Verify Your Business Name With an Ohio Business Name Search

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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.

Alexis Konovodoff
Written by Alexis Konovodoff
Written byAlexis Konovodoff
Updated December 05, 2023
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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If you want to start a small business in the state of Ohio, the first thing you should take care of is the name of your business. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or part of a partnership, you must register a unique company name. Conducting an Ohio business name search will help you do just that.

Your research can be pretty straightforward with the help of the free business entity search tool from Swyft Filings. It will only take three steps:

  1. Answer a few questions about your business and submit the search query

  2. Wait for the results to be delivered to the email address you’ve provided in less than one hour

  3. Reserve your name if it’s available, or try searching for a different name

Free Ohio Business Name Search

See if your company name is available in Ohio 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 tool will take up to an hour to search the Ohio Secretary of State database and deliver the results. Once you find an appropriate name for your business, you’ll be free to register your company.

Key Takeaways

  • Your business name must be unique and follow specific Ohio business naming conventions to ensure good standing with the state.

  • Registering a business name is a prerequisite for company registration, regardless of whether it’s a corporation or an LLC.

  • It’s best to register a company name as soon as possible, and Swyft Filings can help you do just that in the shortest time.

Ohio’s Business Name Conventions

According to the Ohio Secretary of State website (, new business owners must adhere to certain conventions when naming their companies.[1]

The first consideration about name availability is that your business name must not match one registered with an existing entity. Ohio doesn’t distinguish between different business types.

In other words, if you want to register an Ohio corporation, name availability will be checked against all other businesses, including corporations, limited partnerships, LLCs, and trade names. For instance, you won’t be able to register “Apples and Oranges Corp.” if there’s already an Ohio LLC named “Apples and Oranges LLC.”

It’s worth noting that the above rule applies to the terms “limited liability company,” “corporation,” “limited partnership,” and “company,” as well as their abbreviations (LLC, Corp., LP, and Co.). However, if a business was named “Apples and Oranges Inc.”, you could register “Apples and Oranges Corps Ltd.”

In terms of legal distinction, you can't distinguish a name purely through abbreviations, contractions, or punctuation. Here are some examples of what the state of Ohio would consider an exact business name:

  • “Apple Company” and “Apple’s Company”

  • “Apple Orange LLC” and “Apple-Orange LLC”

  • “Apple Junior” and “Apple Jr.”

  • “We Are Oranges Ltd.” and “We’re Oranges Ltd.”

  • “Apple Inc.” and “A.P.P.L.E. Inc.”

In addition, substituting “and” with “&” won’t count as a unique name, nor will changing the number, conjunction, article, or tense. For instance:

  • “Apples & Oranges” isn’t distinct from “Apples and Oranges.”

  • “Apple and Orange” isn’t distinct from “Apples and Oranges.”

  • “Apples or Oranges” isn’t distinct from “Apples and Oranges.”

  • “An Apple and Orange Co.” isn’t distinct from “The Apple and Orange Co.”

  • “We Sell Oranges” isn’t distinct from “We Sold Oranges.”

Ohio business naming conventions prohibit businesses from using certain terms in their names. Firstly, a company name can’t contain offensive language or profanities. Secondly, a business that isn’t affiliated with a government agency mustn’t have a name that indicates such an affiliation.

Furthermore, some wording is reserved only for specific business types and will be useable only after being approved by the appropriate authority:

  • “Bank,” “Banking,” Banker,” “Trust,” etc. — Reserved for banking institutions and trusts

  • “Insurance” — Reserved for insurance agencies

  • “Company,” “Cooperative,” “Inc.,” “Corp.,” “Coop,” “Incorporated,” “Association,” “Co-Operative,” “Corporation,” “Assn.,” or “Co-Op” — Reserved for cooperatives, which must use one of the listed words in the name

  • “A Legal Professional Association” or “Co., Lpa” — Reserved for and must be used by legal organizations

  • “B-” or “Benefit” — Reserved for benefit corporations

Specific changes can make a business name legally distinct. These include number types (Arabic, Roman, or spelled), added letters, different word orders, spelling variations, and different words with the same base:

  • “Two Apples, Three Oranges” is distinct from “2 Apples, 3 Oranges.”

  • “Appples and Orranges” is distinct from “Apples and Oranges.”

  • “Oranges and Apples” is distinct from “Apples and Oranges.”

  • “Apfels” is distinct from “Apples.”

  • “Apple and Orangade” is distinct from “Apples and Oranges.”

