How to Do an Ohio Business Search:
Follow our step-by-step guide to performing a business search on Ohio's Secretary of State (SOS) website. We've included some useful tips to aid your search.
Conduct an Ohio business search online.
Go to the Ohio Secretary of State (SOS) website.
Ohio's SOS website offers a range of search options, but you will want to use the Business Name search option.
Enter your chosen name in the search bar.
In the blank search bar next to "Business Name," type in your business name exactly as you want to use it but without any identifiers (like "LLC" or "Corporation") or punctuation. If your business name is several words long, you can simply type in the first word or two. Leave the search filter on "All" and click on "Search."
Click on "Name Search Help" to read through some more search tips.
View your search results.
To see your search results, you will need to scroll down below the search block. If your name is available for use, you will see a message saying "No data available in table."
Otherwise, the table will show information including the entity number, business name, type, filing date, expiry date, status, location, county, and a link for more details. Go through the list of names to see if your exact name or a deceptively similar one is already registered.
Searching a single keyword with the wildcard symbol (%) will return a much more comprehensive list of results. For example, when searching "NameSnack," we got zero results, but when we searched "Name%" we received 407 results.
Additional Ohio business search steps.
Check that the corresponding domain name is available.
To help your customers find your business easily, you should also check that you can use the domain name and email address that matches your business name.
Search the USPTO database.
Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademark database to check that your name has not been trademarked or is in the process of being trademarked.
Search Ohio's state trademark database.
You can perform a search of Ohio's trademark database by using the "Trademark/Service Mark Search" option.
Type a keyword from your chosen name into the search field next to "Mark Description" and click "Search."
View your search results for your business name or any deceptively similar names.
Before deciding if trademarking your business name is the right choice for you, read through Ohio's trademark information booklet.
Reserve your business name.
Once you have come up with a great business name and have confirmed that it is available for use, you can file a name reservation application. The reservation will be valid for 180 days.