How to search North Carolina business names
Searching for North Carolina businesses is done through the North Carolina Secretary of State website.
North Carolina Corporations and LLCs are searchable by the following criteria:
Individuals can use a North Carolina Secretary of state business search to find specific information about existing businesses in the state. They can also check the availability for a business name, if they are looking to start a new business.
North Carolina LLC Name Requirements
First, search the state’s online database for the name and compare it to existing entities to verify its availability. You will need to review the requirements and limitations of each state when forming an LLC. The name of your LLC must include the phrase Limited Liability Company or the abbreviations L.L.C. or LLC. LLC is the most commonly used abbreviation.
An LLC name cannot imply that an entity is a corporation. These abbreviations and words are not allowed to be used in an LLC name.
Business names must be distinct from existing business names.
Different designators (the identifiers at the end of an entity’s name) can make a name distinct.
Names are not distinguishable because of differences in grammar. This includes variations like singular versus plural or possessive forms.
The following items don’t make it distinguishable:
- Conjunctions (or and).
- Instead of spelling out “and”, use ampersand instead
- Punctuation can be used to indicate periods, hyphens, or slashes.
- Numerical differences, such as spelling out numbers versus using digits.
A business name that is too similar to an existing entity’s name will not be unique.
These are the key points of all these rules and restrictions:
- Your business name should be original and not too similar to existing ones.
- You can use any name you like but think of something else if that’s not possible. A business name should be distinctive and not be confused with other names.
These are some additional tips to help you create a good LLC name:
- Make sure your name is easy to spell. Customers should be able to find you easily, so don’t name your business anything that is difficult to spell.
- A shorter name for your LLC is better than a more complex one. It is easier to remember short names.
- Names with positive connotations are best. Customers should have a positive impression of your business from the moment they hear it.
North Carolina Name Search
When forming a new LLC, an individual will typically conduct a name availability search. A business entity search, on the other hand, is used to obtain the following types of information about an existing company:
- It’s long-standing good standing.
- Whether the entity is legally formed.
- Information about the business address
- Contact details for Registered agent
Visit the Search Page on the North Carolina Secretary Of State’s website to conduct a name search.
- Enter the name of the business you are looking for information about, then click “Search.”
- The next page will show you the results for the business that you are looking for.
- For more information, click on the entity name.
- Next, you will see a page with all the information that is currently in the file at the Secretary of State’s Office. You can purchase documents like a Certificate Of Existence if you have an account on the site.
You’ll see entities with different statuses when you check business name availability. You won’t be allowed to use the name of an existing business if any of these statuses appear next to it.
- Administratively Dissolved
- Auto Dissolution
- Reserved Name
You can find public information easily using the state database.
North Carolina LLC Name Search FAQ
How can I verify if an LLC is registered in North Carolina?
You can use the North Carolina Business Entity Search Tool to check if your business name is available.
Do I have to name my LLC after me?
Although there is no prohibition against naming your LLC after yourself (most experts recommend against it).
An advantage of an LLC is that you can choose a different business name, which can make your business sound more professional.
What words are prohibited in North Carolina LLC names?
It is not possible to include words in business names that suggest that the company is a bank or financial institution, or that it is affiliated with a local or state government agency.
North Carolina also requires approval for any of these words to be used in an LLC name: banker, bank cooperative, co-op mutual, trust, architect and architecture, architectural, certified financial accountant (CPA), engineer and engineering, insurance pharmacy, prescription drug. Rx, apothecary. Realtor, surveyor, surveying, wholesale.
Do I need an LLC name generator?
An LLC name generator is a great tool to help you choose a name for your LLC.
What is a brand?
A brand name is a name that a company gives to a product line or product. It can be the exact same as the company name, or something else.
Do I need to include LLC in the name?
Yes. North Carolina’s LLCs must use the abbreviations “Limited Liability Company” and/or one of its abbreviations, such as LLC or L.L.C. in their legal name.
What do I need to do to renew my North Carolina business name?
North Carolina does not require LLCs to renew their names.
Is it possible for my North Carolina LLC to have a different business name than my North Carolina LLC?
Some companies prefer to operate under a different name than their legal name. You can call this a “doing company as” (DBA name) or an assumed business name.
North Carolina has a system where assumed business names must be filed with the county in which you do business.