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.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning more about starting an LLC in NC or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.
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
To reserve an LLC name in North Carolina you need to submit a name reservation request form to the North Carolina Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $30.
Starting a business is an exciting endeavor, but can be overwhelming at times, especially when trying to navigate the legal requirements and regulations that come with setting up a new company. One of the critical steps to getting a business off the ground is reserving an LLC name in North Carolina.
An LLC, or limited liability company, is a popular business structure among small business owners due to its flexibility and tax benefits. To form an LLC in North Carolina, you must first choose a unique name for your business. This name must be distinguishable from all other LLCs, corporations, partnerships, and other business entities registered with the state.
To search for available LLC names in North Carolina, you can do a name search using the NC Secretary of State’s business registration database. This search will allow you to see whether the name you want to use is available or if it has already been taken.
Once you have a distinctive name in mind for your LLC, it’s time to reserve it. The state of North Carolina allows you to reserve a business name for up to 120 days, giving you time to complete the necessary paperwork and form your LLC without fear of another business using the name in the interim.
To reserve an LLC name in North Carolina, you’ll need to file a Name Reservation Request form with the Secretary of State’s office. This form can be submitted online or through the mail, and requires a $30 filing fee.
In the Name Reservation Request form, you’ll need to provide your desired LLC name, along with your name, address, and contact information. You’ll also need to indicate whether the LLC will be a Domestic LLC (based in North Carolina) or a Foreign LLC (based in another state or country).
It’s important to keep in mind that reserving an LLC name does not formally register your business with the state. You’ll still need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office to formally establish your LLC and receive legal recognition.
Once you have filed the Name Reservation Request form and your name has been approved and reserved, it’s recommended that you file your Articles of Organization within the 120-day time frame to avoid having to reserve the LLC name again.
Overall, reserving an LLC name in North Carolina is a straightforward process. By doing so, you’re taking an important step in establishing your business and protecting your brand. With a little bit of research and the necessary forms, you can secure a unique and meaningful name for your LLC.
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.
LLC names are important as it is the main identity of your business. While naming your LLC make sure to choose the one that suits the nature of your business. Follow the naming guidelines before you start filing your LLC name