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Secretary of State

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Name Availability Guidelines

Business Services Division > Corporations > Name Availability Guidelines Name Availability Guidelines

Secretary of State Name Availability Guidelines

Under Indiana law, IC 23-1-23-1 (b), IC 23-18-2-9, and IC 23-16-2-1 (a), the Secretary of State is charged with keeping business entity names distinguishable on our records. Following are the guidelines our office uses when checking for name availability at the time of processing a filing:

A name is distinguishable if:

a. it contains different letters, numerals or words.

b. it has a different sequence of letters or numerals from other names on the Secretary of State's records.

c. if the roots of the words are the same but the words are in a different order.

The following are not distinguishing characteristics:

a. the choice of the word indicating corporateness, e.g. corporation, inc., etc.

b. the use of articles such as "the", "an" or "a"

c. differences in punctuation

d. differences in capitalization

e. plurals or possessives

f. hyphenation or combining words

g. the words "and" and "&" are interchangeable upon the records of the Secretary of State

h. numbers in arabic, roman or as a word are treated the same.

**Please note that incorporation under a particular name is not authorization from the Secretary of State to use a particular name; Incorporation under a particular name means that the name is available for registration pursuant to the name availability standard listed above.