How to Guide: How to Reserve a Name
You may also download the Name Reservation Form and mail it in with the fee.
Consult the following sections for specific information:
Note: 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 the entity formation documents are filed and a certificate of incorporation, certificate of organization, certificate of limited partnership, or certificate of authority is issued by the Secretary of State.
How To Reserve a Name
Up to three preferences may be submitted for a name reservation; if the first choice is available it will be reserved, and the second and third choices will not be reviewed.
A name reservation is effective for 30 days or until the filing is submitted, whichever is sooner.
If the name is available, the name will be reserved and a name reservation number will be sent to the applicant.
If the requested name is not available a rejection notice will be sent (the $25 charge still applies) and will include instructions on submitting another request without additional charge.
Name reservation requests are generally processed within 5 to 7 business days of receipt.
The filing of a name reservation is not required for registering a corporation, limited liability company or limited partnership. It is optional; however, filing for the name reservation first may save you time and money and could reduce the processing time for your application.
Name Availability Standards
Georgia law provides that a corporation, limited liability company (“LLC”) or limited partnership (“LP”) name must be distinguishable 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.
Without limiting the discretion of the Secretary of State to determine that a name is not distinguishable, the following are examples of when a requested name will be considered "not distinguishable" from an existing name:
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.”
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.”
“&” and “and” do not make names distinguishable. “A & B, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “A and B, Inc.”; and "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.”
Plural forms of the same word do not make names distinguishable.
A suffix added to a word or any other deviation from or derivative of the same word does not make names distinguishable.
The Secretary of State may restrict from use, require consent, or require further information before certain terms shall be used in an entity name.
The use of some words is controlled by laws not administered by the Secretary of State.
Customers who wish to form entities using these words should submit a letter of approval from the appropriate agency along with the filing.
Use of the following terms in an entity name requires the written approval of the Office of Commissioner of Insurance: “insurance,” “assurance,” “surety,” “fidelity,” “reinsurance,” “reassurance,” or “indemnity.”
Use of the following terms or any variation of the word “bank” in an entity name requires the written approval of the Department of Banking and Finance: "bank," “banc,” “banque,” “banker,” “banking company,” “banking house,” “bancorp,” “bankruptcy,” “credit union,” “savings & loan,” “trust,” or “trust company.”
Use of the following terms in an entity name requires the written approval of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission: “college” or “university.”
In all cases, the $25 filing fee is nonrefundable ($35 if filing by paper format).
- Once you file your name reservation, the Secretary of State will perform a thorough name search. If your first name is taken, the agency will continue searching the names you provided in your stated order of preference.
- If one of your names is approved, your name is reserved for 30 days. If you wish to continue reserving your name after 30 days, you will have to reapply and pay an additional $25 fee ($35 if filing in paper format).
- If all three options are taken, you will receive a rejection notice by email or mail. You then have the option to reapply with three new name options. Your rejection notification will include instructions on submitting another request without additional charge.
How To File
- Visit the Secretary of State’s online services page.
- Create a user account.
- Select “name reservation”.
- Fill out your personal information and three desired names, in order of preference.
- Pay the $25 filing fee by approved credit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.
Processing Time: 7 business days, unless the name reservation request is expedited for an additional cost.
- Download and fill out a name reservation request form.
- Mail the completed form and $35 check or money order to:
Office of Secretary of State
Corporations Division, Name Reservation Request
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE
Suite 313 West Tower
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Processing Time: 15 business days, unless the name reservation request is expedited for an additional cost.