South Carolina LLC Name Search

Business Name Search in South Carolina

Selecting the right name is an essential first step for your South Carolina LLC, requiring you to ensure the name’s availability. Searching South Carolina entity database is vital to avoid infringing on existing business names and intellectual property rights within the state.

Our South Carolina LLC name search guide offers essential tips on checking LLC name availability in South Carolina, reservation, and registration, helping you secure a unique and compliant business identity efficiently.

South Carolina Business Entity Search (Summary)

An illustration of a woman using a laptop to do a South Carolina Business Entity Search

To look up and search for a business name in the state of South Carolina, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the South Carolina Secretary of State’s website. The Secretary of State is responsible for business entity filings in the state.
  2. Go to the South Carolina Business Entity Database Search: Navigate to the SC Business Entities section of the website. Look for a tab or menu option related to business entity search or name search.
  3. Access the online search tool provided by the Secretary of State. This tool allows you to search for registered business names and entities within the state.
  4. Enter the desired business name into the search field. You can search for an exact business name or use keywords to broaden your search.
  5. Review the search results. The tool will display a list of matching or similar business names along with additional details such as entity type, status, and registered agent information.
  6. Click on a specific business name from the search results to view more detailed information about the entity, including its registration date, address, and filing history.

What is a South Carolina Business Entity?

What is a South Carolina Business Entity

A South Carolina business entity refers to an organization that has been legally formed to conduct business in the state of South Carolina. The process and regulations for establishing and managing a business entity in South Carolina are administered by the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office.

There are several types of business entities that one can establish in South Carolina, including:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest form of business structure, owned by a single individual who is responsible for all of the business’s debts and obligations. This type of business does not provide any personal liability protection.
  2. Partnership: A partnership involves two or more people who agree to share in the profits and losses of a business. Partnerships can take different forms, such as general partnerships, limited partnerships (LPs), or limited liability partnerships (LLPs).
  3. Corporation: A corporation is a separate legal entity that can be owned by one or more shareholders. It provides personal liability protection to its owners, but its formation, operation, and taxation are more complex and costly. There can be different types of corporations, including C corporations, S corporations, and nonprofit corporations.
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC combines aspects of partnerships and corporations, offering the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax advantages and operational flexibility of a partnership.

Secretary of State SC Name Search

To create a business entity in South Carolina, one has to file the appropriate documents (such as Articles of Incorporation for corporations or Articles of Organization for LLCs) with the South Carolina Secretary of State’s office, and possibly pay a filing fee, depending on the type of entity.

Here are some links to get started with your business name search in South Carolina:

  1. South Carolina Secretary of State’s website:
  2. South Carolina Business Entity Search:

It’s always a good idea to double-check the official South Carolina Secretary of State’s website for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding business name searches in the state.

South Carolina Business Name Search

An illustration of a someone with a laptop, oing SC Secretary of State Entity Name Search

The South Carolina Secretary of State Business Search will help you choose a name that is unique for your business. Customers will know you best by the name you choose. It’s more than just a name that you use to file tax returns. You need to think about it.

The Secretary of State in South Carolina is responsible for registering business names. Business owners must choose unique names that are not already listed in the state. The South Carolina Secretary-of-State’s Business Corporate Division is responsible to ensure that each South Carolina corporation or business is unique.

It is now easier to search for the registry online, thanks to the Secretary of State. To find details about a business, anyone can search for its registration ID or business name.

The registry contains up-to-date information on all commercial activity in South Carolina. The database includes all types of businesses.

  • Corporations
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs).
  • Limited partnerships

The average processing time for registration is two business days from the date that it was received. However, in some cases, the secretary of state’s office might be overwhelmed with applications, and processing times may take longer.

Search for your business name

By navigating to the South Carolina Secretary Of State’s website, click on “Search Business Files,” and you will be able to verify that your business name is available. You must select a name that is not identical to any other registered business name in the state.

Register Your Business Name

Sometimes, it may not be possible to launch your business. You can instead reserve your preferred business name by completing the application. If you want to create a limited liability company name, fill out the Application To Reserve a Business Name.

To reserve a name for a limited partnership, please complete the Application to Reserve a Name for Licensed Partnership. These types of name reservations are valid until the expiration of 120 days, after which they become invalid.

