Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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NC Secretary of State Business Searches & Naming Your LLC

We’re here to help you find the right business name for your North Carolina LLC. From carrying out a North Carolina business search to understanding naming rules or creating a “Doing Business As” name to register your entity, you’re in the right place.

North Carolina Business Entity Search

You should start naming your business by completing a “North Carolina business entity search” with the NC Secretary of State. They have a helpful tool on their website that lets you search the register of NC LLCs and corporations to see if someone already has your desired business name.

If the business name is already used, that means it’s not available and you won’t be able to register it. Try searching for a different business name instead.

North Carolina Secretary of State Business Name Search Tool

North Carolina SOS Rules for Naming an LLC

Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet North Carolina Secretary of State naming rules. These do vary from state to state — we’ve got general naming rules below, as well as naming rules specific to LLC businesses formed in NC.

“DBA”/ Assumed Business Names for North Carolina LLCs

You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. Often called a “DBA” (“doing business as”) name, in North Carolina, it’s referred to as an “Assumed Business Name.” You might choose to use a different name from your formal NC LLC name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your LLC might be called North Carolina Travel Holding Company LLC, and you have a chain called Appalachian Outdoor Adventures. You should file an Assumed Business Name to let the North Carolina Secretary of State know. In North Carolina, you do that through an Assumed Business Name Certificate, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.

Incfile's Assumed Business Name Service

Register Your Business Name in NC

Once you’ve searched for your North Carolina business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need an Assumed Business Name, you can register your NC LLC name. If you’re ready to start your North Carolina LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with the North Carolina SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.

FAQs on Naming Your North Carolina LLC

You might find the following answers useful.

Other Useful Resources for Naming Your North Carolina LLC

You might find these other resources helpful.

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your North Carolina LLC name does not infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name does not infringe is to carry out a trademark search through Incfile. If it doesn’t infringe, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.

Incfile Trademark Search and Registration Service

Find the Perfect Name for Your North Carolina LLC

The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:

  • Appeal to your customers
  • Be memorable enough to stand out
  • Best represent your product or services
  • Not be used by another business
Incfile Guide to Choosing a Business Name

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The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

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Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

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