Illinois is not the first place that many people would think of starting a business, though there are some advantages to starting in the state. To begin your business journey in the state you will need a name that is suitable. Part of this is ensuring that there is availability for the name that requires you to complete an Illinois business name search. In this article, we will show you how to check for business name availability in the state and more.

Illinois Business Name Search

Why Start a Business in Illinois

There are numerous reasons why you will want to start a business in Illinois. For one, it has the third-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Therefore, it is easier to gain access to capital, customers, and skilled labor compared with other states.

The state has had some problems with deficits in trade and budgets. However, recently the state has seen a significant improvement in its credit rating and the projected budget surplus of recent years offers confidence that the state is becoming a more profitable state to work within.

One of the major challenges for the state will be the GDP rate. According to statistics, the state has one of the lowest GDPs in the country, far below the national average. That doesn’t mean that the state doesn’t have some financial perks. The state’s populations are some of the best at managing their money, with them having some of the best personal savings rates, higher than average incomes, and access to more capital than the average American.

However, the high corporate tax rate, especially when you compare their rate to neighboring states, is a major challenge. Though there are better personal tax rates which is great if you want to set up an LLC business.

Illinois Business Name Search

Why Check Business Name Availability with an Illinois Business Name Search?

There are rules and regulations when it comes to operating a business in Illinois. One of the regulations, like for other states, is that no two registered businesses can have the same name. And there are many good reasons for this.

Illinois Business Name Search

For example, when two businesses have the same name, it can be very confusing for audiences. Consider that a customer has seen some advertising on TV or heard it on the radio, but cannot get access to the internet at the time. They might try to search for the name later on. If there are two companies with the same name, the customer might not know which one they should visit, if both appear on the Google search.

However, both appearing on the Google search is unlikely to happen. If you choose an existing business name to use, you are unlikely to dislodge them from the top result. Google prefers businesses that are well established and if the business has been established for a long period, you can assume that it will be ranked high for its brand name.

In addition, using an Illinois business name that is already taken, can mean you end up in court.

Illinois Business Name Search

How to Check Business Name Availability and Register an Illinois Business Name

In these steps, we will detail how you can check for business name availability and register an Illinois business name.

Step 1 – Choose a Business Name

The first thing that you need to do is to choose a business name for your company. There are numerous ways that you can do this. However, it is often best to start by creating a list of all the words that best describe you and your business’s future plans. Then you should take these words and insert them into a business name generator.

What you want to do is to select the ten to twenty best names that are generated from the business name generator and check them.

You want to have up to 20 names because having one or two can mean that you have both of those options taken away and you have to go back to the beginning of the process. By having 20, you can save yourself time and ensure that you have plenty of options to account for names that have already been taken.

Remember that all names should follow state laws, be uniquely suited for your business, and be memorable.

Step 2 – Doing an Illinois Business Name Search

Now that you’ve got a list of the best business names for your business, you’re going to want to check that there are no existing businesses with that name. You can start by conducting a business name search on Google, social media, and domain names.

However, you cannot rely on these. Some businesses trade under a different name than they are registered. Normally these are LLCs. The DBA are registered names as well and cannot be taken, but so are the LLC names and you might not realize that they exist let alone what their name is.

Therefore, the only option to be sure that your name has not been taken is to check on the Secretary of State website. On this website, you will find a search function that can help you check whether your name has been registered. It will also tell you their current status, like active or inactive.

Another option in the state is that you send a Corporate Name Availability Inquiry Form. This will request that the Business Services department in the state will look through the records and check the desired name. The form can take significantly longer, considering the website search is instant.

However, if you would like a more personal touch, you can perform the manual check. For this, you will want to have all the information available. The contact details for the secretary of state are:

Phone (312) 793 – 3380
Email Messages can be sent through the Business Services Contact Form
Hours 8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday

Step 3 – Register an Illinois Business Name

Now you need to register your Illinois business name within the state. This isn’t that challenging. There are forms and information that you can access and request the registering the business name. It is highly recommended that at the same time as registering the business name with the Secretary of State, that you register your domain and social media accounts.

Domains are particularly important because you don’t want someone stealing your domain name when the name has been registered.

Illinois Business Name Search

Final Word: Illinois Business Name Search

When you want to run a business in Illinois, you should conduct an Illinois Business Name Search. This will ensure that you have the right to use the name of your brand. If you need help, you can always rely on the services of Bizee and ZenBusiness.

While it is not illegal to have a business without a business name search, it is not legal to use a name that has been registered to someone else. Only by doing the name search can you be sure.
Yes, Illinois is a good location for businesses. Partly this is because the state’s population is considered relatively wealthy and offers a good chance to reach customers who can afford services.
Illinois is not considered the most business-friendly state, with high taxes and a lack of support. However, several SMEs have found they have plenty of opportunities to make a successful business in the state.
The business name search is free for the state of Illinois. However, if you use third parties to help, there will be a cost for that.