North Carolina Business Name Reservation

North-Carolina-State-ShapeIn this article, we will be discussing steps involved to reserve a business name in North Carolina. Name reservation requests must be filed with the with the Secretary of State. Generally, name reservation is done to protect the business name from being registered by someone else till the time business is officially registered.

The business name can be reserved for the period of 120 days which can be further renewed. The business name reservation can also be transferred.

North Carolina Business Name Requirement

North Carolina Secretary of State has mandated certain requirements which you must keep in mind while selecting a business name.

The business name must be unique and distinguishable from any existing business entity name registered with Secretary of State. Also any difference in grammar, similarly sounding business name, or using stop words does not make the business name unique and it will lead to the name being rejected.

For example following names are not distinguishable:

  • Justin Plumber LLC vs The Justin Plumber LLC
  • Mango Farm LLC vs Mango Farms LLC
  • Jake & Mary Corporation vs Jake and Mary Corporation

Required suffix in the business name:

  • For Corporations:
    Must contain either “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Company”, “Limited” or an abbreviation of one of such words.
  • For LLC
    Must contain either “Limited Liability Company”, “L.L.C.”, “LLC”, “Ltd. Liability Co.”, “Limited Liability Co.”, “Ltd. Liability”
    Low-profit limited liability company must contain the words “Low-Profit Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “L3C”

Prohibited words:

  • Language stating or implying the business is organized for an impermissible purpose

Checking the Availability of a Business Name

North Carolina SOS provides an online tool to check the availability of any business name. You can use this tool to find and research name for your business. We have written an in-depth tutorial on how to search for a business name in North Carolina.

How to Reserve Business Name

Business name reservation can be over Mail. Please follow the steps given below:

By Mail

Download FormLink (Click on Application to Reserve a Business Entity Name)
AddressCorporations Division
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
Processing TimeAround 3 days after the receipt

  1. Download the North Carolina Name reservation form – Link.
  2. Fill the form with the requested details.
  3. Include the money order/check/credit card payment ($30).
    Check/money order must be drawn in name of “Secretary of State“.
  4. Send the filled form to:
    Corporations Division
    PO Box 29622
    Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

North Carolina Secretary of State Contact

For any queries, you can contact the SOS at 919-814-5400 during business hours.


Last Updated: 17/07/2018

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