Primary, in North Carolina, starting an LLC allows you to choose a business name. Your company name would have to comply with the specifications laid down by the State Secretary.

One of the most significant and daunting steps for entrepreneurs is naming the business. In the success of your corporation, how you decide to brand your company will play a significant role.

If you are in the process of choosing a name for your company or just want to check the status of an established business organization, you can get the details you need by doing a quick search through the North Carolina Secretary of State website. This guide is intended to guide you through the technical steps involved in selecting a name for your North Carolina LLC and registering it.

Let’s look at the steps for how to name LLC in North Carolina. But before that know some guidelines that how to name LLC.

Guidelines for how to name LLC

Picking a company name is the first and most important step in beginning your North Carolina LLC. Be sure to choose a name that connects with North Carolina naming elements and is simply searchable by potential clients.

Be sure to follow these naming guidelines that how to name LLC:

  • Your name needs to include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its outlines LLC or L.L.C.
  • Also, your name cannot incorporate words that can distract your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, and University) may need extra paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
  • You need the approval to use any of the subsequent words in your LLC’s name: bank, banker, banking cooperative, co-op, mutual, trust, architect, architecture, architectural, certified public accountant (CPA), engineer, engineering, insurance, pharmacy, prescription, drug, prescription, Rx, apothecary, realtor, surveyor, survey, surveying, and wholesale.

Read more about How to Create and File an LLC for Free.

Business Entity Search before selecting the name for LLC

You may use North Carolina’s Business Entity Search to verify the availability of your desired name before filing your name reservation order. Type in the name you want to use, except identifiers such as ‘LLC’, and leave all other boxes blank to perform the most successful search. All entities using the same or identical names will be returned this way. If there are multiple words in your company name, you can also check for only the first two words to ensure that any possible related names are pulled up. You can take Guide for Audits of LLCs, Small Businesses before naming LLC in North Carolina.

To prevent rejection, make sure to perform a comprehensive search before completing your submission. You can do company formation of LLC online easily.

Name Availability and Reservation in North Carolina

All LLC naming inquiries and inquiries are handled by the Secretary of the State Company Registration Department in North Carolina. Additionally, if you file online, you will need to create an online account and submit the application.
You must pay a filing fee when submitting your name. The “Secretary of State” must inspect.

Some important points:

  • When choosing a name for your North Carolina LLC, you must ensure that it ends with the phrase “limited liability Company” or abbreviated as “LLC” or “L.L.C”.
  • Additionally, you may use the following terms in your LLC name: Corporation, Corporate, Inc., Bank, Trust, Mutual, Co-op, Insurance, Engineering, and Architect.
  • Also, it should be noted that if your business name is the same as another business name, the Secretary of State will reject it. For example, if a company already operates in North Carolina under the name “A Delicious Restaurant, LLC”, you cannot call your LLC “Delicious Restaurant, LLC”.
  • So, when you remember a name for your North Carolina LLC, you want to check if it’s available using the Secretary of State’s business name search.
  • We recommend that you search through local and online business directories to make sure the name you like is not used by other businesses. At this point, it’s a good idea to search through North Carolina’s trademark database and federal trademark database.
  • Once you find the name available, you can save the name for 120 days by filling out an application form to reserve the name of a business entity with the Secretary of State. The name reservation fee is $ 30 or more, and you can file online, by mail, or in-person (if you are in or around the rally area).

Steps: How to name North Carolina LLC

Our guide will take you through the 3 key steps to finding your perfect business name.

Step 1: Choose a Business Structure

First, for your new company, you need to select the right business framework. This is the first step since there are different naming rules for different business structures.  Business Structure refers to how our company is set up, managed, and taxed. Every business structure has a set of specific naming rules of its own.

There are two kinds of business formations:

  • Formal Business Structures
  • Informal Business Structures

FORMAL BUSINESS STRUCTURES:

LLC- Limited Liability Company

Establishing an LLC is the easiest way of structuring your business to protect your assets in case your business is sued. North Carolina LLC Naming guidelines are mentioned above.

2. C – Corporation

A-C Corporation (C Corp) is a distinct legal entity composed of shareholders, officers, directors, and personnel from its owners with a simple operating structure. Your assets will be covered by the A-C Corp business arrangement. 

