Missouri Business Entity Search Process Explained with 3 Methods

If you are looking to start a new business in Missouri then one important task is to select a name. Even if you already have a name in mind, you cannot finalize it without performing a Missouri business entity search. Every state keeps records of registered businesses on its SOS website so that people can finalize a name for their Corporation/LLC.

Why Do Missouri Business Entity Search?

Before finalizing a name for your business, doing a Missouri business entity search will make sure that your selected name is not already in use by another business in the state. Your LLC/Corporation name needs to be unique from other businesses in the state. If you don’t make sure of this then you’ll face fines, lawsuits, or failure in registering the business with SOS.

Missouri secretary of state

Missouri LLC Naming Guidelines

If you are planning to form an LLC then you must be aware of some guidelines before doing the Missouri LLC search.

  • Your LLC name needs to have the phrase limited company or limited liability company. You may also abbreviate such as – LLC or LC.
  • The name should not contain words of any different business types such as a – corporation, limited partnership, incorporated, etc.
  • Your LLC name should clarify your business niche or at least shouldn’t imply other businesses. For example – You cannot name your clothing business ‘Zara Food Co.’.
  • You are restricted from using words that would create confusion with a government agency. (Treasury, Missouri Police, FBI, etc.)

Missouri Corporation Naming Guidelines

If you want to form a Corporation then these are the guideline that you must be aware of before performing a Missouri Corporation search.

  • Your business name should have either of the words – company, corporation, limited, incorporated, or an abbreviation of any of these.
  • The name should be different from existing businesses, including Missouri reserved name.
  • Your corporation name should not have words that would suggest a government agency.
  • The name shouldn’t have words that suggest unlawful purposes.

Missouri Business Entity Search Methods

There are two reasons for doing a business search. The first is to check for name availability and find a unique name. The second is to gain additional information about a specific business. Following are the ways to perform a Missouri SOS business search.

Missouri business entity search

1. Search By Name: This is commonly used to check whether the business name you want is taken by another entity. You can also search for already registered businesses such as Wendys to get additional information such as Charter no, agent name, and status of the company.

2. Search By Charter No: All registered businesses in Missouri have a unique charter number. You can search this number and it’ll give you the exact business associated with that number.

3. Search By Agent Name: If you’ve found a registered agent to hand your business documentation process, you can search his/her name and know what other businesses are handled by them.

How To Run a Missouri Business Entity Search?

You are now aware of the LLC or Corporation naming guidelines. Now, it’s time you should know the procedure for conducting the Missouri SOS business search.

1. List down Business Names: You may sure have a few names in mind that suit your taste. If not, list down names that you want to use for your business.

2. Do Missouri Business Name Search: Now it’s time to perform business name searches on the Missouri SOS business search page. Search for all names one by one.

3. Check Results: If you see the exact name is associated with another business, that means you’ll have to look for other names. You should only use names with zero results for exact similar names.

4. Reserve Your Business Name (optional): Reserving your name is a wise choice if you are not ready with the necessary documents to register your business. Simply file a reservation application with Missouri SOS. This will cost a $25 ($30 for LLP) filing fee and reserve the name for 60 days.

5. Register Your Business Name With ND SOS: If you are sure of a name then it’s wise to register your business with Missouri SOS. After your registration gets approval, the name is officially yours and no one else can use it.

Other Considerations Before Selecting a Business Name

There are a few things that you must keep in mind before finalizing a name for your business.USPTO

  1. Trademark Search – Business owners can trademark certain business names, logos, or slogans to prevent illegal use. Your selected business name shouldn’t have a registered trademark in Missouri or other states/countries if you are going to expand your business nationally or internationally.
  2. Domain Name – Your business name and website domain need to be similar. So you must ensure that the name you’ve selected is available to use as a domain. If it’s available, you should buy it immediately.
  3. Social Media – The chances are really low that someone already has a social media account with your name. But you should still ensure that there aren’t any accounts with similar names on the platforms you’re going to use for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I check for business name availability in Missouri?

The easiest way is to contact the Missouri SOS via call or email. If you have a list of name in mind then perform an online business name search on the Missouri SOS business records page.

2. What’s the cost of reserving a business name in Missouri?

A business name reservation in Missouri costs a filing fee of $25 to $30 depending on your business type. This amount is payable to the Missouri SOS.

3. What if my desired business name is taken in Missouri?

You cannot use a name that’s exactly the same or similar to another registered business. For instance, using singular and plural forms, adding articles & adjectives doesn’t differentiate two names. You need to come up with a very different or completely new name before registering your business.

4. How much does it cost to trademark a name in Missouri?

The cost of registering a trademark in Missouri is $55 (per class).


Missouri business entity search helps new owners find a unique name for their business before starting their business registration with the state.  Aside from finding a unique name, your name should also follow other LLC/Corporation naming rules. After finalizing your name, you can either reserve it or register your business immediately to make the name yours.

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