Verify Your Business Name With an Illinois Business Name Search

Prepare to incorporate your Illinois business by running a business entity search. This free search will help you choose an available name.
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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Catherine Cohen
Written by Catherine Cohen
Written byCatherine Cohen
Updated December 05, 2023
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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Creating a unique company name for your business in Illinois can seem complicated. It will be your brand’s calling card and help you establish your reputation in the state and elsewhere if you create a website for your business. Thus, your Illinois business name has to be memorable, representative of your company, and, most importantly, unique.

Your business name can’t match the name of any other business operating within the state of Illinois. You may be thinking, “How do I accomplish that?” The answer is: easily, with the right tools, or more precisely, with Swyft Filings’ Illinois business entity search tool.

Free Illinois Business Name Search

See if your company name is available in Illinois with our free business name search service. There is no cost or commitment on your part. We will email you within 1 hour to let you know if your name is available Alaska and how to reserve it today.

The Illinois business entity search can find you an available name for your business quickly, with minimal effort needed from you. It has three main steps:

  1. Input your desired corporation or LLC name, set Illinois as the business location, your name as the owner, and the email to which you want the results sent.

  2. Wait approximately an hour for the tool to search the Illinois Secretary of State database and gather your results.

  3. Receive your results and reserve the name if it’s available in the state. If there’s already a company in Illinois with the name you inquired about, you can try again with a different option.

All future entrepreneurs looking to start an LLC or any new business in Illinois can take advantage of this charge- and commitment-free business service and check their selected business name availability.

Key Takeaways

  • Picking a name for a business in Illinois will require you to abide by certain naming conventions provided by the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS).

  • Conducting an Illinois business name search will bring your company multiple benefits.

  • Once you’ve settled on a business name for your company in Illinois, you can reserve it, create a DBA (“doing business as”) and domain name, and finally, apply for an LLC or corporation.

Illinois’s Business Name Conventions

Apart from checking whether your business name is available, there are certain conventions the Illinois Secretary of State prescribes for its future businesses. Without conforming to these rules, you won’t be able to register your business.

Some of these conventions are general and apply to all states, but a few are specific to Illinois businesses. Furthermore, they differ depending on the business entity you’re aiming to form.

For limited liability companies in Illinois, you must abide by these business naming rules:

  • The name of your LLC in Illinois must include the words “limited liability company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” If it’s a low-profit limited liability company, the obligatory ending is “L3C.”

  • Your Illinois LLC name has to consist of the English alphabet, Roman or Arabic numbers, and symbols that a standard English keyboard can produce.

  • Without prior approval, the business name of your Illinois company can’t include any words prohibited by the state or show affiliation with federal agencies or organizations. These include FBI, Treasury, FDA, Police, etc.

  • Your Illinois business name can’t contain words or phrases that indicate authorization to be in the business of a corporate fiduciary unless permitted by the Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation under Section 1-9 of the Corporate Fiduciary Act. These include “trust,” “trustee,” and “fiduciary.”

  • The name of your LLC must be distinguishable in the records of the Office of the Secretary of State from any company registered with the Illinois SOS and any foreign LLC that operates in Illinois.[1] The name isn’t considered distinguishable if the only difference is in the business identifier, articles, punctuation marks, symbols, tenses, contractions, etc.

Apart from helping you create a business name for your company in Illinois, there are other benefits to the Illinois business name search.

  • An Illinois business name search saves you the time you’d spend checking potential business names if you did it on your own.

  • Doing business name research prevents the mistake of trying to register an existing business name. Not only would you have to go through the registration process again, but you may also get sued by the Illinois business with the name you wanted to claim.

  • Preventing mistakes while registering your business name will help you obtain your business licenses, a Certificate of Good Standing, and other necessary permits quicker.

  • With an Illinois business name search, you can verify any existing company in the state. Apart from the assurance that your business name doesn’t already exist, you can obtain important details about an Illinois company that might later become your rival or partner.

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Next Steps

Finding a suitable and available name for your Illinois business isn’t your last stop on this journey. You must ensure it stays available until you register your business. In addition, you can create a website and apply for a DBA. 

Complete Your Name Reservation

Although the Illinois business name search is free, you may tire of constantly checking whether it’s still available for your company. Moreover, it might not be available forever. That’s why the Illinois Secretary of State offers a business name reservation.

The ability to reserve your desired name frees you to complete other necessary steps in your LLC or corporation registration process. For example, you can file your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation, draft your Operating Agreement, prepare the necessary documentation for business licenses, etc.