North Carolina Corporation Naming Rules:

  • Your name needs include the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited” or an abstract of one of these terms.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business within the state. We’ll help with this step within the look for your business name section below.
  • You need the approval to use any of the subsequent words in your corporation’s name: bank, banker, banking cooperative, co-op, mutual, trust, architect, architecture, architectural, certified public accountant (CPA), engineer, engineering, insurance, pharmacy, prescription, drug, prescription, Rx, apothecary, realtor, surveyor, survey, surveying, and wholesale.

INFORMAL BUSINESS STRUCTURES

1. Sole Proprietorship
The simplest business style in North Carolina is a Sole proprietorship. An informal business arrangement is a sole proprietorship and it does not offer insurance for personal properties.

North Carolina Sole Proprietorship Naming Rules:
This system of the company must function under the owner’s surname. The business owner must file a DBA (doing business as), also known as an assumed name in North Carolina, to use a different name.

2. General Partnership
General partnerships are equivalent to sole proprietorships. The distinction is that 2 or more persons consist of a relationship. An informal business framework is a general partnership and it does not include personal asset security.

North Carolina General Partnership Naming Rules:
General partnerships must cover the surnames of the partners. To apply a different name, business owners must register a DBA (doing business as), known as an assumed name in North Carolina.

3. S Corporation
An S corporation (S corp) is a tax classification, not a business formation. Both LLCs and corporations can be an S-corp.
If your business tax is an S corp, you must comprehend your state’s naming conditions for either a corporation or an LLC, depending on your business formation.

Step 2: Build the Best Brand Name For Your Business

Now that you know the rules for naming your business in North Carolina, it’s time to work on your business brand.

Choose Your Branding Structure
The next big decision you have to make is whether your legitimate business name will be your brand name or whether your brand will be different from your legal name. Most business owners prefer to use the legal name of the business as their brand name.

  • Legal Name: The legal name of your business is the name listed in your establishment documents.
  • Brand Name: The brand name of your business is the name you use to market your company. This is the name that users see and use.
  • Informal businesses, such as sole proprietorships and common partnerships, are almost always required to use their surname (s) as their legal name.

    There are Three Main Branding Strategies:

1. The legal name of the business is also the brand name. If you are setting up an LLC or Corporation, you will enter your legal name when filing your establishment documents.
2. The business has a legal name different from its brand name. If you want to have a different brand name, you must file a DBA. To learn more, visit our easy-to-follow North Carolina DBA Guide.
3. The business has a legal name and several brand names. If you choose multiple brand names, you will need to file for DBA. To learn more, visit our easy-to-follow North Carolina DBA Guide.

12 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Brand Name

Now that you have come up with a name choice, it’s time to think about some important tips for naming a business. 12 important questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my name simple?
  • How do you hear the name when I say it out loud?
  • Is the name easy to pronounce and spell and the abbreviation correct?
  • Is my business name short instead of long?
  • Did I add a geographical location to my name? In general, you should not.
  • What do other people think about the name?
  • How do other business names in the industry fit in?
  • Does the name describe my mission as a business?
  • Am I staying away from trends?
  • Are there vague words in my name?
  • Is my name too narrow or too literal?
  • Is my name memorable?

Step 3: Complete Name Searches

The final step for describing your business is making sure it’s different at the state and federal levels and as a domain name. If you choose to form an LLC (limited liability company), a business license is not required to start it. Whether you must obtain a business license will be defined by federal, state, or local law.

We will provide you with step-by-step instructions to search:

  • Business Name Availability in North Carolina
  • Domain Name Options
  • Federal Trademark Records

STATE BUSINESS NAME SEARCH
The first and most major search is on the North Carolina business name database. Look for requirements that can vary depending on your business structure.

  • LLC
  • Corporation
  • Sole Proprietor
  • General Partnership

DOMAIN NAME SEARCH
We recommend that you simply check to ascertain if your business name is out there as an internet domain (URL). Albeit you do not decide to make a business website today, you’ll want to shop for the online address to stop others from acquiring it. It’s liberal to search.

FEDERAL TRADEMARK SEARCH
Next, a fast search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether somebody else has already trademarked your name. Once you recognize the name is out there, you’ll prefer to apply for a trademark for your business although the value is usually too high for a startup or fledgling business.

The 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 North Carolina’s 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 an Application to Reserve a Business Entity Name will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your North Carolina LLC.

If you are preparing to form a C Corporation then you must follow all the points discussed above in the following paragraphs you can name you LLC in North Carolina. For any question related to its formation and requirement. You can consider the article. Hence, For any accounting & Bookkeeping services or guidance on C corporation, you can contact ”Autofilings“. Start your LLC today.

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