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Whether you’re searching for the right business name or registering your LLC with the West Virginia Secretary of State (SOS), Incfile can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct a West Virginia business search, plus LLC naming rules, assumed names, and registering your business.


General Rules for LLC Names

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

Your LLC Name Must Be Unique

The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of West Virginia. This is why it's imperative to perform a West Virginia business entity search before you begin the filing process.

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 a corporation or LLC in West Virginia. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:

  • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
  • Definite 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.
Your LLC Name Must Contain Certain Words

All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC” in their names, normally at the end of the name.

Your LLC Name May Have 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, West Virginia Comptroller, West 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 West Virginia Business Names

As mentioned above, West Virginia requires LLCs to comply with the general naming rules. West Virginia does not require any further name regulations to be met.

How to Come Up With a Business Name

Finding the perfect business name can be difficult. 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

Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free Business Name Generator.

West Virginia Business Search

Once you have an idea of the business name you’d like to use, you’ll need to perform a West Virginia business name search to make sure the name hasn’t been taken by another business.

Incfile offers a fast, simple, and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The WV SOS also has a tool that lets you search the State of West Virginia business registry to see whether someone already has your desired business name.

Find out Whether Your Preferred Business Name Is Available in West Virginia With Incfile’s Free Tool

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your West Virginia LLC name doesn’t infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t do that is to complete a trademark search through Incfile. If no one else is using it, you can even register it as a trademark 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.


West Virginia DBA or Trade Name

You may do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), fictitious name, or assumed name. In West Virginia, it's called a registered trade name and also referred to as DBA. You may decide to use a West Virginia DBA name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your business might be called WPN Marketing Solutions, LLC, and under that company, you have an event planning business called WPN Excellent Events. You could file for an assumed business name just for that company. You'll register a trade name (DBA) with the Secretary of State, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA service.

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

Register and Manage a DBA or Trade Name Through Our Easy-to-Use Service

Register Your Business Name with the West Virginia Secretary of State

Once you’ve completed a West Virginia business name search, checked availability, followed the naming rules, and decided whether you need a registered trade name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.


If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name. You’ll need to fill in a form, and once completed file it with the WV SOS. Once the application is processed, your name will be reserved for 120 days. You don’t need to reserve a name if you’re forming your business right away.


If you’re ready to start your LLC now, you can file your Articles of Organization with the West Virginia SOS or have Incfile do it for you.

Incfile Can Handle All Your Formation Paperwork With the State of West Virginia for You — And We’ll Do It for Free!

Incorporate in West Virginia for $0 + state fee ($100).

FAQs About West Virginia Business Names

How Do I Search for My West Virginia Business Name?

Use Incfile’s free Business Name Search tool and enter your desired business name. You can also perform a West Virginia business search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether there are any corporations or LLCs in the state with that name.

Are There Any Rules for Naming My Business in West Virginia?

Yes. Most LLCs are bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the State of West Virginia). You'll find more information above.

Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in West Virginia?

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

Can I Reserve a Name for My West Virginia LLC?

Yes. The West Virginia Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name for 120 days if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you’re ready to start your business now, you don’t need to reserve a name.

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