Illinois Business Entity Search | Process, Methods, and Other Considerations

For your business to be a valid company in the state you have to pick a unique name. It is vitally important to do an Illinois business entity search while setting up an LLC in Illinois. There is a large possibility that the name you have selected for your business is identical to an existing one in the state. We will guide you on how to access the Illinois SOS records and find your business name.

Why do Illinois Business Entity Search?  

Go through the right database of the state of Illinois, to know about existing business while doing an Illinois business entity search. Business entity search is very unique and different for many reasons. The paperwork done for business name search in the Illinois secretary of state department helps you gain the authority of the name. It helps in building a new identity for LLC. 

illinois SOS building

Illinois LLC Naming Guide 

While doing the Illinois LLC search, you have to keep certain specific points in your mind like:

  • The business name should have Limited Liability Company or LLC or L.L.C. at the end 
  • It should not include any legal phrases
  • The name should not involve any government agencies
  • The name should be completely different from the existing business names

Illinois Corporation Naming Guide

When you take out the Illinois corporation name search, follow the below given important points

  • Add company, corporation, incorporated or Limited Liability Corporation at the end of the name
  • The name should not represent the business as a government agency
  • No illegal activities should be linked to the name of your business

Methods for Illinois Business Entity Search    

For detailed information on your Illinois business name search, you can  go ahead with the following four ways: 

  1. Name: Searching by name is the most commonly used method.
  2. File Number: The number that you get when you reserve your name, will help you check the availability.
  3. Partial name: It is a backup work or the word which supports your name like a verb.
  4. Keyword: to find the availability you enter a few keywords and then check.   

Illinois name search

How to do the Illinois Business Entity Search?

Illinois business entity search is done by the Illinois secretary of state. Now that you know about LLC/corporation guidelines we can move ahead to how exactly you can start a business entity search. You can follow either of the steps given below or go to the official Illinois SOS website to know more.

  1. List out your desired names: make a list of names that you have wished for the business. While doing a business entity search, it might not be possible to get the name in one go. List out as many names as you are sure of for the LLC.
  2. Conduct an Illinois name search:  You can simultaneously search for names on the Illinois SOS website. Three different searches can three different searches that can lead you to your purpose. Corporation & LLC, Corporate and LLC
  3. Check results: If the results that you find match existing entities, avoid using them.
  4. Reservation of name: You may reserve the name for 120 days by filling $25 fees to the SOS if you are not ready to register your business. 
  5. Register the name: Dissolved business entity names could be used if approved by the Illinois secretary of state.  

Other Considerations Before Choosing the Name

For a business to maintain its status in a state along with making a new identity, it needs to go through certain other considerations while doing an Illinois business entity search.


1. Trademark Search: The business name chosen might have a trademark in advance. Prevent headaches in future by doing a trademark search. Trademark information of your business will be public and easily searchable.

2. Domain name: Get creative while taking your domain name. The most preferable domain name is the “.com”. Try taking your business name as a domain name and searching the availability through your preferred domain registry.

3. Register tax ID: The Business has to document its tax id with Internal Revenue Service. Illinois corporations can register their tax ID online.

4. Social Media: In this modern era, it is necessary to make your identity on social media. The business entity search that you carry, applies to all social media platforms. Check for the name availability on social platforms as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How must does it cost to reserve your business name in Illinois?

It costs a fee of $25 to reserve each name in Illinois

2. How can you search for Illinois business name?

There are four ways to search for Illinois business name which is by name, by file number, through a partial name or by keyword

3. How many types of search are there on Illinois SOS website?

There are three types of search which are Corporate, LLC and Corporation/LLC

4. What if the business don't have a tax ID?

The business can register itself with IRS with EIN if it doesn't have a tax ID


To conclude, you should be well aware of the process before choosing the name along with the naming guidelines. Our guide was particularly to help you with the Illinois SOS rules and regulations and what name would be legal and valid. Choosing a good name is the base of your business and will be your brand.

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