The registration of trade names and marks is not legally required in Arizona, but is an accepted business practice.
Corporations and Limited Liability Companies are advised to check name availability with the Corporation Commission at http://www.cc.state.az.us. It is not necessary for these entities to register with both the Corporation Commission and the Secretary of State. Names are protected through cross-indexing between the two Divisions.
- Construction companies should check name availability with the Registrar of Contractors by calling (602)542-1525.
- Mortgage companies should check with the Dept. of Banking by calling (602)255-4421.
- To file for a federal trademark, contact the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office located at 2021 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA. General information requests should be addressed to General Information Services, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Crystal Plaza 3, Room 2C02, Washington, DC 20231. Questions regarding federal trademark registration can be answered at 800/786-9199 or on the Internet at http://www.uspto.gov.
Arizona Residents may also conduct federal trademark searches at the US Patent and Trademark Office's web site at www.uspto.gov; in the left column click on "Trademarks" to see a list of all available trademark resources, or click on "Search" under the "Trademark" heading to go directly to TESS (Federal Trademark Database)
Please note that trade name or mark approvals are not given until this office receives the application and fee and the proposed name is carefully examined. As a precaution, it is highly suggested that you refrain from purchasing business cards or advertising prior to receiving your certificate of registration in the mail. You may want to seek legal advice if you have any questions on the interpretation of laws or for guidance in business decisions.
Should you have questions concerning business-licensing requirements, the Arizona Department of Commerce Small Business Services (SBS) online program guides you through the basics of what you need to know to start and operate a business in Arizona and creates a customized step-by-step checklist. When choosing a trade name or mark, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you are not infringing on a currently active business in Arizona. Guidelines are available from the Phoenix Public Library.
Answers to commonly asked questions can be found by clicking here.
Using the Registered Name Information Search to check name availability:
When performing a search on the database, please follow these guidelines established for qualification of trade names.
- Search for the root of a word. As an example if you are looking to add "professional" to your name, search for "pro." Take off all plural references when searching. A corporate designation (Ltd., Corporation, Corp., or L.L.C.) cannot be part of a trade name. "Made-up" names (words that are not found in any dictionary) should be used in connection with the nature of business. We do not register Internet Domain Names. Designations such as ".com" or ".net" are removed and the remaining portion of the name is checked during qualification. For example should "XYZ" appear in our database, "XYZ.com" would not be available. Customers are encouraged to file descriptive names. There are roughly 350,000 names registered at the state level as Trade Names, Trademarks, Partnerships, LLC's or Corporations. The Office of the Secretary of State strongly suggests that customers perform extensive, independent research before registering a trade name. The Office of the Secretary of State does not warranty or guarantee that registered names will not conflict with existing business names. Customers are advised to seek legal counsel in the event of a name conflict. The Office of the Secretary of State is a filing agency and not authorized to resolve legal matters involving trade name conflicts.
- Once you believe you have isolated a distinguishable trade name for this office to register, please send a completed application and check or money order payable to:
Secretary of State
Business Services – Trade Names and Marks
1700 W. Washington, 7th Floor
Phoenix, AZ 85007
- Please type the application or write legibly in black or blue ink. Check your applications for completeness, address, spelling of the designation you wish to register and verify you are submitting the correct filing fee.The Secretary of State's Office is unable to accept credit card transactions at this time.
- Once registered, a Trade Name, Trademark and Service Mark becomes a public record and is retrievable through the Registered Name Information Search.
The Registered Name Information Search 's purpose is the researching of registrations on file with the Secretary of State. Using this tool for checking the availability of a name does not insure that the name is distinguishable within the cross-index of the Secretary of State and Corporation Commission at the actual time of registration. Using this tool for the purpose of name availability is to the benefit of the registrant in helping to identify potential problems with a name and therefor e minimize the time it takes to process a registration . The guidelines above are followed by this office in the acceptance of a name--thus following the guidelines above will assist you in determining if the name " may be" accepted by this office, but is not guaranteed.