New Jersey Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: March 19th, 2024
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Suppose you’re planning on starting a New Jersey business. In that case, the first thing you’ll need to do is conduct a business entity search to ensure that no other organization is using your preferred business name.

To begin the business name search, you’ll need to refer to the State of New Jersey or the New Jersey Department of Treasury Division of Revenue Enterprise Services webpage.

The entity search allows you to use a few search types, including searching by business name, keyword, or entity ID. Additionally, the New Jersey SOS provides a business name availability search option as well.

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

New Jersey search tips

Make use of the following guidelines when conducting your New Jersey business entity search:

  • If you’re sure of a part of the name, simply enter the part that you are sure of. Alternatively, enter as much of the name as you are sure off.
  • At the end of each search, you’ll find a wildcard automatically inserted.
  • Unless you are that you will get an exact match on these terms, it’s best to leave out designators like LLC, Inc., etc.
  • Leave punctuation marks and special characters as they will cause your search to return no results.

The New Jersey name search page allows you to look up entities using the following search types:

  • Business name
  • Keywords
  • Entity ID
  • Name Availability

The following search guidelines will also help give you the best results.

Search by business name

To begin your business search, refer to the New Jersey Secretary of State Business Name Search page.

Enter the business entity name

Click on “Business name.”

Enter the name of the business you’re looking up into the “Business name“ search bar and click on “Search.”

Review the results

If matching results are found, they will be displayed in the table on this page.

The following information will be visible:

  • Business name
  • Entity ID
  • City
  • Type
  • Incorporated date

Additional search options

The New Jersey corporation Business Records on the SOS website also allows you to search using:

  • Keywords
  • Entity ID number

Simply enter the relevant information and hit Enter on your keyboard.

Matching results will be displayed in the table, and you’ll have access to the same info you did when using the search by business name option.

Name availability search

Refer to the New Jersey Business Search Portal and click on Business Name Availability.

Enter the business name

Enter the business name into the search bar and click on “Search.”

Review the results

If another entity has already registered the name you entered in the state, then you’ll see a message that says, “Not available,” and “The name you selected may be in conflict with another name we have on file…”

This simply means that the name will not be approved for business registration and that you should continue brainstorming or searching for alternative names that you’ve compiled.

The name availability search is one of the best ways to determine whether or not your preferred name is a possibility or not.

New Jersey search results

Irrespective of your search criteria, you will be able to view the following information:

  • Business name
  • Entity ID
  • City
  • Type
  • Incorporated date

Copies of documents and certificates

After conducting your business entity search, you may choose to request copies of business entity documents for various reasons. You may obtain photocopies or certified business documents, including original and amended Articles of Incorporation as well as registered agent changes.

You may also obtain copies of annual reports as well as all of the documents the entity has on file. However, you will need to specify the type of documents, such as Articles of Incorporation, mergers, etc.

The New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise services allows you to search the online services database for copies of documents that you may need.

The fee is $10 per page, and in order to have the copy certified, you’ll need to pay an additional filing fee of $25 per document. When it comes to obtaining documents for LLCs, you’ll need to pay $50 per certified document.

Additionally, you should note that if the office conducts a search and it does not return any corresponding certificates, you’ll still need to pay a $25 fee per entity name search. If you’d like to avoid the fees, then go ahead and conduct a business entity name search which is free of charge and provide the office with the 10-digit ID number of the entity.

The cost is usually not determined when putting your request forward; therefore, payment will need to be made via check, depository account, or credit card with the instruction not to exceed the amount provided.

When submitting a request for copies of documents, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name of business entity
  • The report year
  • The corporate identification number

The request must be submitted to the Division of Taxation.

Alternatively, mail your request to the following address:

NJ Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services,
Records Unit
PO Box 450
Trenton, NJ 08646

Business name availability

To determine the availability of a preferred name, you’ll need to use the New Jersey business name availability search function. This option allows you to check whether that business name is indeed available for business formation or if you’ll need to continue your search.

Additionally, the name availability search ignores all spaces, capitalization, punctuation, etc. Also, the search option places a wild card at the end of the name to ensure that similar names are also returned.

Furthermore, when conducting the name availability search, it will not reveal reserved names as they are unavailable for business formation.

