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

Last updated: June 19th, 2024
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Prior to forming a new business in the state of Nebraska, you’ll need to conduct a name availability search on the Secretary of State’s website. The business entity search helps you to determine whether or not a preferred name is available for business registration.

When conducting the corporate and business search on the Nebraska government website, you’ll be able to search businesses by name using a number of different criteria.

The following step-by-step guide will show you how to conduct a Nebraska business entity search.

Nebraska search tips

When searching for a Nebraska-based business, the following tips will help get you the most accurate results:

  • The Nebraska business entity search is not case-sensitive. So feel free to use upper and lowercase letters if need be.
  • Punctuation marks and special characters will affect your results, so if a name does not include them, there’s no need to add them.
  • Try not to confuse singular and plural keywords in the name, as it will limit your search results
  • For the broadest results, do not use additional search criteria aside from “Name keyword search,” as it will narrow down your options.
  • However, if you want to narrow down your options, then choose either one of the options below before continuing your search:
  1. Name starts with
  2. Name sounds like
  3. Name exact match
  4. Account number

Business search by name

Refer to the Nebraska online services portal and navigate to the Corporate and Business Search page to begin searching for registered businesses in the state of Nebraska.

1
Enter the business name

Select “Name keyword search” and then select “Match any word.”

The steps above will give you the broadest results.

Enter the name of the business and click the reCAPTCHA box that says, “I’m not a robot.”

Then click on “Perform Search.”

2
Review the results

If matching entries are found, you’ll see a message that says, “Your search has returned an X amount of results.”

On this page, you will have access to the following business entity information:

  • Name
  • Secretary of State account number
  • Type
  • Status

3
Review additional business information

If you’d like to access additional business information on any entity, simply click on the “details” button next to the entity name.

This will take you to the business summary page, where you’ll have access to more business information such as the SOS account number, nature of business, date filed, designated office address as well as registered agent and office address details, etc.

Additional search criteria

You may start a new search or continue your search for registered businesses in the state of Nebraska by selecting the following options on the same page:

  • Name starts with
  • Name keyword search (used in the example)
  • Name sounds like
  • Name exact match
  • Account number

Simply use the exact same process mentioned above to search for various entities in the state. Once you find matching results, you may click on the “details” button to access further information on any specific business entity.

Nebraska search results

Irrespective of your search type or criteria, you will have access to the following information:

  • SOS account number
  • Status
  • Principal office address
  • Nature of business
  • Registered Agent and office address
  • Next report due date
  • Entity type
  • Designated office address
  • Date filed

Additionally, the business summary page allows you to view and purchase available filed documents.

Copies of documents and certificates

After conducting your Nebraska business entity search, you may want to obtain copies of business documents. Business documents may be available in plain copies or certified copies as requested.

Certified copies are accompanied by an endorsement, seal, and certificate from the Department of State. This proves that the copies are a true and correct representation of the documents that the state has on file.

Certain documents like the Certificate of Good Standing may be available while conducting the business entity search. Simply navigate to the business summary page of the chosen entity and tick the box next to the available document or business filing.

Then click on “Add items to cart,” pay the necessary filing fees, and you will have obtained plain copies of the entity’s business documents. These documents cannot be authenticated or Apostilled.

In order to have the certificates authenticated, you must reach out to the Secretary of State’s office directly to obtain information and instructions on how to get the certified copies.

Make use of the following information to contact the Nebraska SOS:

Nebraska Secretary of State

Physical address:
State Capitol, Room 1301
Lincoln, NE 68509

Mailing address:
1445 K St., Room 1301
Lincoln, NE 68509

Phone: 402-471-4079
Fax: 402-471-3666

Business name availability

The Nebraska business name search checks the business registry against all business names registered in the state, including trademarks, trade names, and service marks.

Therefore, if a business is registered under a specific name in the state, it will come up during your search. However, if the name does not come up, you should still reach out to the Secretary of State’s office to inquire about the availability of the name. This is because the entity search is not definitive proof of the availability of a given name.

Use the following information to reach out to the Department of State’s office:

Phone: (402) 471-3666
Email: [email protected]

Mailing address:
Secretary of State’s Office,
Business Services Division, PO Box 94608,
Lincoln, NE 68509

Additionally, when deciding on a name for your business, you should note that the name cannot be too similar to any of the existing businesses in the state.

