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(Note, picking a business name, or trade name, is different than picking a trademark or servicemark. A short explanation is at the end about the difference between a trade name and a trademark/servicemark.)
Businesses are registered with the Secretary of State in the State of Connecticut.
An initial step in the process of forming an LLC in Connecticut is deciding on a name for the LLC.
Search on the Secretary of State website for the State of Connecticut to see if there is a business already registered with the name you plan to register.
There are multiple websites to search:
When registering a name with the Secretary of State of the State of Connecticut all that is needed is a non-exact name as another business.
So even a slight variation will be allowed when registering the business.
But, in general, it’s best to pick a different name which won’t be confused with another.
Search for variations of the name:
In general, it’s best to search for variations of the name you plan to have -- to see what else is out there and you’ll be able to see the quirks in the above databases.
Variations mean: searching for –
a) only the first part of the first word in the proposed name;
b) only the first word in the proposed name;
c) the second word only if the proposed name has multiple words; and
d) reversing parts of the proposed name if the proposed name has multiple words.
The above information to find a unique Connecticut business name is based on picking a trade name which is different than looking for a name which will be used as a mark – a trademark or servicemark – which will be used to indicate the source of the good or service sold.
The difference between a trade name and a trademark/servicemark is that a trade name is the name of a business or vocation and a trademark/servicemark is a word, phrase, or graphic which is used to indicate that the good or service is being sold by the owner of the trademark/servicemark and to differentiate their goods/services from another selling similar goods/services.
A trade name may or may not act as a trademark/servicemark.
The Advanced Business Searching - CT Data Collaborative and C.O.N.C.O.R.D. database are good places to look -- when doing a comprehensive search -- to determine if there is another company with a business name, which may cause a conflict when picking a name for a trademark/servicemark.
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