You'll need to conduct a comprehensive North Carolina LLC name search to check name availability for your new business.
We’ll help you start your North Carolina LLC with a unique and legally compliant name.
Recommended: Claim your domain name before it's gone. Verify its availability with GoDaddy.
Check LLC Name Availability in North Carolina
1. Do a North Carolina Business Name Search
You can use North Carolina’s Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired name.
To perform the most effective search, type in the name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC”, and leave all other boxes blank. This will return all entities using the same or similar names. If your business name is several words, you can even search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.
Be sure to conduct a thorough search before completing your application to avoid rejection.
2. Search Available Domain Names
Another important consideration to make when selecting a business name is whether or not your desired web domain name is available.
Having a URL that clearly matches your business name is important. This seemingly small step can make a big difference in how prospective customers find your business.
The best way to determine if your desired URL is available is to search for it online using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.
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3. Follow North Carolina Naming Guidelines
When choosing a name for your limited liability company (LLC) in North Carolina, it is important to consider the following legal requirements:
Purpose and Lawfulness
Your entity name should accurately reflect the lawful purpose of your LLC as stated in its formation documents, such as the Articles of Incorporation. Avoid including language that implies an unlawful purpose for your business.
Your LLC name must be distinguishable from the names of other entities listed on the Secretary of State's business registry. This means that your name should not be identical or too similar to another business's name. Note that the use of entity designators (e.g., "inc.", "LLC") does not affect distinguishability.
Decency and Offensiveness
Ensure that your chosen name does not include words or language that go against accepted standards of decency. Avoid using offensive or inappropriate terms that may reflect negatively on your LLC.
Different entity types have specific requirements regarding the use of entity designations or endings, such as "inc." or "LLC." For a limited liability company, your name must include one of the following:
- "Limited Liability Company"
- Abbreviation: "L.L.C.," "LLC"
- Combination: "Ltd. Liability Co.", "Limited Liability Co.", "Ltd. Liability Company"
By following these naming requirements, you can choose a suitable name for your LLC in North Carolina.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
Registering Your North Carolina Business Name
Whether you're prepared to launch your LLC or still in the planning phase, you’ll need to secure your name.
Register Your North Carolina LLC Name
Registering your LLC name in North Carolina is a relatively straightforward task. Your business name becomes officially registered when you file the North Carolina Articles of Organization. This critical document marks the formal establishment of your business in the state.
The North Carolina Secretary of State's website provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the form and pay the necessary state filing fee.
Keep in mind: Utilizing a professional LLC formation service can simplify the process by handling the registration of your LLC name and the establishment of your LLC. To learn more, refer to our Best LLC Services review.
Reserve Your North Carolina Business Entity Name
North Carolina’s Secretary of State Business Registration Division handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 120 days. This name reservation is nonrenewable.
To reserve a business name, you must file an application online or by mail. If you file online, you’ll need to create an online account and upload the application. You’ll find under PDF Filing a link to Upload a New Name Reservation.
When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the “Secretary of State.”
After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
We reviewed and ranked the top LLC formation services.
Find out which is best for you.
While reserving the name for your LLC is straightforward, there are some other things you should think about when choosing the best name for your business. You may want to do a Trademark and Social Media search for your name to see if it's available for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.
Conducting a trademark search of your business name and associated slogans or logos before registering can help prevent costly litigation in the future. Discovering that another entity has trademarked your business name does not automatically disqualify you from using it.
However, it is important to know who is using the name, what industry they operate in, and where they are located to be sure you do not inadvertently infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property rights.
To complete this step:
- Search North Carolina’s trademark records to see if your business name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business in your state.
- Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s electronic records to find any federally registered trademarks associated with your business name.
Social Media Search
Just as important, or more so, than finding a domain name that fits your business is ensuring that your business name is available for use across social media platforms. You can do this by simply searching your business name on each major site, or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.
Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using North Carolina's Business Entity Search, you'll want to secure your domain name so that your customers will be able to find your business online. Reserving your name with an Application to Reserve a Business Entity Name will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your North Carolina LLC.
Now that you have your name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in North Carolina, where we can guide you every step of the way.
How do I perform an LLC name search in North Carolina?
To perform an LLC name search in North Carolina, visit the North Carolina Secretary of State's online business search portal. Use their search tool to enter your desired LLC name and review the results to ensure that the name is available and not already registered by another business entity.
Why is it important to conduct an LLC name search in North Carolina?
Conducting an LLC name search in North Carolina is crucial to ensure that your chosen name is unique and distinguishable from other registered entities. This step helps prevent potential legal conflicts, trademark infringement issues, and confusion among consumers.
Can I use my personal name as the LLC name in North Carolina?
Yes, you have the option to use your personal name as the LLC name in North Carolina. However, it's still recommended to conduct a name search to ensure its availability and to ensure that it meets the state's requirements for distinctiveness.
Are there any specific requirements for naming an LLC in North Carolina?
Yes, in North Carolina, your LLC name must be distinguishable from other registered entities, and it should include the words "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," or "L.L.C." It should also avoid using words that could mislead the public or imply a purpose it does not serve.
Can I reserve an LLC name in North Carolina before registering it?
No, North Carolina does not have a provision for reserving an LLC name prior to registration. Once you have confirmed the availability of your desired LLC name through the name search, it's advisable to proceed with the LLC formation and registration process promptly to secure the name.