Whether you’re searching for the right Virginia business name or registering your LLC name with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a Virginia LLC search, plus business naming rules, fictitious names and trademarks.

 

General Rules for LLC Names

These rules typically apply to all LLCs, regardless of which state they're formed in.

1
Your LLC Name Must Be Unique

The business name you select cannot be in use by any other corporation or LLC in the state. This is why it's so important to perform a Virginia State Corporation Commission search before you begin your formation paperwork.

2
Your LLC Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name

It’s not enough for your LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of another LLC or corporation in the state. In addition, you cannot use any of the following features in an attempt to differentiate your business name from that of another business:

  • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
  • Articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
  • The conjunction "And," or “&"
  • The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
  • Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
3
Your LLC Name Must Contain Certain Words

All LLCs must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”

4
Your LLC Name May Be Subject to Other General Restrictions

Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:

  • Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Virginia Comptroller, Virginia Police, Treasury, etc.)
  • Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
  • Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
  • Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out

Specific Rules for Virginia Business Names

In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Virginia LLC laws that apply to naming your business.

For example:

  • The name of a business entity must be written in English letters or Arabic or Roman numerals. It may also include any of the following marks: periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, apostrophes, round parentheses, dashes, minus signs, plus signs, equals signs, question marks, exclamation points, and @, #, $, %, &, and *. No other letters, numbers or marks are acceptable.

Read more about naming regulations from the Virginia State Legislature.

Coming Up with the Ideal Business Name

The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, 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

Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.

Virginia Business Entity Search

Once you have an idea of the name you want, you’ll need to perform a Virginia business search to make sure another company isn't already using that name.

You can use the state's online portal to perform a name search.

You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search tool, which will search the Virginia business registry for you.

Use Incfile’s free tool to find out whether your preferred name is available for your LLC in Virginia

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your Virginia LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to ensure you're not infringing is to perform a trademark search through Incfile. If the trademark isn't already in use, you can even register it yourself.

Make sure your business is starting off on the right foot when it comes to intellectual property.

Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.

 

Virginia DBA or Fictitious Name

You may do business under a name different from your LLC's legal name. While many states refer to this as a trade name, assumed name or "doing business as" (DBA), Virginia calls it an fictitious name. You may decide to use a Virginia fictitious name for a variety of reasons.

You could register an assumed name just for that brand. You'd do that with the Certificate of Assumed or Fictitious Name, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf with our DBA service.

Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.

Register and manage an assumed or fictitious name through our easy-to-use service
 

Register Your Business Name with the Virginia SCC

You’ve performed a Virginia State Corporation Commission business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need an assumed name. Now you can register your LLC name in one of two ways.

1

If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name. You’ll need to complete an Application for Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of a Business Entity Name and file it with the Virginia SCC. The name will be reserved for 120 days. If you're starting your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name.

2

If you’re ready to start your LLC, you can indicate your chosen business name when you file your Articles of Organization with the VA SCC. Or you can have Incfile do this for you.

Incfile can handle all your formation paperwork with the State of Virginia for you — and we’ll do it for free!

Form Your LLC in Virginia for $0 + State Fee ($100)

FAQs About Naming Your LLC in Virginia

How Do I Search for My Virginia Business Name?

Use our free Business Name Search tool and enter your chosen business name. You can also perform a search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether any corporations or LLCs in the state are already using that name.

Are There Any Rules for Naming My LLC in Virginia?

Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the State of Virginia). We’ve detailed these rules above.

Can I Do Business Under a Different Name from My LLC Name?

Yes. You can conduct business under a fictitious name. Details are above.

Can I Reserve a Name for My LLC in Virginia?

Yes. The Virginia SCC allows you to reserve a name if you're not ready to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you are ready to start your business now, you don’t need to reserve a name.

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