How to know if you can use a company name in California.
Go to http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/. Select the radio button for Corporation Name. Type the proposed name for your company in the Entity Name or Number text box and press search. Check if the name is already in use. If the name is already in use, then the name is not available. Go back to http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/. This time select the radio button for Limited Liability Company/Limited Partnership Name. Type the proposed name for your company in the Entity Name or Number text box and press search. Check if the name is already in use. If the name is already in use, then the name is not available. If your proposed name does not appear, then your proposed name is most likely available.
However, there are still name restrictions on your proposed name. For instance, your name cannot mislead the public. Ways your name could mislead the public might be that your company sounds too much like a government agency. For instance, "San Mateo County Sewer Commission" sounds like a governmental agency and would not be allowed.
Additional resources provided by the author
For a more complete explanation, see the California’s Secretary of State Guidelines here:
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