Virginia LLC Name Search – How to Name Your LLC

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

How to Name an LLC in Virginia

Time needed: 5 minutes.

There are guidelines to follow in doing a Virginia 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 Virginia’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 $10 filing fee (plus tax for online).

    File your Certificate of Formation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Virginia. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Corporation Commission Office of the Clerk P.O. Box 1197 Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197.

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 Virginia LLC Online Name Search

For any business, naming is an important step. When naming your business, you need to make sure that the name is appealing to customers and also its availability. For Virginia-based businesses, one can take help from the Virginia LLC name search. Following are the ways to search for any business entity name:

By Business Entity Name/Entity ID

You can search by providing the entity name in the search tab. You can also type the Entity ID, to get more refined results. After pressing enter, you will get the details of businesses registered with the details you provided in the search tab.

Advanced Search 

There is an advanced search option also available. In this, you can provide more details like the registered agent name, filing number, and principal name. The advanced search option helps you in getting further filtered results.

How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Virginia

To reserve an LLC name in Virginia you need to submit a name reservation request form to the Virginia Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $10.

Reserving a name for your limited liability company (LLC) in Virginia is a crucial step towards securing the identity of your business. It is a process that involves completing various forms, paying fees, and following specific rules and regulations. The steps involved in reserving an LLC name in Virginia are straightforward, but it is essential to follow them correctly to avoid any issues down the line.

Firstly, it is important to note that reserving a name in Virginia does not mean that you have legally registered your LLC. It only gives you exclusive rights to use that particular name for a specified period of either 120 or 180 days, depending on the option you choose.

To reserve a name for your LLC in Virginia, the first thing you need to do is to search the Virginia Business Entity Search database. This is a free service provided by the State Corporation Commission, which allows you to search for existing businesses using either their name or registration number. You should conduct a comprehensive search to ensure that your name is not already in use by another LLC in Virginia.

Once you have confirmed that your desired name is available, you need to complete and file the LLC-1011 form. This form requires you to provide basic information about your LLC, such as the proposed name, the name and contact details of the registered agent, and the names and addresses of the organizing members or managers.

The LLC-1011 form can be filed online via the Virginia SCC eFile system, or it can be mailed or hand-delivered to the State Corporation Commission’s Clerk’s Office. While the filing fee for this form is a non-refundable $10, it is important to note that reserving a name does not legally establish your LLC or ensure your future registration with the State Corporation Commission.

It is also essential to bear in mind that a reserved LLC name in Virginia needs to comply with certain naming requirements and restrictions. Some of the laws in Virginia that govern LLC naming and registration include that a name should contain “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation thereof, such as “LLC” or “L.L.C.” The name should also not already be registered with the Virginia SCC or be too similar to a name of another business operating in Virginia.

The name should not contain words that suggest or imply the LLC offering services it does not provide, such as “bank” or “university.” It should not be misleading as to the nature of the business or violate another entity’s intellectual property rights. Additionally, reserved names in Virginia cannot be transferred to another entity. Nor can a name reservation be extended beyond the agreed period.

In conclusion, reserving a name for your LLC in Virginia is a relatively simple process that requires paying a fee and filing a form with essential details about your LLC securing an LLC name only grants you exclusive rights to use that name for the specified period of 120 or 180 days. It is crucial to ensure that your desired LLC name meets the statutory requirements and regulations before filing your reservation, to avoid potential legal complications.


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.

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