North Carolina Secretary of State Business Entity Search

North Carolina is situated on the east coast of the US. It is a neighbour to south Carolina and shares borders with Virginia in the north, Tennessee in the west, and the Atlantic ocean in the east. North Carolina also has comparatively lower corporate and property taxes which makes it very advantageous to establish new businesses and scale up their success. North Carolina tops in the ranking for the state with the highest business success rate that also has lower costs of living. If you want to start a business in North Carolina, then it is advised to do a North Carolina business entity search to name your business.

Upscaling a new business in North Carolina could be challenging and entrepreneurs should take every advantage that they can. Especially, small-time businesses in North Carolina are advised to form an LLC to get their new business up fast and running. With LLC, owners won’t have to deal with the complicated rules and regulations that come with forming a Corporation. 

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North Carolina Business Entity Search


Business entity search is an online tool offered by the Secretary of State of every state of the United States. This is so that new entrepreneurs in the state can make sure that their preferred business name is not currently occupied by any other business in the state. New business owners in North California can conduct the North Carolina business entity search and make certain that their business name is distinguishable from other businesses in the state. 

North Carolina LLC Naming Guidelines

Your North Carolina LLC name must not violate the following LLC rules and regulations set by the US government and the North Carolina Secretary of State.

  • The phrase limited liability company or its short-form (LLC or L.L.C) must be included in your North Carolina LLC business name.
  • You cannot include words like agency, department, North Carolina Police, and so on. This is to avoid your LLC getting confused with any of the government agencies.
  • If you don’t want your LLC registration to get rejected by the Secretary of State, then keep in mind that your LLC cannot be named after an existing entity in the town. To avoid this, you are advised to do the North Carolina Secretary of State business search.
  • Your name should not include the term Olympic or any names that are trademarked by the International Olympic Committee.
  • Your North Carolina LLC should not indicate any illegal business in the state or country. 

North Carolina Business Entity Search Method

All the states have different methods for business entity search on their SOS online portal. So, what are the options available to conduct a North Carolina business entity search? Well, there are four ways,

1. Search by Company Name

You can search your desired business name in the Company name search box to find out whether a business with that name exists in the North Carolina SOS database.

  • Go to the North Carolina SOS business search page and search your preferred name in the “Company Name” search box. You can also select from provided filters ( starting with, Exact, etc).
  • The result page will show all the businesses in the state that are using that term in their business name along with their SOS id, date of formation, and status (reserved, active. Withdrawn, etc).

  • If the name is not taken by any other business in the state then the result will show “zero records found”. This means that you are free to use that name.

2. Search by Registered Agents

You can also search the registered agent name to find a business. Simply select the option from the drop-down menu on the North Carolina business entity search page. The result page will display similar details that we mentioned in the above section.

3. Search by Company Official

You can also search the company officials of a specific organization like the CEO, founder, owner, co-owner, and so on. This will display the page showcasing the company name and total representations. 

4. Search by Assumed Business Name

An assumed name is simply a secondary name for a business. You can also register your assumed name with the North Carolina SOS. It is generally tough to search for a business with this method. A business having an assumed name operates in the state as “doing business as”. 

For example, a business named Night Out Restaurant can register a doing business as Night Out foods.  

  • If you know the assumed name of any business in the state then you can search the same on the North Carolina Secretary of State business search page and get more information about them.

Now that you are aware of all the methods to perform a North Carolina business entity search, let us talk about the next possible options to make the name yours.

Reserve your North Carolina LLC Name

In case, you don’t want to start your North Carolina business immediately, You can also reserve the name by filing an application for a North Carolina entity name reservation with the Secretary of State. The filing fee is $10 which will reserve the name for 10 years.

Register your North Carolina LLC Name

After doing the North Carolina SOS business search, If you’ve succeeded in finding a suitable name for your North Carolina LLC, then you should make it yours by officially filing the Articles of organization. The filing fee for Articles of Organization in North Carolina is $125. The formation of this document officially forms your North Arizona LLC and makes the name yours.

Revise your North Caroline LLC Name

If you feel the need to make a change in your North Carolina LLC name, we would recommend you to do the North Carolina business entity search again. You must then file the L-17 application for your LLC with the North Carolina SOS. The filing fee for the North Carolina LLC amendment of articles is $50. The same day speed up process will cost an additional $200. And it will cost an extra $100 to change the name within 24 hours. 

Filing For Trademark in North Carolina

You can search North Carolina’s trademark records to make sure that your business name is not trademarked by another business in the state. Also, if you’re planning to expand your business nationwide in the future, you can check the U.S. Patent and Trademark office’s electronic records and ensure that there is no federally registered trademark associated with your business name. On top of this, you can also choose to trademark your business name in North Carolina. Download and fill the trademark registration form. Submit it to the North Carolina SOS by mail. The filing fee for the same is $75 per class. The trademark will be valid for 10 years. You can renew the trademark for $35.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I reserve a name for my LLC after performing a California business entity search?

Yes. If you are not sure about registering a selected name for your LLC then you can fill the application for name reservation by filling the name reservation request form on the California secretary of state official website.

2. What is the cost for name reservation in California?

You can reserve an LLC name in California for 60 days which will cost you only about $10.

3. Can I renew my California LLC name reservation?

Yes. but you’ll have to wait for 1 day after your reservation ends. Then you can easily apply for renewal.

4. Can I put my LLC name reservation request online in California?

No. Unfortunately at this moment, online entity name reservation is not possible in California.

5. What is the next step after performing a California business entity search?

The next step is to make the name yours by appointing a registered agent to file the Articles of Organisation.

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