Verify Your Business Name With a Pennsylvania Business Name Search

Secure your Pennsylvania business name by conducting an entity search. This free search will show you what names are available for use before incorporating.
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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 04, 2023
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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Anyone taking on the brave endeavor of starting a new business in Pennsylvania (PA) will have a few crucial decisions to make along the way. The first is choosing your business structure. Will you launch a Pennsylvania corporation, limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, or a sole proprietorship?

Once you get the business entity type out of the way, it’s time to start brainstorming its name. You might have a name you’ve always wanted to use for your business, but we suggest coming up with at least four or five more contenders. Why? Well, your name might already be in use by another company.

Even if a variation of your desired business name is already in use, chances are your original name may be off the table. We suggest performing a Pennsylvania business name search to avoid doubts about whether you can or can’t use a business entity name.

To do so, use Swyft Filings’ free Business Name Search tool.

Free Pennsylvania Business Name Search

See if your company name is available in Pennsylvania 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.

All you’ll have to do is:

  1. Type in some basic information (your desired company name, Pennsylvania as the location, and your name and email address).

  2. Wait for the results (no longer than one hour).

  3. Reserve the name (if available) or check the name availability for another creative entry.

That’s all there is to it: no cost, no commitment, just speedy results.

This advanced search will tell you whether your desired business name is available and ready for use. Your chosen name must be unique and follow the name conventions dictated by the Statutes of Pennsylvania.

We’ve got you covered if you need clarification on these conventions. You’ll find the most important ones in this guide, along with the following steps to form your business after confirming that your desired name is up for grabs.

Key Takeaways

  • Before starting a business in Pennsylvania, you must perform a business entity search to ensure your desired business name is available.

  • You can complete the business name search using Swyft Filings’ Business Name Search tool.

  • If the desired name is available, you can either use it to form an LLC immediately or reserve it for 120 days.

  • All business names in Pennsylvania must follow naming conventions set forth by the Statues of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s Business Name Conventions

In the creative sense, there’s no right or wrong way to create a business name. As long as you feel the name accurately reflects your business and captures its essence, it will be perfect. In the legal sense, however, things get a bit more restrictive.

There is a wrong way to go about naming your Pennsylvania LLC or another business entity. Unfortunately, you usually find out you’ve taken the wrong route only after your incorporation request gets denied.

To avoid this unfortunate scenario, read through Pennsylvania’s business name conventions and remember them when coming up with names for your new business.[1]

  • Your business name can be in any language, provided it’s written in Roman letters.

  • Your business name must contain an accurate designator at the end. In other words, if you’re forming an LLC, its name must end with “limited liability company” or an abbreviation like “LLC” or “L.L.C.” Similarly, if it’s not a corporation, words like “incorporated” aren’t allowed at the end.

  • The business’s name can’t imply that the business is a governmental agency (FBI, State Department, Treasury, etc.), a banking institution (bank, trust, etc.), a public utility company (gas, electric, etc.), or an insurance company (assurance, bond, reassurance, etc.) without explicit permission.

  • No cursing, swearing, or blasphemous words are allowed to be a part of the business name.

Other words you can’t use in a Pennsylvania business name without the necessary permits include:

  • Words implying that the company is an educational institution (college, seminary, university, etc.)

  • Words implying that the company provides engineering or surveying services (engineer, engineering, surveyor, surveying, etc.)

  • Words implying any form of architecture practice (architect, architecture, etc.)

On the surface, a Pennsylvania business entity search will help you check whether your desired LLC name is available. If you dig deeper, you’ll find numerous other benefits of this search.

  • Covering all your bases. In Pennsylvania, your business name must be distinguishable from currently used and reserved names. An entity search will help you stay away from these names. However, with a more advanced search, you can uncover the names of companies about to cease business or abandon their names and reserve your desired name as soon as it becomes available.

  • Discovering important information. A Pennsylvania business entity search can uncover numerous essential details about a business. Depending on your search term and type, you can find the company’s business license status, entity number, registered agent, and more.

  • Purchasing business documents. You can buy several certified documents through a Pennsylvania business entity search (for example, a Certificate of Good Standing).