Lastly, you should note that Ohio businesses may use any combination of letters, numbers (including Roman), and common symbols.

Conducting an Ohio business entity search will be helpful in several ways when starting your business:

  • Avoid attempting to register a business under an overly similar name to an existing one, which could lead to potential legal issues and your business becoming the subject of a lawsuit from the original name owner

  • Avoid the additional unnecessary costs that come with registering with an existing business name

  • Secure a domain faster by buying a similar domain name to make potential customers find you online easily

  • Save precious time, as you won’t need to try registering a company name through trial and error

An aerial view of the Cincinnati, Ohio skyline | Swyft Filings

Next Steps

Once you’ve cleared availability for your Ohio business name using the Ohio entity search tool, you’ll be ready to take the following steps:

  • Completing the name reservation

  • Getting a domain name

  • Registering a DBA (optional)

Let’s look at each of those steps in more detail.

Complete Your Name Reservation

Once you’ve found a suitable name for your business, you can reserve that name with the Secretary of State office. The reservation will be useful if you want to ensure someone else doesn’t take the same name while you get other business filings in order.

To reserve a company name, fill out the Filing Form Cover Letter.[2] You can submit the form online or by mailing it with regular filing service to:

P.O. Box 670

Columbus, OH 43216

The filing fee will be $39 for regular business services. If you want a closer filing date, you can send the same form to the expedited filing service at:

P.O. Box 1390

Columbus, OH 43216

Note that expedited filing orders will take two business days to process. The state fee, in this case, will be $139.

You can use this form once you’re ready to register a business name. Note that the recipient addresses for regular and expedited filing will be the same as with registering. The fees will also be $39 for regular and $139 for expedited filing.

Choose a Domain Name

After you’ve secured a company name, you should register a domain name, which is the name of your website. While it might seem too soon to think about a website, the truth is that your business should get online as quickly as possible.

You’ll want to get a domain name right after obtaining a business name because it’s best to have the two as similar as possible, if not exactly the same. With matching company and domain names, future customers will find your business more easily on the internet.

A properly named website will ensure you have a reliable sales funnel that will serve as the foundation for all future marketing efforts. The good news is that you can discover suitable domain names without too much trouble. 

Squarespace’s easy-to-use domain search tool can help you quickly find and register a domain name that matches your Ohio 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

If you can’t register your company under the name of your choice, you may still be able to do business using the name you want. This is possible if you get a “doing business as” (DBA).

Registering a DBA is straightforward. You can file the same form as when registering a business name, but you’ll need to check the “Fictitious name” box on the second page of the document.

The mailing address and filing fees will be the same as reserving or registering a business name.

File Your LLC Online

After you get your business name ready, you can file your LLC online. Best of all, Swyft Filings can help you every step of the way.

Use our LLC business services to make the entire process effortless. We can even assist you if you need to change your company’s name. Whatever filing needs you may have, we can take care of them quickly and effectively.

Free Ohio Business Name Search

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


How do I find out if an LLC name is available in Ohio?

The free business name search tool from Swyft Filings is a convenient, reliable way to find out if there’s a business in Ohio registered under a specific name. You can also search the database on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.

The business entity search on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website is a tool that you can use to find out if there’s a registered business with a particular name in the state.

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

You can check whether a business is registered in Ohio with the business entity search tool on the Secretary of State’s website. Swyft Filings also has a free tool that can conduct a thorough business name search for you.

How much does an Ohio business entity search cost?

The official business entity search tool is free, as is the online tool from Swyft Filings.

Doing a business entity name search will help you discover whether a business is registered under the name you want to use. Using this tool will also help you find a unique name for your company, ensuring your compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

How do you register an LLC in Ohio?

To start a limited liability company (LLC) in Ohio, you’ll need to complete the following steps:[3]

  1. Register a company name or a “doing business as” (DBA)

  2. Fill out Articles of Organization

  3. Specify a registered agent name

  4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

  5. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

  6. Open a business bank account

  7. Obtain an IRS registration

  8. Get the appropriate permits and licenses


  1. Ohio Secretary of State. “Guide to Name Availability.” Accessed May 22, 2023.

  2. Ohio Secretary of State. “Filing Forms and Fee Schedule.” Accessed May 22, 2023.

  3. Ohio Secretary of State. “Starting a Business.” Accessed May 22, 2023.

Originally published on June 29, 2023, and last edited on December 05, 2023.
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