A reservation number will be sent to the e-mail
address provided usually within 24 hours. The application fee is $25. A name
reservation is effective for 30 days or until the filing is submitted, whichever
is sooner. Articles may be submitted without a name reservation.
If the requested name is not available a rejection notice will be sent (the $25 charge still applies) and will include instruction on submitting another request without additional charge. Up to three preferences may be submitted; if the first choice is available, it will be confirmed and the second and third will not be reviewed.
Customers who prefer not to make an online request may mail the information requested below, and a check for $25 payable to “Secretary of State,” to: Corporations Division, 315 Floyd West Tower, #2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30334. A reservation number or rejection notice will be e-mailed within 36 hours of receipt of the request and payment.
No activity or investment under a name, such as advertising, purchase of a seal, entry into legal transactions, etc., should be conducted based on a name reservation. Such action should not be taken until a certificate of incorporation is received from the Secretary of State.
Name Availability Standards
Georgia law provides that a corporation, LLC or LP name must be
upon the records of the Secretary of State from the names of other corporations, LLCs or LPs filed with the Secretary of State. This is the standard in nearly 40
states and is a more “liberal” standard than “deceptively similar” or
“likelihood of confusion.”
Filing of a name with the Corporations Division is not “name protection.” For example, many business names (sole proprietorships and partnerships, among others) are not filed with the Secretary of State. Persons using such names may have rights that would be superior to a name filed with the Secretary of State.
Customers interested in protecting a business name should consult an attorney.
Names are NOT DISTINGUISHABLE if the only difference is “a,” “an,” or “the” at the beginning of the name. “The Auto Store, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “Auto Store, Inc.”
Names are NOT DISTINGUISHABLE if the only difference is the entity type. “The Auto Store, LLC” is not distinguishable from “The Auto Store, Inc.”
“&” and “and” DO NOT make names distinguishable. “A & B, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “A and B, Inc.”
"A and B, Inc." or "A & B, Inc." is not distinguishable from "AB, Inc." or "A.B., Inc."
Punctuation DOES NOT make names distinguishable. “A.B.C., Inc.” is not distinguishable from “ABC, Inc.”
Names are NOT DISTINGUISHABLE if the only difference is the abbreviation of a word in the name. “Ga. Auto Store, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “Georgia Auto Store, Inc.”
Names are NOT DISTINGUISHABLE if the only difference is a phonetic spelling of the same word. “Boyz, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “Boys, Inc.”
“Restricted” words. The use of some words is controlled by laws not administered by the Secretary of State. Customers who wish to incorporate using these words should submit a letter of approval from the appropriate agency along with the filing.
Entities that include the word “insurance,” “assurance,” or “surety” require approval of the Office of Commissioner of Insurance for filing.
Entities that include the words “bank,” ”credit union” or “trust” require approval from the Department of Banking & Finance for filing.
Entities that include the word “college” or “university” require approval of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission.
Certain “professional” terms require approval of the professional licensing board for filing.
Frequently Asked Questions
If my request is not available, must I pay another fee to submit another choice?
Another choice may be submitted within 10 days without payment of another fee. After that, the fee must be paid to submit a reservation request. Information on how to resubmit will be provided along with the rejection notice.
Must a name be reserved prior to filing?
No. Filings may be submitted without a prior reservation. If the name submitted is not available, the filing will be returned to the filing person.
Can name availability be obtained or confirmed by calling the Corporations Division?
No. The Corporations Division cannot confirm name availability via telephone. Names are reviewed only in response to online or mail requests.
How long does it take to receive a response to an online name request?
Most requests are responded to within 24 hours of receipt .
How long does it take to receive a response to a mail-in request?
Our goal is to respond to every mail request within 36 hours of receipt. Acknowledgement (reservation number or rejection notice) of a mail request can be made by e-mail or fax if such contact information is submitted with the mail request and reservation fee.