| Arizona statute requires that a corporation’s name be distinguishable from other names already on file with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and the Arizona Secretary of State, which is the agency responsible for approving Arizona trade names and trademarks. The corporate name must contain a corporate ending, which may be “corporation”, “association,” “company,” “limited,” “incorporated,” or an abbreviation of any of these words, such as “Inc.,” or “Co.” The corporation’s name cannot imply that the corporation is organized for any purpose other than the initial business indicated in the articles of incorporation.
If a shareholder is the holder of a trade name that the company wants to use as corporation’s company name, then a copy of the trade name certificate must be included with the Articles of Incorporation. The ACC requires the permission of the trade name holder to use a trade name as the corporation’s name and the trade name certificate owned by a shareholder of the corporation provides such proof.
We recommend that you check with both the Arizona Corporation Commission Name Availability and the United States Patent and Trademark office (PTO) to make sure that your desired company name is available, not in use by anyone else and your name choice does not infringe on any existing trademark. The Arizona database only checks existing company names and trade names; it does not check the PTO database. If your desired name is available in Arizona, but you do not check with the Patent and Trademark office, and if you select a company name that is trademarked with the PTO, the trademark owner may assert that your name infringes on their trademark and demand that you cease and desist using their trademark and change your company name. This can cause considerable damage to your company if you have been using the company name for any length of time and have created a brand around the name. Please carefully look at both databases when you consider a company name.