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Name Availability Guidelines for Foreign Entities

This preliminary name search is not statutorily required or binding upon the Department of State, and does not ensure that the name will be available when filing your form. The final determination will be made by this office at the time of filing.  It is suggested that you do not make any financial investments (i.e. signs, letter head, business cards etc.) or execute documents based upon a preliminary name availability search.

Rhode Island's entity name standard is distinguishable upon the record. This means we will deny a request for a name that is identical or not distinguishable from a name on file in the active Corporate Database.  If the only distinguishing factor to your name is listed below, your name is NOT distinguishable upon the record:

  • An article (a, an, the)
  • Plural forms of the same word
  • Phonetic spelling of the same name or word (For example, Cat - Kat, or Boyz – Boys)
  • An abbreviation in place of a complete spelling of the name (For example, Northeast Industries, Inc. – NE Industries, Inc)
  • A suffix or prefix added to a word or any other deviation from or derivative of the same word (For example, Finance Specialists, Inc. – Financing Specialists, Inc. or Possible Dreams, Inc. – Impossible Dreams, Inc.)
  • A change in a word or name indicating entity status (For example, Acme Enterprises, Inc. – Acme Enterprises Corporation)
  • The addition of a numeric designation, unless consent is granted (For example, Gourmet Bakery, Inc. – Gourmet Bakery I, Inc. – Gourmet Bakery II, Inc.)
  • Differences in punctuation or special characters
  • Differences in capitalization
  • Differences in whether letters or numbers immediately follow each other or are separated by one or more spaces
  • An Arabic numeral representing a number, a roman numeral representing the same number and/or a word representing the same number appearing in the same position within otherwise identical names (For example, 2 Brothers Pizza, Inc. – II Brothers Pizza, Inc. - Two Brothers Pizza, Inc.)

If your preliminary name availability search shows your entity name is not available, see your qualification instruction sheet for directions on how to elect a name to do business in Rhode Island.