1. Performing a South Carolina Business Search
2. Search Steps

A South Carolina Secretary of State LLC search can serve many purposes, including helping you check if the name you desire for your limited liability company (LLC) is available.

If you want to make sure you are picking a distinct name for your business, you should consider performing a Secretary of State Business Search. When a new business owner is trying to find out if the name they have chosen is available, a business name search is the fastest solution for learning this information. The search includes every business name registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State.

In addition to helping you determine name availability, these searches can help you learn publicly listed information about registered LLCs in South Carolina. South Carolina maintains several requirements for naming LLCs. A full list of these requirements is found in Section 33-44-105 of the Uniform LLC Act.

Choosing a strong LLC name is crucial for developing a reputation and helping customers identify your company. Because of its importance, you should spend a good amount of time coming up with a name for your LLC.

As in many states, the Secretary of State in South Carolina is responsible for registering business names and requires that every business in the state has a completely original name. The Business Corporate Division of the Secretary of State governs the distinctness of LLC names.

Now that the business name database is available online, finding registered business names in South Carolina is very easy. You can search for the business either by name or registration ID. When commercial activity occurs in South Carolina, the business registry updates to include this new information.

The multiple types of businesses listed in the South Carolina database include:

After submitting a business application to the Secretary of State, it will normally take two business days for the application to process and to get the business registered. However, depending on the volume of applications being filed, the processing time can take much longer. When you are searching for LLC names in South Carolina, there are several things that you should understand.

First, South Carolina requires the name of every limited liability company to include a designator such as LLC or L.L.C. LLCs are not allowed to use any designators that would associate them with a corporation. This includes the word “incorporated” or abbreviations such as “Inc.” Your LLC name cannot bear any similarities to any name that is already listed in the database. The name should also be grammatically distinct from other South Carolina business names.

Adding punctuation such as commas, hyphens, or periods will not make your LLC name distinct.

Search Steps

When you're ready to perform your LLC name search, navigate your web browser to the search website provided by the Secretary of State. Make sure that you have selected the “begins with” option, and enter the name whose availability you are checking. You should not include any designators when entering the LLC name. Punctuation should also be left out. Don't be concerned about using proper capitalization while searching. You can search using either lowercase or uppercase, or you can use a combination.

Using only the first word of your LLC name should provide you with more thorough search results. If you perform multiple searches, you can do a search where you use the first part of the word instead of the entire word. This will give you even broader search results.

When your search is complete and you see either “No Results” or “This Name is Available,” you can use the LLC name that you have selected. In some cases, searches that return a result of “This Name is Available” will also include a list of names that are similar to your own but will not prevent your business name from being rejected. You should closely read this list before moving forward with registering your business name.

While your LLC name will get approval in these circumstances, you should consider coming up with a new name that is entirely unique. Picking a different name will eliminate the risk that your business could be confused with another in the state.

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