Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is North Carolina’s Secretary of State page includes a name availability checker. Check out LLC Name Search to learn more.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
How to Name an LLC in North Carolina
Time needed: 5 minutes.
There are guidelines to follow in doing a North Carolina LLC name search. To learn more, check out LLC Naming Guidelines or read Foreign LLC Application for Registration if you’re planning to register a foreign LLC.
- Check Name Availability
Search the Business Entity Records in North Carolina’s Official Secretary of State page to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your trademark, business, or domain name on any search engine to generate businesses with similar names and to ensure your trademark is unique and meets the state’s requirements.
Check out How to File a DBA to learn more about registering a DBA or trademark. For social media pages, use Social Searcher to avoid using similar page names.
- Check Domain Availability
If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name using Namecheap, Google Workspace, or other domain name sites. So customers can easily find your business over the Internet. Use the Kinsta app to manage your domains efficiently.
- File Name Reservation
A Name Reservation Certificate is required along with a Certificate of Formation. You can reserve a name online, by mail, or in person with a $10 filing fee (plus tax for online).
File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of North Carolina. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the NC Secretary of State Business Registration, P.O. Box 29622, Raleigh, North Carolina 27626-0622.
Guidelines to Follow in Naming LLC
- Use a business name with the abbreviation “LLC” or the phrase “Limited Liability Company.”
- Your decided business name must not coincide with any existing government entity. Otherwise, you might have to face legal lawsuits when filing your LLC.
- Use the LLC name availability checker to ensure your business name is unique.
- Get a license first if you plan on using restricted words to avoid any complications.
Note that you must put adequate effort into naming your LLC because this name will be with your business for a long time. Making your LLC name unique is vital as it would prevent people from confusing your business with others, not to mention it would be easier for them to recall your business, products, or services.
How to do a North Carolina Business Entity Search
It is important that the LLC name matches the state guidelines. When naming your LLC, make sure that you search North Carolina’s state website to confirm that the name you pick is unique and not utilized by another organization. Look at the following points to guide you with the process.
Use the search engine for business entities in the state’s tool.
The North Carolina Secretary of State maintains a website for conducting business searches. This tool can assist you in determining whether or not the proposed name has already been taken. It is sufficient to have backup names so that you can quickly select an alternate.
Enter your name
When you reach the search page, you have the option of conducting various types of searches. You can conduct a search for an entity using its name or its unique identifier. A drop-down menu will appear to assist you in making your selections. Ensure that you complete the appropriate fields in the form for your search option.
Make the search
You only need to input a keyword to do a search. However, there are different filters you can choose like searching for names with any of the words you input. There is also one where all of the words you input are present and finding an exact match. To boot, you can search names using IDs.
How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in North Carolina
The first step in setting up an LLC in North Carolina is to name your business. This step is important to lock in your business name and prevent other people from using it. You can reserve an LLC name for $30 and begin operating your new business immediately. However, reserving a company’s names can be difficult if you are not sure that the word you’re considering is available. Check with the Secretary of State of the state where you’ll be based to ensure your company’s name is available.
If you’re a new business owner, the first step is to locate an available name for your entity. You can use the business name generator provided by the North Carolina Secretary of State. To ensure that your name is not already taken, you can try to do a search for “LLC” or “LLC-license.” This is a fast and effective way to find whether your chosen name is available for registration.
The name of your LLC should be unique and distinctive from any other company or business. Check the state’s business name database to see if your desired name is already taken. If you cannot find your desired name, you can use the online form to reserve a name and submit your application. In addition, you can file your documents using the PDF Upload Portal to save time. Then, you can submit your filing online.
A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.
Having a domain isn’t necessary, but it is recommended. If you have a domain name, customers will find you more accessible through online means with your online website.
For domestic LLC, you can simply brainstorm for another name if the one you pick is no longer available. For foreign LLC, you must think up a “fictitious name,” which you’ll use only in the state.