Indiana Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: March 19th, 2024
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If you plan on starting a business in Indiana, you’ll first need to start with a business name search.

This ensures that the name you are considering for business registration is indeed available and not currently in use by another entity in the state.

Additionally, as per Indiana requirements, your desired name, irrespective of whether it’s for a limited liability company, corporation, or partnership, must be unique and distinguishable from other existing names in the state.

The following step-by-step guide will show you how to complete an Indiana business entity search.

Indiana search tips

Keep the following guidelines in mind when conducting your Indiana business search:

  • To broaden your search, enter only the first word of the name
  • The upper and lower case does not affect the search results
  • Adding or removing spaces in names will not affect the results
  • Punctuation marks are irrelevant, and even if the name contains any punctuation, it doesn’t need to be used during the search.
  • For broader results, it’s best to leave out designators like LLC, Corp, CO, Inc., etc

There are a number of different search criteria and search types that you may use to find your Indiana-based business. These options include searching by:

  • Search by Business Name
  • Search by Business ID
  • Search by Registered Agent Name
  • Search by Incorporator or Principal Name
  • Search by Filing Number

In the following steps, we will review each search type.

Business search by name

Refer to the Indiana Department of State website, also known as INBiz, to perform your name search.

Enter the business entity name

Enter the desired name while keeping the guidelines mentioned in the tips section in mind.

You may also select whether you want to narrow down your search by names that “contain,” “starts with,” or is an “exact match” with the keyword you are looking up.

If you have access to additional business information and would like to narrow down your search even further, the “Advanced Search” option will allow you to do exactly that.

The following search filters are available:

  • Business Type
  • Name Type
  • Business Status
  • City
  • Street Address
  • Zip Code

Click on “Search.”

Review the results

If matching entries are found, then the following information will be available to you:

  • Business Name
  • Business ID
  • Entity Type
  • Name Type
  • Registered Agent Address
  • Principal Office Address
  • Status

Review additional business information

If you’d like to access further information on any existing business entity from the list, simply click on the hyperlinked business entity number.

You’ll then have access to detailed business information, which includes information on the incorporators, principal, and registered agent.

Business search using additional search options

The process is exactly the same when using the other search types, which are business ID, filing number, registered agent name, and incorporator or governing person name.

Indiana search results

When clicking on the business entity number, you’ll have access to the following information:

  • Business Name
  • Creation Date
  • Entity Type
  • Business Status
  • Principal Office Address
  • Business ID
  • Expiration Date
  • Inactive Date
  • Business Entity Report Due Date
  • Jurisdiction of Formation
  • Years Due

Additionally, you may view the incorporator’s name and address, the principal’s name and address, and the registered agent’s name, address, and type.

Towards the bottom of the webpage, you’ll find a few options that allow you to complete additional actions such as:

  • Obtaining an organization’s business filing history
  • Obtaining an organization’s name history
  • Obtaining an organization’s assumed name history
  • Requesting certified copies of business documents

Copies of documents and certificates

After conducting your Indiana business entity search, you may want to request copies of business documents. The copies you request may be certified uncertified. Certified copies, as the name implies, are certified as being original, authenticated, or genuine by the state.

The most frequently requested certified copies include:

  • Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Formation
  • Dissolutions
  • Amendments
  • Annual reports
  • DBA filings
  • Initial reports

They are a few ways that you can request certified or uncertified copies of business documents as follows:

Follow this link to Indiana’s Business Filings Department – Information Requests page.

Alternatively, use the following information:

Indiana Secretary of State – Business Services Division

Physical address:
200 W Washington St., #201
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Mailing address:
302 W. Washington Street, Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: Corporations Information Line: 317-232-6576
Fax: 317-233-3387

Business name availability

It’s important to note that even though a specific name does not appear in the search results, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the name is available for use. The name could be trademarked by another business entity. So a good place to start is to check with the federal trademark database, also known as the United States Trademark and Patent Office database.

If an entity name is trademarked, then it should show up here. Alternatively, some names are not trademarked federally but are done at the state level. In that case, you’ll need to use the Indiana online services trademark search.