You don’t have to reserve a business address before you can organize your business. You can simply incorporate the business or apply for an LLC.

Register your business name

You must complete the necessary documents to register your business name. The correct form must be used for your limited liability entity. If you’re starting an LLC, fill out the LLC application. The South Carolina Secretary of State website can obtain these forms online.

These are legal documents that will establish your business. You may want to hire a lawyer to review the forms. Include the filing fee and self-addressed stamped envelope.

South Carolina Business Entity Search

Entrepreneurs looking for business names should consult the Secretary of State database to view the names of registered businesses. The database can also be used to search for information about businesses that do not exist.

Name availability search

These steps will assist you in your South Carolina business search.

  • Navigate to the website of the Secretary of State
  • Click “Search” and enter the business name.
  • Click on any business name you want to view in the results.
  • Check out the business information.

South Carolina LLC Name Requirements

When searching for the perfect South Carolina LLC name, you should be aware of certain things. First, all South Carolina LLCs must contain “LLC” at least in part. It is acceptable to use the abbreviation L.L.C. An LLC cannot include corporate words in its name, such as “incorporated” and the abbreviations of “inc.” and “corp.”

Your LLC name must be unique and different from any other LLC in the database. It does not count as distinctiveness if you add “a”, “an,” or periods, slashes, numbers, or hyphens to your LLC name.

To search for business names in your LLC’s database, select the “begins with” option and type the name. To ensure you have all the bases covered, perform multiple searches.

South Carolina Secretary of State

Mailing Address

South Carolina Secretary of State’s Office
1205 Pendleton St., Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Physical Address

Edgar Brown Building
1205 Pendleton St., Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Phone: (803) 734-2158

Email: Contact Form

South Carolina Business Tips

If you’re ready to start an LLC in South Carolina, there are important steps and considerations to keep in mind. Begin by conducting an South Carolina entity name search to ensure that your desired business name is available for registration.

Once you’ve confirmed availability, and you’ve decide whether to be an LLC or S Corp, it’s crucial to draft an South Carolina LLC operating agreement, which outlines the internal structure and operational guidelines of your LLC.

Consider utilizing a good LLC service in South Carolina to streamline the formation process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. Decide if you plan to be your own registered agent. Engaging the services of the best registered agent services in South Carolina offers the advantage of efficient handling of important documents and legal notifications.

Don’t forget to acquire a business license in South Carolina, adhering to the specific licensing requirements relevant to your industry and location, and when budgeting for LLC formation, consider the cost to start an LLC in South Carolina, which typically includes filing fees and any additional services you choose.

If you ever want to change your registered agent in South Carolina check out our guide on that.

Finally, should the need arise, understanding how to close and dissolve an South Carolina LLC is vital for properly concluding your business operations. Seek guidance LLC professionals like Incfile’s LLC dissolution service to navigate the dissolution process effectively, ensuring compliance with South Carolina state regulations.

Additional Steps to Consider

1. Trademark Search

Entity Trademark Search

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as or
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

Check if a social media name is available for a new business name

5. Register South Carolina Business Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of South Carolina will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Bizee, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. There are affordable online services that can design a logo for you and assist with the process.

Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in South Carolina

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

South Carolina LLC Name Search FAQ

How can I verify that an LLC name has been taken in South Carolina

You can use the South Carolina Search Tool to check if your business name appears.

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.

You can explore other options for naming by using your free AI-powered LLC name generator.

What words are prohibited in a South Carolina LLC’s name?

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.

Learn more about LLC naming requirements at the South Carolina Naming Guidelines section.

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. Yes. South Carolina’s LLCs must use the abbreviation “Limited Liability Company” (e.g. LLC or L.L.C. in their legal name.

Learn more about LLC naming requirements in the South Carolina Naming Guidelines section.

What do I need to do to renew my South Carolina business name?

South Carolina does not require LLCs to renew their name.

Is it possible for my business name to be different from the South Carolina LLC name?

Some companies prefer to operate under a different name than their legal name. You can call this a “doing business as” (DBA), name. South Carolina doesn’t offer DBA filings.


author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: Phone: 972-776-4050

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