SC LLC Lookup

An SC LLC lookup is necessary if you want to form a South Carolina LLC. An LLC, also referred to as a limited liability company, has many advantages. Some of these key advantages include limited liability protection against the LLC’s debts. Another advantage is the fact that there are fewer formalities and paperwork required when forming your LLC. But before forming your South Carolina LLC, you will need to conduct a name search to ensure that the name you want to use for your business is available.

The first step in forming your SC LLC is to conduct a name search. You cannot use a name that is already in use in the state of South Carolina. The name itself must be unique and follow several other rules and guidelines. Such requirements are governed by Section 33-44-105 of the Uniform LLC Act.

You can visit the Business Search Name website to conduct your search. You’ll want to enter your name choice and click search. Be sure to leave out the LLC designator of your name when searching. You should also leave out any punctuation, such as commas, hyphens, periods, etc. Capitalization can be left in as this will not affect the results.

Even if you find no results, you should run several different searches for similar names to see if any results are found. For example, if you want to name your company Apple & Orange Orchid Farm LLC, you should conduct searches on names as “Apple & Orange Orchid Farm,” “Apple and Orange Orchid Farm,” “Apple & Orange Orchid,” “Apple & Orange,” “Apple and Orange Orchid,” and “Apple and Orange.”

You might see some of the following results:

  • "This Name is Available" along with no results: This means the name is available for use
  • "This Name is Available" along with some results: This means you can use the name, but you should look through the results list, as your name choice might be similar to another name being used. While you can use the name, you might want to think twice about choosing that name to avoid any issues of potential customers mixing up your business with the other similarly named business
  • "This Name is Currently Being Used:" This means your name is not available for use

If you are not sure as to whether or not a name is being used or whether or not your business name choice is distinguishable, you can call the SC Secretary of State for prior approval. If you do submit your Articles of Organization with your name choice, you might be rejected if you don’t have a proper name choice. If that does happen, you’ll simply need to change your business name.

Naming Requirements

Before conducting your business name search, you should keep in mind the requirements for naming your South Carolina LLC. While you want to choose a name that fits your business, is memorable, easy to spell, and easy to remember, there are some other guidelines and requirements when choosing your name.

The LLC business designator must be included in your name, i.e., LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Co., etc. Additionally, you cannot use terms like Corp or Inc. as this gives an impression that you are operating as a corporation.

Your name must be distinguishable from any other name. Some examples of names that aren’t distinguishable from other names already being used include:

  • Single vs. plural use of a name; i.e., Farm vs. Farms
  • A, An, or The; i.e., An Apple Farm vs. The Apple Farm
  • Or, And, or &; i.e., Apple & Orange Farms vs. Apple and Orange Farms
  • Punctuation such as commas and periods; i.e., Apple Farms vs. Apple-Farms
  • Numerical vs. written out number; i.e., 3 Farm vs. Three Farm

Other terms are prohibited in any business name, including terms like Bank, University, Education, Treasury, FBI, etc. Other terms that can’t be used include Architect, Lawyer, Doctor, or any other professional term if you are not actually licensed in this area. You can reserve your business name for up to 120 days by filing an application with the South Carolina Secretary of State. The fee is $25.

If you need help choosing a business name or forming your SC LLC, 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.