  • Saving time and money. Having a similar business name to a company that has already trademarked its name is a lawsuit waiting to happen. And let’s not forget the wasted time on changing your business name. Even if we set this worst-case scenario aside, getting an incorporation request denied due to the business’s name is an unnecessary time and money waste for any entrepreneur. 

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Next Steps

If you’re lucky (and creative enough), the first name you checked through the Pennsylvania entity search is free to use. Even if it’s taken several inquiries, the result is what matters — hopefully, you’ve found the perfect name for your business. So, what now? 

Complete Your Name Reservation

Let’s say that a terrific business name has just occurred to you. You do the Pennsylvania Secretary of State search and realize the name is available, but you’re nowhere near ready to start a business.

Does that mean your only option is to hope no one takes the name before you can file your Articles of Incorporation with the Pennsylvania Department of State? Not at all.

You can reserve your desired name, which places the name on hold until you’re ready to use it for incorporation. You can’t take too long to get ready. A name reservation in Pennsylvania lasts for 120 days. That’s how long you have to file for an LLC and make the name officially yours.

Any person can reserve a business name as long as they follow the proper procedure:[1]

  1. Fill out the Name Reservation form following the instructions at the bottom.

  2. Pay a $70 filing fee.

  3. Send the form to the following address:

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

P.O. Box 8722

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

You can use the same form and procedure to transfer the rights to your reserved name to another individual.

Remember that the business name is officially yours only after you finalize the legal requirements of forming your business entity.

Choose a Domain Name

Another name that should top your list of priorities as a business owner is the domain name. In an increasingly digital world, domain names are a hot commodity. Perhaps surprising to some, they can be even more challenging to nail than the business name.

When starting a new business, you should have a matching name across all your marketing channels, online and offline. This means you should closely follow a business name reservation with checking the name availability for a matching domain name.

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

We’re still not done with business-related names you should keep in mind. There’s also something called a DBA (doing business as) you may want to consider.

A DBA, or a trade name, is a fictitious name you can legally use for your business even though it’s not your official business name.[2]

There are several reasons why you should consider a DBA in Pennsylvania:

  • Rebranding your company without going through the hassle of changing the official business name

  • Choosing a simpler and more memorable name for your customers

  • Selecting a name that’s already taken as the business name (as long as there’s no trademark infringement)

  • Branching out with new products and services without launching separate companies

To use a DBA for your business, you must do the following:

  1. Fill out the Registration of a Fictitious Name form.

  2. Pay the $70 filing fee.

  3. Send the form to the address stated on the form.

Swyft Filings can file for your DBA online, allowing you to focus on running your business.

File Your LLC Online

After performing a Pennsylvania entity search and securing your perfect business name, there’s nothing left to do but officially launch your business. Swyft Filings can help you file your LLC online, sparing you the hassle of dealing with documents, state fees, and mailing.

Our company can take the mundane administrative tasks off your hands, allowing you to focus solely on developing a rock-solid business plan and growing your business. From offering the super-helpful Business Name Search tool to submitting your annual report, Swyft Filings aims to make starting and managing your business a breeze.

Free Pennsylvania Business Name Search

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


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

To find out if a business name is available in Pennsylvania, you must perform a business entity search. You can do this by visiting the Pennsylvania Department of State website or using Swyft Filings’ handy Business Name Search tool.

The Pennsylvania Secretary of State Business Entity Search is a registry that contains information about all businesses operating in the state. You can search this resource in several ways, including by business name, phone number, and entity ID number.

How do I find a business entity in Pennsylvania?

To find a business entity in Pennsylvania, you can perform a corporation search through the site or Swyft Filings’ free online tool. Alternatively, you can request a written search by sending a letter to the Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.

How much does a Pennsylvania business entity search cost?

When using Swyft Filings’ Business Name Search tool, a Pennsylvania business entity search is free.

A business entity search gives you peace of mind when filing for an LLC. It also allows you to check out your competition and request several critical legal documents.

How long does a PA business entity search take?

A PA business entity search will take no longer than one hour, provided the first name you choose is available.


  1. Pennsylvania General Assembly. “Statues of Pennsylvania: Title 15.” Accessed May 22, 2023.

  2. PA Business One-Stop Shop. “Fictitious Name.” Accessed May 22, 2023.

Originally published on July 05, 2023, and last edited on December 04, 2023.
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