Virginia’s strong economy, good transport facilities, and high-class education make it a wonderful business destination. Do you know that the fastest and easiest way to start a new business in Virginia is by creating a limited liability company? But there are a few factors that should be considered before naming an LLC or any other business in Virginia. And the first step towards it is doing a Virginia business entity search.
Setting up an LLC in Virginia is a very secure and cost-effective way to start a new business. Especially, for small to medium-sized businesses, forming an LLC will save you a lot of time from dealing with complex rules and regulations that come with Corporations. The good thing about LLC is you can also transform an LLC into Corporation when the right time comes.
Virginia Business Entity Search
Performing a Business entity search makes sure that the name you want to use for your new business is not currently occupied by any other business in the state. In Virginia, this can be done by performing the Virginia business entity search. there are different methods for the same that we will discuss later.
Virginia business entity search will ensure that your name is distinguishable from other businesses in the state. Also, selecting a suitable and presentable name can help your business to stand out among potential investors. Before moving to the procedure, let us take a look at the Virginia LLC naming guidelines. This suggests the points you should keep in mind before naming your LLC.
Virginia LLC Naming Guidelines
Following are some of the rules that you’ll have to follow for naming your LLC in Virginia.
- The name of your Virginia business must end with the term-limited company or limited liability company or its short-forms LC, L.C, LLC, or L.C.C.
- Your LLC name should not imply that it’s a different type of business entity. For example, the name should not have words like Corporation, Incorporation, or their short forms.
- An LLC can’t be a bank or insurance company. That’s why the name shouldn’t have words like trust, bank, insurance, and so on.
- To avoid confusion with government agencies, you are restricted from using words like agency, department, bureau, etc. in your Virginia LLC name.
- Lastly, if you don’t want your LLC formation getting rejected, you must not name your business after an already existing business with the same name. To assure this you must do the Virginia Secretary of State business search.
Virginia Business Entity Search Methods
Different states have different approaches for conducting a business entity search. So how can you conduct a Virginia business entity search? Virginia SOS business search page mentions the following options to conduct a business entity search. You can do this online from their official website.
1. Search by Entity Name:
If you want to make sure that your preferred business name is not taken by another business in Virginia then you can search that name on the Virginia Secretary of State business search page. Just follow the below-mentioned steps.
- Select one from “starts with”, “Exact Match”, and “contains” in the top search box.
- Search your preferred business name in the “Entity Name” search box.
- You will be redirected to a page showing all the businesses associated with your searched name.
- This page also contains necessary information like entity ID, entity name type, office address, and its status whether its currently active or not.
- You can click on the entity ID to know the entity formation date and status date.
- If there is a message showing “No records found with your search criteria, then you can use the searched name without any hesitation.
2. Search the Entity ID
If you have the Entity ID number of any business in the state then you can search this number in the Entity ID search box and easily get all the previously mentioned details like its registered agent name, office address, status, formation date, status date, etc.
For example, searching the Entity ID – 11139043 will give you the below result.
3. Search by Principal Name
A principal name is the name of company owner(s), member, founder, CEO, or even the chief investor. You can search the principal name of any entity in Virginia in the “Principal Name” search box and get more details just as mentioned previously.
4. Search by Filing Number
Filing number is a unique number issued by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Just like an Entity ID number, search the filing name of any business located in Virginia and get all the information like its status, registered agent name, entity ID, and so on.
Reserving Your Virginia LLC Name
Virginia secretary of state provides an option of reserving your LLC name. This is helpful when you are not yet sure of the name you want to register so just as an alternative you reserve a name so that no one else in the meantime takes this name. To trademark your name in the state file the reservation form. Virginia SOS also allows you to reserve it for 120 days. Which will cost $15. You can also renew the reservation for further 120 days. For this, you’ll have to file a reservation request during the last 45 days of the first reservation period.
Registering Your Virginia LLC Name
If you’ve found a suitable and unique name for your business then now it’s time to officially make it yours by registering it with the Virginia SOS. File the Virginia Articles of Organization, this will officially register and form your Virginia LLC. The cost for filing the Articles of Organization in Virginia is $100.
Revising your Virginia LLC name
There could be several reasons to revise/change your LLC name in Virginia and doing so is quite simple. You will have to file the Articles of Amendment name change form and submit it to the Virginia State Corporation Commission either online or by mail. The filing fee is $25.
Domain and Trademark
It is important to choose a domain name that’s similar to your business name. This way your business will be easily found online. You can also easily get your business name protected in Virginia by filing a trademark. However, filing a trademark is not mandatory but doing so will make your business name well protected from unauthorized use. The cost for filing a trademark in Virginia is $30 per class with a renewal fee every 5 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I check if a business name is available to use in the state of Virginia?
Go to the Virginia SOS business search page and perform a Virginia business entity search by searching your desired name in the entity name search box.
2. Can I revise the name of my Virginia LLC?
Yes. To do this, you can file a name amendment form to the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
3. What is the application fee for changing your LLC name in Virginia?
The Virginia State Corporation Commission charges $25 application filing fee for changing your LLC name in Virginia.
4. What is the cost of filing Articles of Organization for your LLC in Virginia?
Virginia State Corporation Commission charges $100 for filing the Virginia Articles of Organization.
5. How much does it cost to reserve a name for my Virginia LLC?
The cost for reserving a Virginia LLC name is $15 which will reserve the name for 120 days.