South Carolina LLC Name Search – How to Name Your LLC

Save time & be confident while starting your company. Use best professional help -
 LegalZoom - ($0 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup

Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is South 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 SC or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.

How to Name an LLC in South Carolina

Time needed: 5 minutes.

There are guidelines to follow in doing a South 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.

  1. Check Name Availability

    Search the Business Entity Records in South 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 $25 filing fee (plus tax for online).

    File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of South Carolina. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Secretary of State Attn: Corporate Filings, 1205 Pendleton Street Suite 525, Columbia, SC 29201.

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 Do I Reserve an LLC Name in South Carolina

To reserve an LLC name in South Carolina you need to submit a name reservation request form to the South Carolina Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $25.

South Carolina offers entrepreneurs and small business owners a legal structure that can limit personal liability, provide tax advantages, and simplify management in the form of a Limited Liability Company or LLC. Starting an LLC in South Carolina involves following several steps, including choosing and reserving a name. The name of the LLC distinguishes it from other businesses and represents its branding and identity. Experienced business owners and lawyers may be familiar with the process of reserving an LLC name, but for novice business owners or first-time entrepreneurs, the steps to reserve an LLC name in South Carolina can be confusing. Here is a guide to the process of reserving an LLC name and a few tips to save time, money, and headache.

The first step to start your LLC in South Carolina is to choose the name. The name must be unique, distinguishable, and not similar or confusing to an existing business entity. To evaluate name availability, South Carolina Business Entity Search data can be accessed online through the Secretary of State’s office. The website provides direction on the specific criteria that a name must meet to be approved for use within the state of South Carolina. It is advisable to have three different name options on hand because some names may already be reserved, registered, recorded, or in use.

The second step is to file an LLC name reservation application with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office. Naming rules and procedures govern the selection of a proper LLC name, and a name reservation provides assurance of holding a business name for up to 120 days, allowing for the registration process to occur. The filing of the application requires that the LLC name is selected from the pre-approved South Carolina LLC name, and the applicant must provide a statement of intention to use, detail of the applicant’s name and residential or business address, and the proposed LLC formation type.

The third and final step is to wait for notification of acceptance or denial from the Secretary of State’s office or the conversation by phone or email available options to resolve denial issues. The approval of the application reserves the name for 120 days, within which time the LLC formation must be completed, or the application option can be renewed. The final Secretary of State certification signifies the applicant’s legal qualification to use the LLC name within South Carolina only, and it does not substantiate federal trademark laws protections, which must be pursued autonomously under both state and federal laws, policies, and procedures.

It is possible to reserve an LLC name expediently through an online filing system that allows transferability and the capability of submitting credit card or debit information on a secure website. As legal assistance may be required for LLC applications, entrepreneurship resource centers, networking groups, educational seminars, or the state chamber of commerce councils can offer guidance on reserving an LLC name. It may be prudent to consult with an attorney before proceeding with naming choices or filing fees and forms, as researching and confirming each assessment can improve outcomes measures for LLC’s mission, branding, marketing potential, and legal protection.

In conclusion, the process to reserve an LLC name in South Carolina is straightforward as long as one familiarizes oneself with the legal and operational rules for it. Backing up multiple name options before filing the name reservation application is highly recommended, and seeking an LLC lawyer’s advice is also advised. Any prospective entrepreneur can take advantage of the easy, fast, and inexpensive process of reserving an LLC name, even for first-timers with little business experience. Arming oneself with the right information can ensure getting the value of reserving their LLC’s name right from the start.


What is a Trade Name?

A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.

Is having a domain name necessary?

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.

What if my name is unavailable?

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.

In Conclusion

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

About Author & Editorial Staff

Steve Goldstein, founder of LLCBuddy, is a specialist in corporate formations, dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs and small business owners through the LLC process. LLCBuddy provides a wealth of streamlined resources such as guides, articles, and FAQs, making LLC establishment seamless. The diligent editorial staff makes sure content is accurate, up-to-date information on topics like state-specific requirements, registered agents, and compliance. Steve's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship makes LLCBuddy an essential and trustworthy resource for launching and running an LLC.

Leave a Comment