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