Corporations

What is a "Distinguishable" Business Name?

How to determine if the entity name you want to use is "distinguishable" from any other name on record:

What is "distinguishable"?

"Distinguishable" is defined by Alaska Regulation 3 AAC 16.120(a)(1) a name is distinguishable if:

  • each name contains one or more different letters or numerals or has a different sequence of letters or numerals;
  • one of the key words is different;
  • the key words are the same, but they are in a different order;
  • the key words are the same, but the spelling is creative, unusual, or artistic;
  • the key words have a marked difference in meaning in their contexts and the words are not literally identical;
  • the difference in key words is between how a number is expressed, as a numeral, Roman numeral, or word representing a numeral; or
  • an "s" is added or deleted to make the word plural, singular, or possessive; and
What is "non-distinguishable"?

"Non-Distinguishable" is defined by Alaska Regulation 3 AAC 16.120(a)(2) a name is not distinguishable if:

  • use of the words or abbreviations of the words "incorporated," "corporation," "company," "limited," "limited liability company," or "limited liability partnership," or use of the words "limited partnership," without abbreviation;
  • differences in punctuation or special characters;
  • differences in capitalization;
  • differences in whether the letters or numbers immediately follow each other or are separated by a space if the sequence of letters or numbers is identical;
  • the presence or absence of an article, preposition, or conjunction, or a symbol for that word, including "a", "an", "by", "for", "in", "plus", "the", "to", and "with".
What is a "key word"?

"Key word" is defined by Alaska Regulation 3 AAC 16.120(b):

  • A word other than an article, preposition, conjunction, or entity identifier.
  • Entity identifiers include "incorporated", "inc.", "corporation", "corp", "co.", "limited partnership", "limited", "ltd.", "limited liability company", "llc", "limited liability partnership", and "llp."
To determine if the name you want to use is “distinguishable” from another name on record:
  • Conduct a thorough search, including but not limited to: the internet; business license records; corporation records; professional license records; telephone directories; trademark records; and catalogs.
  • If you require further assistance you are advised to seek the services of an attorney or other qualified professional.
How do I protect the “distinguishable” name I have selected?

Contact Us:

If you have questions you can reach us at either the Juneau or Anchorage phone numbers listed below or by emailing us at corporations@alaska.gov.