Naming Your South Carolina Limited Liability Company
You need the right name for your South Carolina LLC. Choosing the right name is vital because it tells your suppliers, customers and employees what your business does. South Carolina has several rules and regulations about what you can call your new business. Let’s explore what they are.
General South Carolina Secretary of State Rules on Naming Your LLC
- The name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in South Carolina
- The name of your South Carolina business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” "Limited," “L.L.C.” or “LLC”
Don't Confuse Your South Carolina Business Name With Another Business Name
- The following terms can’t be used to say your business name is different from another business name:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC
- Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Punctuation and symbols
- Abbreviations of words
- Different typefaces, fonts, superscript, subscript, etc.
- It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another South Carolina business
- For example, you can’t claim that Blue Widget Co., Blue Widget LLC, Blue Widget Incorporated, Blue-Widget-Company or Blue Widget are different from one another
Rules on Words You Can’t Use in Your Business Name
- You cannot use the following words as qualifiers in the overall South Carolina LLC business name: "companies," "corporations," "incorporation," "unlimited," “limited partnerships"
- The South Carolina Secretary of State does not register “Doing Business As” or “Trade Name” forms
South Carolina Information on Naming an LLC
- Please note that you do not need to reserve a name if you are forming an LLC. By registering an LLC, the name will automatically be reserved for your business. You would normally only reserve a name if you are not planning on forming your new company anytime soon.
- A name can be used to form any type of business entity, not just an LLC.
- Just filing a name registration doesn’t guarantee you will be granted the name. You should wait until your LLC is formally created before using the name for anything else.
Rules About Infringing on Service Marks or Trademarks Inside or Outside South Carolina
In addition to the rules above, it’s also vital to see if your South Carolina LLC name might infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. For example, it might not be a good idea to call yourself “Google Search Optimization Services,” since Google is a trademark.
The easiest way to see if your proposed business name infringes is to carry out a trademark search. You can do that via the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or Incfile can help you protect your business with our new Trademark Search and Registration service. You should also bear in mind that your South Carolina business entity name cannot be substantially similar to an existing trademark or service mark.
How to Search for Your South Carolina Business Entity Name
Search the database of the South Carolina Secretary of State for your proposed business name to see if it's unique. You can search by entity name.
What Should You Call Your South Carolina LLC?
Finding the perfect name can be tough. You want a business name that:
- Describes what your South Carolina business does
- Appeals to your planned audience
- Makes your business easy to find
- Is relatively unique
- Doesn’t limit you to a particular location or type of product or service
Fortunately, we’ve got some good advice on seeking out the perfect business name for your South Carolina LLC. Check out our guidance on naming your LLC and get inspired.
You’ve Found the Perfect Name; What Next?
Once you’ve found the right name for your business, it’s time to make it a reality. Check out our packages for starting your South Carolina LLC and form your LLC today.