This is a free service that is designed to help the public access public Indiana trademark records easily and swiftly. So if you do not find your name trademarked on the USPTO website, and you do not find it on the Indiana trademark search as well, then the name is most likely available for use.

However, if the name you are considering is available but you’re not prepared to complete the business registration process at this time, you may choose the name reservation option.

The name reservation application is available on the Secretary of State Business Services Division page under name reservation.

The portal contains step-by-step instructions on how to complete your name reservation request and submit it online. You’ll also need to provide payment information as it costs $10 to reserve the name in Indiana.

If you would like to have the name reservation application mailed, you may do so at the following address:

Secretary of State Business Services Division
302 West Washington Street
Room E018 Indianapolis
IN 46204

Your Indiana organization name will be reserved for up to 120 days. Thereafter, any other new business may claim this name, so you must complete the business registration process within this timeframe. If additional time is needed, you can also file the Renewal of Name Reservation.

Domain name availability

After finding the perfect business name, your work is still not done. This is because you need to find the ideal domain name to suit your legal entity name. Domain names still hold their value due to the fact that they establish your company’s brand. They ultimately represent both the owner of the company as well as the company online.

However, there are a few guidelines when it comes to choosing domain names. Ensure that they are short and simple as well as easy to pronounce.

Also, ensure that the name describes your business and your personal brand. Try to ensure that your domain name is self-explanatory, and this will make it easier for potential customers to know what your business is about.

One of the best sites to check the availability of your preferred business name is

This is a professional service that will help to filter your results and offer alternative suggestions in the event your preferred domain name is taken.

Fictitious business name search

Businesses that plan on transacting under any name aside from their legal entity name will need to register a fictitious name in Indiana. Fictitious names are often referred to as trade, assumed, or DBA names. DBA is an abbreviation for “doing business as” name. If you’re forming an LLC or corporation, then you may register a DBA with the Secretary of State.

To go ahead and register your DBA, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Do not include words that may confuse your business with a government agency, such as State Department, FBI, treasury, etc.
  • Do not use the word “bank” or an abbreviation or variation of it unless you have prior approval from the Department of Financial Institutions in Indiana.
  • Do not make use of the word “medical” unless your company is a professional corporation in which the shareholders are licensed, physicians.

Suppose you are forming a partnership or sole proprietorship. In that case, you need to file a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the relevant County recorder’s office in order to operate under that fictitious name. You must file in the County where the majority of your business is conducted.

The business types that are considered incorporated in Indiana include for-profit corporations, professional corporations, nonprofit corporations, professional associations, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies, limited partnerships as well as foreign filings entities.

Once you’ve confirmed that your preferred DBA name is indeed available, go ahead and file the Indiana Certificate of Assumed Business Name online or download the Certificate of Assumed Name Form and mail it to:

Indiana Secretary of State
Business Services Division
302 West Washington St. Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

There’s a filing fee of between $20 to $30 for registering a DBA in the state.


How should I keep my business in good standing?

Some of the things you can do to keep your business in good standing with the state are to file your annual reports o time and pay the relevant fees and taxes. Additionally, you must regularly update changes to your registered agent’s details and keep accurate financial and corporate records.

What is the meaning of “doing business as”?

A “doing business as” name is also known as a trade, assumed, or fictitious business name. As the name suggests, doing business as names are used by companies who want to transact or conduct business under many different names aside from their legal entity name. By registering a DBA with the state, you may legally operate under that DBA name.

What is the Uniform Commercial Code?

The Uniform Commercial Code is also known as the UCC and was developed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Its purpose is to ensure that all business activities across the board are efficient and consistent.

Should I start a for-profit corporation or a nonprofit?

People who start for-profit corporations usually want to generate a profit by selling products and/or services. However, those who choose to form nonprofits want to benefit the public and do not expect any monetary gain in return.

How do I find out if a name is taken for a business?

The best way to find out if a company name is still available is to contact the Department of State where the business is registered. Additionally, you may also check on the Better Business Bureau website, which contains reviews and information on various businesses.

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