Start by checking your name against the RI Department of State Corporate Database. Remember, if your desired name already exists in Rhode Island, you will not be able to register it. For example, if there is an “Acme Enterprises, Inc.” in Rhode Island, you will not be permitted to use the following names:
- Acme Enterprises Corporation
- Acme’s Enterprises, LLC
- Acme Enterprises!
- Acm3 Enterprise
- The Acme Enterprise
For more information on understanding name availability guidelines, please visit RI Department of State Name Availability Guidelines for Domestic Entities.
You can file a name reservation by filing online on the Secretary of State’s website. This holds an entity name for 120 days while you continue to research and plan your future business. The name reservation filing cannot be used for sole proprietorships or general partnerships.
Filing a name reservation and/or incorporating in Rhode Island does not protect your name against businesses in other states. If you are looking to protect your name across the United States you need to file a federal trade or service mark. You can find more information about filing your federal trade or service mark online here.
Lastly, is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your future business is available so that you can reserve the domain name. Even if you do not plan on making a website today, you may want to buy the domain name to prevent other businesses from acquiring it.Back: Your Plan Next: Your Structure