The state of South is Carolina consistently ranked in the top 5 business-friendly states in the country. With a very affordable sales and corporate income tax structure, the state also offers various incentives and benefits to small-time businesses. The living cost in the state is also 6% less than the national average. These factors make South Carolina a perfect business destination. But do you know how to exactly name your business in South Carolina? Doing a South Carolina business entity search will certainly make the naming process easier. This article will answer your all questions regarding what is a business entity search and how to do it for South Carolina.
South Carolina Business Entity Search
A business entity search is a procedure for making sure whether a business name is available to use in the state where you want to establish your new business. Like every other state, South Carolina SOS also has an online portal to facilitate business entity search among the citizens. Doing a South Carolina business entity search will certainly make sure that the name that you want to use for your business is distinguishable from other registered businesses in the state. Further, we will be discussing the necessary guidelines that you must follow before naming your LLC in South Carolina.
South Carolina LLC Naming Guidelines
Following are the rules set by the state of South Caroline for naming your LLC.
- Your South Carolina LLC should have the phrase limited liability company or limited company. you can also use its short forms (LC or LLC) instead.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business entity in the state. This also includes the reserved names. To make sure of this, you must perform a South Carolina business entity search by visiting the South Carolina SOS business search.
- Your LLC should not have words like department, South Carolina Police, agency, FBI, and so on. This is to avoid confusion with South Carolina government agencies.
- Your LLC should not incorporate any words that may reflect that your business is illegal to carry out in the state/country.
- Any professional designation like a bank, attorney, or doctor will require some additional paperwork and a licensed person to be in your LLC name.
South Carolina Business Entity Search Methods
Different states offer multiple ways to conduct a business entity search among their citizens. So what are the possible ways to do a South Carolina business entity search? Well, there is only one method of searching by business name. The South Carolina SOS business search portal allows prospective business owners to search for the availability of their desired business name. You can also use this to get more details about an already existing entity in the state.
Search For Name Availability
This is a very simple method to ensure whether your desired business name is already registered with the South Carolina SOS.
- Go to the South Carolina Secretary of State business search page and make a search for your desired business name. You can also shorten the results by selecting from available filters (begins with, contains, exact match).
- If there is another business registered with your searched term, then you will get a result saying “This name is currently being used“. This page will also display the business information like entity type, status, and so on as shown in the image below.
- If there is no entity registered with your searched term then you will get the result saying “the name is available” to use. This means that you can use that name for your business with no worries.
- Thus, you can also search the name of an existing business in South Carolina and get more information about that particular business.
Reserve Your South Carolina LLC Name
If you are not ready to start a business immediately after selecting a name, then the SOS allows you to reserve the name for the time being. To file a reservation for your LLC name in South Carolina, go to this page and download the “Application to reserve an LLC name”. Fill the form and submit it to the South Carolina SOS. The filing fee for the same is $25 which will reserve your name for a limited period of 120 days.
Register Your South Carolina LLC Name
If you’ve found a perfect name for your LLC then the last step is to make it yours by filing the Articles of Organization with the South Carolina SOS. The cost for filing this document is $110. A successful formation of this document legally forms your LLC in South Carolina which officially makes the name yours.
Domain and Trademark
Selecting a suitable domain is very essential for the online reachability of your business. As a rule of thumb, your business domain should perfectly correlate with your LLC name. This will help potential customers find your business. Further, you can also secure your business name, logo, or slogan by filing a trademark. You can register a trademark in South Carolina by filing an application of registration for a trademark. The fee for registering a new trademark is $15 per class.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I make sure whether a business name is available to use in South Carolina?
As mentioned, go to the South Carolina Secretary of State business search portal and conduct a South Carolina business entity search by searching your preferred business name.
2. How long will it take for the approval of my LLC in South Carolina?
Usually, it takes about 7-10 business days for the approval of your LLC in South Carolina. However, you can also get it done in 2-3 days with expedited filing.
3. How much will it cost to reserve an LLC name in South Carolina?
It costs $25 to reserve an LLC name in the state of South Carolina.
4. Can I reserve a name for my LLC in South Carolina?
Yes. The South Carolina SOS allows you to reserve it for 120 days.
5. How much does it cost to file a trademark in South Carolina?
It costs $15 per class to file a trademark in South Carolina. The trademark will be valid for 5 years. You can renew the trademark during the last 6 months of the expiration of previous registration.