Do I Need to Reserve My Business Name in Pennsylvania Before I Open My Business?


Reserving Your Business Name

One of the first things you will do in the planning stages of starting a new business is choose a name for your business.  As you consider different possibilities, you will need to make sure the name you choose is unique by conducting an online search for other businesses bearing the same or similar names.  Once you have settled on a name, you can take steps to reserve it so that another business can’t take that name while you complete the start-up process.

In Pennsylvania, business names can be reserved by sending a written request to the Pennsylvania Department of State Corporation Bureau.  There is no predefined form that must be completed — the request to reserve a business name can simply be in the form of a letter.  The request must be accompanied by the $70.00 reservation fee, and the name reservation will last for a period of 120 days.  (It goes without saying that the name must be available in order to be reserved.)

The same procedure may be used to reserve virtually any type of available business name, including, corporate names, limited partnership names, limited liability company names and limited liability partnership names.  However, fictitious business names cannot be reserved because they do not have name exclusivity and are not protected names.

When you have properly submitted a name reservation request and the required fee, the Bureau will send a confirmation for your records.  Reservation requests are thoroughly checked for availability, and the Bureau guarantees the use of the name.

If the name you chose is substantially similar to a business already registered in Pennsylvania, you may still be able to reserve the chosen name if the existing business with a similar name consents.

Foreign Name Registrations are a bit different, in that the chosen foreign names are registered or reserved for a one year period for the same fee amount. ($70.00)  The reservation applies to the name of the foreign entity only, and does not constitute ‘qualification’ of the foreign entity to register in Pennsylvania.

If you need guidance in reserving a business name, or any other matter related to starting or managing your business, the attorneys at the Scolieri Law Group, P.C. can help.  Located in western Pennsylvania, our attorneys are experienced in Pennsylvania business law and can take care of the details for you.  Contact us today at (412)765-0546 or info@scolierilaw.com.