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Name Availability

Guidelines and Restrictions  |  Questions & Answers  |  Online Forms  |  Resources  |  Contact Information


Name Availability Guidelines and Restrictions

Laws governing business entities generally require that the entity’s name be unique from the names of other entities doing business in the state. States typically employ one of the following legal standards to determine if a name is available for use: “distinguishable upon the record” or “deceptively similar.” Kansas uses the less stringent standard of “distinguishable upon the record”, which merely requires that the entity’s name be distinguishable from other entity names already on file with the Secretary of State. This liberal standard means that even though the proposed name may look or sound similar a small difference in spelling, or the addition of one extra letter or word, is enough to allow the name.

There are two business entity types that are not required to have distinguishable names; general partnerships and limited liability partnerships. The Kansas Secretary of State uses the following guidelines in determining if a name is available:

1. The plural form of a word is distinguishable from the singular word.
      Example: “Cat” and “Cats”

2. Numbers are distinguishable from words representing the number.
      Example: “10” and “ten"

3. The following words, or abbreviations thereof, are eliminated from the name prior to searching for availability, no matter where the words occur in the name

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • Limited Partnership
  • Professional Association
  • Association
  • Chartered
  • Church
  • Club
  • College
  • Company
  • Co
  • Corporation
  • Corp
  • Foundation
  • Fund
  • Incorporated
  • Inc
  • Institute
  • LLC
  • LC
  • LP
  • Limited
  • LTD
  • PA
  • Society
  • Syndicate
  • Union
  • University

4. The following prepositions, articles, and conjunctions are eliminated prior to searching for availability, no matter where the words occur in the name:

  • An
  • And
  • &
  • As
  • At
  • By
  • For
  • From
  • In
  • Of
  • On
  • The
  • To
  • With

5. The letter “a” is eliminated only if it appears as an article in the name.

6. The following words are not eliminated prior to a search for name availability:

  • About
  • Above
  • Across
  • After
  • Against
  • Along
  • Although
  • Among
  • Around
  • Because
  • Before
  • Behind
  • Below
  • Beneath
  • Beside
  • Between
  • Beyond
  • But
  • Despite
  • Down
  • During
  • Except
  • For
  • How
  • If
  • Inside
  • Into
  • Like
  • Near
  • Nor
  • Off
  • Once
  • Onto
  • Or
  • Out
  • Outside
  • Over
  • Past
  • Since
  • So
  • Than
  • That
  • Through
  • Throughout
  • Till
  • Toward
  • Under
  • Underneath
  • Until
  • Up
  • Upon
  • When
  • Where
  • Whether
  • While
  • Within
  • Without
  • Yet

7. The following symbols cannot be used in a name:

8. The following symbols, punctuation marks, and special characters are eliminated prior to searching for availability, no matter where they occur in the name:

  • Quotation Mark “”
  • Apostrophe ‘
  • Parenthesis ()
  • Comma ,
  • Period .
  • Forward slash /
  • Colon :
  • Semicolon ;
  • Ampersand &
  • Brackets [] {}
  • Accent ’
  • Hyphen –
  • Exclamation !
  • Question ?

9. The following symbols and marks are not eliminated, nor are they converted to the word equivalent:

  • 0-9
  • A-Z
  • #

 

  • $
  • %
  • &

 

  • *
  • +
  • <

 

  • =
  • >
  • @

 

10. The following Roman numerals are entered by the Secretary of State as the alphabetic equivalent, not the number equivalent:

11. Any space between words is eliminated.

12. The Secretary of State follows the order given below in applying the guidelines:

Exceptions

The Secretary of State may, at its discretion, accept a name for filing in the following instances:

  1. When initials are used in the name that, when the punctuation between the initials is disregarded, spell an article, preposition, conjunction or word of incorporation, and use of an article, preposition, conjunction, or word of incorporation is not intended;
  2. When an alphabetical character that is intended to be a Roman numeral is used in a name and causes a conflict with another name using the same character as a letter;
  3. When separate words are used in a name that constitute a name already on record when the space(s) between the words are disregarded.

 

Questions & Answers

How do I register a name?
Who needs to reserve a name?
What are the guidelines for searching a name to find out if it is available?



How do I register a name?

The state of Kansas does not have name registration. We have name reservation in which you can reserve a name, if available, for 120 days and a fee of $30 (non refundable). The name that is reserved by you cannot be used by anyone else to incorporate unless you elect not to incorporate under that name within the specified 120 day reservation period.


Who needs to reserve a name?

Name reservation is not required by SOS, it is just a means for you to be able to reserve a particular name or multiple names, so that name will be available when you are ready to complete your Article of Incorporation.



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