An NC LLC search is required if you want to form your own NC LLC. Keep in mind that there are various ways to search for businesses in the State of North Carolina, including searches by business name, registered agent, company official, and SOS ID.

While one of the main reasons to conduct such a search is to find out if a business name is available for use, there are other reasons to conduct such a search. For example, you might need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing, find out additional information regarding a business if you intend on entering into a contract with them, find out who the registered agent is for a company, or simply need to find out if a business is still active.

The North Carolina database will identify all businesses, even if they are active or inactive. Additional business statuses include the following: Administratively Dissolved, Auto Dissolved, Converted, Merged, Multiple, Reserved Name, Revoked, Suspended, and Withdrawn. This information is important to keep in mind when running your business entity search to see if the business name you want to use is available. If the business is dissolved in any way, then you can in fact use that business name. Obtaining the status of an LLC is also important for other businesses to find out if the LLC that they conducting business with is in good standing. Therefore, if you need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing for a company, and see that the company is in ‘Suspended’ status, then you know that you will not have the ability to obtain this certificate.

Name Requirements

Before conducting your business search, you should remember that there are certain business requirements when naming your LLC. The most important is the LLC designator, meaning that you must have LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Co, or Limited Liability Company in your business name.

Other requirements include terms that cannot be used, like Bank, University, Corporation, FBI, Treasury, etc. For a full list of names, you can visit the NC Secretary of State website. Additionally, you cannot use terms like Trust, Corp, or Inc., as these terms imply that you operate as a Trust or Corporation.

Some tips and additional requirement for naming your business include:

• You should choose a name that is easy to remember

• You should choose a name that is short

• You should choose a name that is easy to spell

• Ensure that your name has a positive undertone

• You cannot distinguish your business name from a currently used business name by simply adding in words such as “the,” “A,” “an,” “and,” “or,” and “&.”

• The use of certain punctuation also doesn’t create distinguishability, i.e. hyphens, periods, commas, etc.

• Differentiating written numbers versus numerical also doesn’t create distinguishability, i.e. 9 vs. Nine.

Search by Name

If you want to search by name, you’ll visit the Secretary of State website and enter in the business name. If you want to learn more information regarding the businesses identified in the search results, then you can click on each business to find out the existence of that company, along with other important information regarding the company itself.

Search by Registered Agent

You can choose the registered agent option and search by agent name. You can also search by registered agent individuals and registered agent companies. The search results will provide you with the number of entities that each registered agent is associated with.

Search by Company Official

If you want to run a search by a company official, you’ll obtain similar results to that of the registered agent search. If you want to learn more information about the companies associated with the company official, you can click on the business name.

Search by SOS ID

The SOS ID is the number associated with each entity. This is the quickest search, as you should be directed to the business immediately after searching. As with all other searches, you will be able to click on the business and obtain additional information regarding that entity, including annual reports, member information, registered agent information, and the LLC’s current status.

If you need help forming your NC LLC, or if you have questions about conducting a NC LLC Search, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5-percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.