If the Secretary of State’s office confirms that the name is available for business registration, but you’re not ready to initiate the business formation process immediately, you may reserve the name.

The name reservation request has to be submitted in writing, accompanied by the appropriate filing fee, and if approved by the state’s office, you’ll need to file the necessary paperwork. Thereafter, the name will be reserved for a 120-day period.

Domain name availability

After deciding on the ideal name for your business, it’s time to start thinking about a domain name as well. This is because domain names are just as important as entity names. Domain names give your business credibility and authority and establish your online presence.

It also eliminates the need to print out catalogs and flyers, thereby saving you money and time.

A domain name is basically a website that allows customers to browse through your offerings without much effort. That said, you should choose your domain name wisely, as choosing a domain name incorrectly or poorly could have negative impacts on your business.

Just ensure that you do an ample amount of research into your domain name and ensure that it is easy to remember.

When choosing a domain name, ensure that you use the following tips to get the best possible domain name for your business:

  • Do not choose long or complicated domain names as people may find it overwhelming and might not go to your website at all. So keep the name short and memorable.
  • Avoid the use of hyphens and double letters.
  • Avoid using domain names that are too similar to existing domains out there.
  • Ensure that your domain name accurately represents your business and your brand.

When it comes to finding the ideal domain name, make use of a professional service like Namechk.com. Namechk.com checks your domain against 36 different platforms and 100 social media networks to give you the best possible results.

It also helps to filter your search results and provides alternatives in the event that your desired domain name is unavailable.

Fictitious business name search

Another important consideration is registering a DBA in Nebraska. DBAs are also known as trade, assumed, or fictitious names.

Fictitious names should be considered if you want to do business under a different name from your legal name. While a DBA registration is not required in the state of Nebraska in order to conduct business under an assumed name, it’s still a good idea to have one registered in the event that you’d like to:

  • Have a corporate bank account under your fictitious name
  • Get assistance with applying for a federal trademark
  • Receive payments and checks to that fictitious name

If you’d like to conduct the above-mentioned actions, then setting up a DBA Nebraska is indeed necessary. The first step in filing a fictitious name is checking the availability of the name.

Once you’ve determined that the name is indeed available for DBA registration, you should go ahead and check the name to make sure that it complies with state naming requirements.

Certain names are not allowed, such as any names consisting of:

  • Deceptive, immoral, or scandalous matter
  • Names that falsely suggest a connection with a dead or living person, belief, or national symbol
  • A name that consists of or simulates the coat of arms or other insignia of the United States, any foreign nation, or any state
  • Your fictitious name should also not be too similar to existing fictitious names in the state

To go ahead and register your tradename in Nebraska, you must supply the name of the business, the name you’d like to have registered as a fictitious name, the business’s address, the date that the fictitious name was first used in the state and the general nature of your business.

FAQs

How do I go about getting a business document authenticated?

Only the Secretary of State can have business documents authenticated or apostilled. For authentications of business documents, reach out directly to the Secretary of State and request that the documents be certified. You’ll then receive certified copies containing the seal or endorsement from the Secretary of State.

Can anyone serve as a service of process agent?

Anyone can serve as your business’s registered agent as long as they are 18 years of age, have a physical street address within the state which is not a PO Box address, and must maintain availability during regular business hours. Additionally, the registered agent must consent to the appointment.

How do for-profit corporations and nonprofits differ?

For-profit corporations are businesses whose primary goals are to generate income and profit for their employees, leaders, and founders. Nonprofit businesses, on the other hand, are organizations that are primarily focused on providing a charitable benefit to the community.

Is a business entity name the same as a business’s legal name?

A business entity name is a legal name under which a business is formed. This is the name that you will be using on all formation documents as well as all correspondence with the state. The business entity name differs from the trade name, which is purely for branding purposes and not the business’s legal name.

Should I start a limited liability company (LLC) or a limited liability partnership(LLP)?

It all depends on what your business goals are. Both limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships have an equal amount of pros and cons. Additionally, it could be quite costly to change the structure of the business once you’ve made the state filings. However, if your primary concern is tax liability or limited liability, then an LLC would prove to be the better option.

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