If you want to reserve a name for a domestic business, you can fill out the form provided on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.[2] Then, you can deliver it or mail it to this address:

  • Secretary of State

  • Department of Business Services

  • Limited Liability Division

  • 501 S. Second St., Rm. 351

  • Springfield, IL 62756

  • Phone number: 217-782-6961

The filing fee for corporations and LLCs is $25. You’ll have to wait 7-10 business days for it to be processed. If you want to reserve a name overnight, the fee is $50. In addition, the reservation lasts 90 days but is not renewable, so be cognizant of the deadline.

If you’re a foreign company looking to reserve a name for your business in Illinois, the fee is $50 and expires on December 1 every year. However, unlike the names for domestic Illinois companies, you can renew this one for another year.

Choose a Domain Name

Establishing a website for your Illinois business will improve your brand’s recognition, make it look more professional, and increase its visibility. Once you create it, you can link various social media accounts to it and reach audiences across all platforms.

However, you’ll need a catchy domain name to achieve all that. Your website’s domain name can connect your online presence with a physical store if you have one. It’s even more crucial if you plan to operate your Illinois business only online.

Squarespace’s easy-to-use domain search tool can help you quickly find and register a domain name that matches your Illinois business. You can then choose from Squarespace’s flexible website templates, pre-designed layouts, and curated design elements to build a website — no coding required. Start your business with Swyft Filings and receive a free domain from SquareSpace for one year.

Consider a DBA

A DBA or “doing business as” is an option you can turn to if your desired business name isn’t free in Illinois. It lets you operate your business under a name different from the one stated in your Operating Agreement.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships who don’t want to use their name as the name of their brand frequently utilize this solution. Still, LLCs and corporations can also use them to create separate names for multiple services and products. Furthermore, some banks in Illinois won’t let you make a business bank account unless you establish a DBA first.

To create a DBA for your business in Illinois, you’ll have to check DBA name availability and follow similar rules as the business name process. Then, visit and fill out the Certificate of Assumed Name form. You can file the form online, mail it, or hand it in person. The fees for a DBA in Illinois vary depending on the entity type and year. They can be anywhere from $30 to $150, so it’s best to check on the official website first.

File Your Business Online

Once the business name is secured, you can file your Illinois LLC or C Corp with a document filing service like Swyft Filings. We offer a straightforward filing method that only requires a bit of your input.

With just some information about your business, Swyft Filings experts will file the necessary paperwork with the Illinois Secretary of State for you. When the documents are approved, they’ll be delivered via mail.

The service is entirely free. You only need to pay the Illinois state fee for forming LLCs and C Corps.

If you need more help with your new business, Swyft Filings can also help you with annual reports, a business name change, EIN, and more.

Free Illinois Business Name Search

Enter your desired Illinois company name to see if it is available with our free business name search.


How do you check if a business is registered in Illinois?

To find a registered business in Illinois, you must conduct a business entity search. One of the best services for this is Swyft Filings, which offers a quick and easy business name search for free without commitment.

How do I find out if a business name is available in Illinois?

To confirm that a business name in Illinois is available for you to use, you’ll have to conduct a business availability search. You can use the Illinois SOS official search tool or a free business entity name search service like Swyft Filings.

The Illinois Secretary of State Business Entity Search is a function of the Secretary of State website that allows you to find Illinois corporations and LLCs by name, keyword, partial word, or file number.[3] You can also search for partnerships.

How much does an Illinois business entity search cost?

Searching for a business entity with an Illinois business entity search is free of charge for all users.

Corporation and LLC searches benefit your Illinois business in many ways. You can search for existing businesses to get inspiration for your own business plan and structure. It’ll also save you the time you’d spend researching Illinois businesses on your own and the money you might lose by accidentally registering an existing business name. Additionally, you’ll be able to obtain your business licenses and permits earlier.

How can I find a company’s registered agent in Illinois?

To find an Illinois company’s registered agent, you must search for that company with Illinois’s business entity search. The results of this search include information such as the entity type, registered agent’s name and address, file number, effective and expiration date, chief executive office, and the company’s jurisdiction.


  1. Illinois General Assembly. “Illinois Compiled Statutes.“ Accessed May 19, 2023.

  2. Illinois Secretary of State. “Illinois Application to Reserve a Name, Renewal, Transfer of Reserved Name.“ Accessed May 19, 2023.

  3. Illinois Secretary of State. “Corporation/LLC Search.” Accessed May 19, 2023.

Originally published on July 05, 2023, and last edited on December 05, 2023.
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