How to Do a Business Name Search in Virginia

The Virginia.gov site maintains a database of corporations that are registered in the state of Virginia.

What is a Virginia Business Search?

The first step in registering a business in Virginia is to conduct a Virginia Business Search. To ensure that your business name is not being used by other businesses in the state, conduct a search on the Virginia Secretary of State Database. Before you choose your business name, it is up to you to do your research and verify that there are no existing entities in Virginia.

What Business Entities Must Use Virginia Secretary of State Name Look?

If you’re about to start one of these types of companies, you will need to do a Virginia Secretary Of State Name Search.

  • Limited company
  • Trust your business
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Partnership

You can use the name availability tool to search for the type of entity you want to register and the business name to find the name that you are looking for. You could also search for the SCC ID of the company to see if the business name has been reserved.

How to conduct a Virginia Secretary-of-State Corporation Entity Search

  1. Click “search” on the Virginia Secretary Of State’s page for business information.
  2. You can search for the name of the corporation that you are interested in founding and add the name of your chosen name.
  3. To get the best results for your name search in Virginia, make sure to include as many keywords as possible.
  4. The following list contains the names of the companies. This list will provide basic information such as type, name, and SCC identification number. It also shows the status of each business.
  5. Click on the blue link below the company’s ID# name to find out if the entity has been registered with the Secretary.
  6. Check out the data page for entities of interest. You will find general information on the entity, such as the state in which it was incorporated, the SCC ID, and the date of incorporation. You can also find out who the registered agents are and whether share release authorization has been granted. You will also find the principal office address on this information page.
  7. You can view previous filings on the right sidebar of this information page and find out more about the incorporation.
  8. You can view all documents and annual reports that have been filed once you’ve found the corporation. If you have reserved the business name and decided to file for an organization, you can file your reports online, provided that you are the representative or owner.

Registry of LLC names

Choose your LLC name. Make sure it is distinguishable from any other business entries that you have found during your database research. You should not mention that you are a corporation when you create an LLC. You are prohibited from using the following words in your company name:

  • Incorporated
  • Corporation
  • Corp.
  • Inc.

You must ensure that your business name is easy to spell when you make a decision about it. This will allow people to find your business easily. To clearly identify your legal form, you’ll need to either add “LLC” to the name of your LLC or “L.L.C.” to it.

How to reserve your Virginia business name

You will need to first reserve your LLC name for $120 if you wish to register it. This is according to the SS 13.1-631 and SS 13.1-830 provisions of Virginia’s Code of Virginia. Reserving your name does not mean you have been incorporated. You must still apply to reserve your name, and register for insurance and taxation.

Download the application form, and then send it with a $10 filing fee to the address below:

  • Clerk of the State Corporation Commission. P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218-1197

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