If a preferred name is indeed available but you are not ready to initiate the business formation process, you can always reserve the name with the state. You’ll need to file the Application for Reservation of Name with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. The form requires the following information:

  • Type of business (For-Profit Corporation, New Jersey LLC, etc.)
  • Name to be reserved, or your top three name choices (in the event your chosen one is not available)
  • Personal name, address, and job title of the applicant
  • Applicant’s signature

Once you’ve completed the application, you can have it mailed to the N.J. Department of Revenue at the following address:

N.J. Division of Revenue
P.O. Box 308 Trenton
NJ 08646

Name reservation costs $50 in New Jersey. The check needs to be made payable to the Treasurer, State of New Jersey.

The state of New Jersey will reserve your business name for 120 days. You can renew the application and reserve the name for a further 120 days.

You should also consider having the name trademarked to protect it from intellectual property theft.

Domain name availability

While the most important part of forming a new business is deciding on the legal entity name for your business, the next step in the process is coming up with an equally suitable domain name. This is because domain names are essential to establishing your company’s online presence and brand.

While it may not always be possible to use your legal entity name as a domain name due to the fact that it may not be available to register as a domain name, you can always look for alternatives that still adequately represent your business. Here are some tips for choosing the ideal domain name for your New Jersey business:

Try to make the domain name distinguishable from other domain names.

Try to avoid long and complicated names as they will not be easy to remember, and if potential customers cannot remember your website address, they are unlikely to visit it.

Do an ample amount of research to ensure that no other entity has trademarked the name you are considering as a domain name.

Do not use hyphens, doubled letters, and numbers in your domain name, so it remains easy to read and also remember.

While the most common extensions are .com and .org, they are also the most popular and easily recognizable. So a possible stick with these extensions.

When in doubt, make use of a professional service like comes highly recommended as a professional domain checking service. Not only does it help to filter suggestions, but it provides alternatives in the event that your desired domain name is already registered by an existing business. checks your domain name against over 100 social media networks like:

  • Tumblr
  • Yelp
  • WordPress
  • YouTube

Fictitious business name search

A fictitious or trade name is required in many states if a company plans to conduct business under any other name besides the legal entity name. When it comes to fictitious names, New Jersey has two separate designations.

For instance, a DBA (doing business as) name is known as an alternate name for legal entities, such as limited liability companies, partnerships, corporations, etc., in the state of New Jersey. When it comes to general partnerships and sole proprietorships, the DBA is called a business trade name.

To register an alternate name in New Jersey, you’ll need to file the New Jersey Registration of Alternate Name Form. The form will need to include the DBA name or alternative name of your business as well as other details pertaining to your company.

Once completed, you may file the form online with the New Jersey Business Charter Amendment Service, alternatively download the form and have it hand-delivered to the following address:

Office address:
NJ Division of Revenue
Corporate Unit
33 West State Street, 5th Fl.
Trenton, NJ 08608

Or mailed to:

Mailing address:
NJ Division of Revenue
Corporate Unit
P.O. Box 308
Trenton, NJ 08646

The alternate name registration costs $50.


What is a trade name certificate?

While all other entity types file a New Jersey Registration of Alternate Name Form, sole proprietorships and partnerships file the Trade Name Certificate to register an alternate name with the relevant county clerk’s office.

How to choose an LLC name?

Ensure that your LLC name is short and memorable and also make it meaningful. Additionally, it should be distinctive, original, and not overly similar to any other registered LLC name in the state. If it hasn’t already been registered as a domain, ensure that you make it a domain name.

How do for-profit corporations and nonprofits differ?

For-profit corporations are formed to fulfill the founders or owners’ organizational objectives, which are usually to sell products and services to make a profit. Nonprofits, on the other hand, are explicitly formed to provide a service to the community or to benefit the public at large.

Is it worth it to start a small business?

Starting a small business has various benefits over working for a salary or wage. For instance, there’s potential growth and your business will become a valuable asset over time if you understand the competition and the risk of failure.

What is the UCC and why does it exist?

The Uniform Commercial Code, also known as the UCC, is a complete set of laws that govern all commercial transactions based in the US. It is a uniformly adopted state law; however, it’s not federal law. Ultimately, it plays an important role in regulating interstate transactions of a business.

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