How to do a business entity search in Washington?
Setting up a new business is never an easy task as it involves following several steps and laws that you must comply with. The first step is to secure your company name, this is mandatory for every type of structure. The Washington business name search will help you to reserve your company name, which will be required for other processes like filing annual reports, applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), processing small business grants, and opening a business bank account. Therefore, it is important to conduct a Washington LLC search or corporate name search properly.
Follow Washington LLC and Corporation naming guidelines
Business names along with reservation or registration are governed by the 2020 Revised Code of Washington. There are separate naming guidelines for different entity structures like the name of a Washington LLC should contain the words “limited liability Company”, “limited company” or abbreviations like L.L.C or LLC. It is important to follow these guidelines as they will also aid in your Washington business entity search.
Visit The Washington Secretary of State Business Search
Ideally, you should begin the process of a Washington business name search on the website of the Secretary of State. You will have access to an exhaustive business name database of all the companies that have been registered or incorporated in this state. You will find information concerning their status (active or inactive) and even the UBI number. Searching through the Washington business name database makes it easier for you to find out if your desired business name is available or not. The database contains the business information of domestic and foreign entities.
Know the search options
The naming guidelines vary depending on the type of entity. The name of a limited liability company will have an LLC in the end, while a corporation will have Inc. There are primarily three different ways you can conduct a company name search. It is important to conduct your Washington business entity search with following naming guidelines:
- Search by business name – The first option for business entity name search in Washington is to search the name you have chosen. This option is the simplest and you have the opportunity to search for any name. Let’s look at an example to understand this method.
For Example: If you have the desire to start an advertising agency in Washington and you come up with the name – “Acacia Advertising”. There are 3 parameters available to conduct your search with and they include:
- Name contains
- Begins with
- Exact match
If you select “name contains” and search the Washington business name database for “Acacia Advertising”, it brings up the name “Acacia Advertising Inc”, and the status of the company is ‘Active’; this means that the name is unavailable. Now, if you simply add an extra letter and search as Acacia Advertising then it shows the name is available.
- Search by UBI (Unified Business Identifier) – The second option for a Washington business name search is to use a UBI number. This is a nine-digit number that is also known as a business registration number, tax registration number, or a business license number. This number is obtained once you submit a Business License Application. The UBI search is normally used to check the status of any entity and can also help with a Washington LLC search. Let’s look at an example to understand this process.
For example: You have two UBI numbers: 602 050 382 and 604 850 751. When you search the Washington business name database using 602050382, it brings up the name of a profit corporation called A & D COMPUTERS INC. The status of this company is administratively dissolved. This means that you could use this business name. Now, if you search using the second number 604850751, and it brings up an active company called 3VALVES COMPUTER SERVICES, LLC; you will not be able to use the same name as this company.
- Advanced Search Steps – The Washington Corporations and Charities Filing System provides a third option known as the advanced business search. This is a highly detailed option for a Washington business entity search. This search option is useful if you are searching for a specific business that is already registered with the state. Some of the parameters used in this search include:
- Search Type: “name contains”, “begins with” or “exact match”
- Business Type: foreign corporation, Profit Corporation, or Limited Liability Company
- Expiration Date
- Business Status: active, consolidated, delinquent, etc.
- Date of: Incorporation/Formation/Registration
- Registered Agent/Governor Search
Submit and view entity details (Active/Inactive)
Once you submit your chosen name in the Corporations and Charities Filing System, it will bring up a host of information. The Washington business name database will reveal information related to domestic and foreign companies, as well as active and inactive businesses. The entity details available include:
- Business Name
- Business Type
- UBI Number
- Business Status
- Principal Office Street Address
- Principal Office Mailing Address
- State of Formation
- Expiration Date
- Formation/ Registration Date
- Inactive Date
- Nature of Business
- Period of Duration
- Registered Agent Name
- Physical & Mailing Addresses of RA