domain name usually ranges from $10 to $20 per year. When you purchase the name, you generally must pay for the first year up front. 

Reserve or Register Your LLC Name 

Now that you know your preferred business name is available in Alabama, not nationally trademarked, and has an available web domain, it’s a good idea to take the next step and make it official. 

In Alabama, you have two options. You can either reserve the name here, which means the state will hold it for you for one year, or you can go ahead and formally register your LLC name here. You’ll need to create an account and login in order to register your LLC. 

The first option gives you more time to be absolutely sure you want to create a new business, while registering right away lets you start your entrepreneurial journey more quickly. The choice is yours. 

You should also consider trademarking your LLC name with the US Patent Office so it’s protected throughout the country. 

Alabama Secretary of State Contact Info

Alabama Secretary of State

Contact Business Services


Physical Address:
770 Washington Avenue, Suite 580
Montgomery, AL 36104 

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36103-5616


Your business name is your business identity, so before you officially register your LLC it’s absolutely crucial to confirm that your preferred name is available. This will ensure you avoid any business naming potholes and set your LLC up for smooth sailing.