Last Updated: May 10, 2024, 10:22 am by TRUiC Team

South Carolina LLC Name Search

You'll need to check name availability with a South Carolina LLC name search before starting a new business.

We’ll help you find a name for your South Carolina LLC that is both distinctive and legally recognized.

Recommended: Claim your domain name before it's gone. Verify its availability with GoDaddy.

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Check LLC Name Availability in South Carolina

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.

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 South Carolina Naming Guidelines

When choosing a name for your limited liability company (LLC) in South Carolina, there are specific guidelines you need to follow. Here's what you need to know:

Required Designators

Your LLC name must include one of the following designators:

  • "Limited Liability Company"
  • "Limited Company"
  • Abbreviations: "L.L.C.," "LLC," "L.C.," or "LC"
  • "Limited" may be abbreviated as "Ltd."
  • "Company" may be abbreviated as "Co."

Examples of acceptable names include:

  • ABC Consulting Limited Liability Company
  • XYZ Holdings LLC

Distinguishability from Other Entities

To register your LLC name in South Carolina, it must be distinguishable from the following:

  • Names of existing corporations, limited partnerships, or companies incorporated, organized, or authorized to do business in the state.
  • Names reserved or registered under Section 33-44-106 or 33-44-107.
  • Fictitious names approved for foreign companies authorized to do business in South Carolina due to unavailability of their real name.

Authorization for Non-Distinguishable Names

In some cases, you may apply to the Secretary of State for authorization to use a name that is not distinguishable from existing names. Authorization can be granted if:

  • The current user, registrant, or owner of a reserved name consents to your use of the name and undertakes to change their name to a distinguishable one.
  • You provide a certified copy of a final judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction, establishing your right to use the name in South Carolina.

Use of Another Company's Name

Your LLC may use the name of another domestic or foreign company if the other company is organized or authorized to do business in South Carolina, and:

  • You have merged with the other company.
  • You have been formed by reorganization with the other company.
  • You have acquired substantially all of the assets, including the name of the other company.

Please note that these requirements are essential to ensure compliance with South Carolina's regulations and avoid conflicts with existing entities. 

Seek professional advice or consult the South Carolina Secretary of State's office for specific guidance related to your business's naming process.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.

Registering Your South Carolina Business Name

Whether you're prepared to launch your LLC or still in the planning phase, the next step after finding your name is registering or reserving it with the state for future use.

Register Your South Carolina LLC Name

Registering your LLC name in South Carolina is a relatively straightforward task. Your business name becomes officially registered when you file the South Carolina Articles of Organization. This critical document marks the formal establishment of your business in the state.

The South 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 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

Download Form

Fee: $25

Mail to:
Secretary of State
Attn: Corporate Filings
1205 Pendleton Street Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

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Other Considerations

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.

Trademark Search

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: 

  • Do a South Carolina trademark search 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. To this, search your business name on each major site, using a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.

Bottom Line

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.

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What's Next?

Now that you have your entity name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your South Carolina LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in South Carolina, where we can guide you every step of the way.

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To perform an LLC name search in South Carolina, you can visit the South Carolina Secretary of State's online business entity 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.

Conducting an LLC name search in South Carolina is important 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.

It is recommended to conduct an LLC name search in South Carolina during the early stages of forming your LLC. If a significant amount of time has passed since your last search and you haven't registered the name yet, it's advisable to perform a new search before proceeding with registration.

In South 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.

Yes, after conducting a name search and confirming the availability of your desired LLC name in South Carolina, you can reserve it by filing an Application for Reservation of Entity Name with the South Carolina Secretary of State's office. This allows you to hold the name for a period of 120 days, providing time to complete the necessary filings and registrations for your LLC.