All businesses should complete a South Carolina Business Name Search before forming a South Carolina LLC.
We'll show you how to check LLC name availability in our South Carolina Secretary of State Business Search guide below.
Need help forming an LLC? Read our Best LLC Services review.
Naming Your South Carolina LLC
1. Follow South Carolina Naming Guidelines
We recommend making sure your business name meets guidelines before completing your business name search.
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with South Carolina naming requirements and that potential clients can search for easily.
Be sure to follow these naming guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your South Carolina LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your South Carolina LLC.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
2. Do a South Carolina Business Name Search
Before filing your name reservation request, you can use the South Carolina Business Entity Search to check the availability of your desired entity name. To perform the most effective search, type in the entity 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.
If you reserve a name online, the website automatically prompts you to do a search first. Be sure to conduct a thorough search before completing your paperwork to avoid rejection.
3. 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.
Find a Domain Now
4. Reserve Your South Carolina Business Entity Name
The South Carolina Secretary of State's Division of Corporations handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for a nonrenewable 120 days.
To reserve a business name, you must file an application by mail. 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.
South Carolina LLC Name Reservation Form
File by Mail With the South Carolina Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Attn: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton Street Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
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While reserving the name for your South Carolina 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:
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. To this, search your business name on each major site, using 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 the South Carolina 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 a South Carolina LLC Name Reservation Form will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your LLC.