How to Check Corporation Name Availability in South Carolina

Woman doing a South Carolina corporation name search on her computer.

Before you form a corporation, you’ll need to complete a business name search with the South Carolina Business Name Search tool to check if your corporation name is available.

We'll show you how to check corporation name availability in South Carolina in this guide.

Or, use a professional service:

4.7 out of 5 stars ZenBusiness ($49 + state fee)

South Carolina Corporation Name Search

The South Carolina Secretary of State requires all business names to be distinguishable from other business entities in the state. So, you’ll want to search and make sure no other businesses in the state are already using your name.

It is also useful to see if your corporation name is available as a web domain (URL).

SKIP AHEAD:

  1. How to Register a Corporation Name in South Carolina
  2. South Carolina Corporation Name Requirements
  3. South Carolina Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available South Carolina Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets South Carolina business name guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by using the South Carolina Business Name Search tool.

Want to learn more about corporations? Check out our What Is a Corporation guide to get started.

How to Check Available Domain Names

When deciding on a name for your corporation, you should make sure that a similar or exact domain name is available. A matching URL will help potential customers find your corporation faster.

Find a Domain Now

How to Register a Corporation Name in South Carolina

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your South Carolina Articles of Incorporation. You can hire a professional service to form a corporation for you or start a corporation yourself.

Ready to register your corporation name? Use our Form a Corporation guide to get started.

Reserve Your Name

While not required, you have the option to reserve your corporation name in South Carolina for up to 120 days before you register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you are ready to register it yourself. 

Name reservations can be filed online or by mail with the South Carolina Secretary of State. The filing fee is $10.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation? ZenBusiness will get you started.

South Carolina Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

South Carolina has official requirements for its corporation names.

The name must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” or “limited;” an abbreviation of one of these terms; or words or abbreviations with the same meaning in a different language.

There are also restricted words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” that you cannot use in order to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

For more information, check out the South Carolina state statute on corporation names.

Distinguishability

Your name must be distinguishable from all other South Carolina business names. In South Carolina, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all other existing or reserved business names in the state.

If your corporation name isn’t distinguishable, your Articles of Incorporation filing will likely be rejected.

What if my corporation name is already taken? Our AI-powered corporation name generator will give you thousands of new ideas. 

For a list of brainstorming tips, check out our guide to naming your business.

South Carolina Corporation Name Search FAQ

How do I check if a corporation name is taken in South Carolina?

You can use the South Carolina Business Name Search tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the South Carolina Corporation Name Search section.

Should I name my corporation after myself?

While there’s no rule against naming a corporation after yourself, most experts advise against doing this. 

One of the benefits of starting a corporation is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.

To explore other naming options, use our free AI-powered business name generator.

What words can’t be used in a South Carolina corporation name?

Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the South Carolina Corporation Name Requirements section.

Should I use a business name generator?

If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your corporation, a corporation name generator can help you come up with some ideas.

Do I have to include ‘corporation’ in my name?

South Carolina corporation names must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” or “limited;” an abbreviation of one of these terms; or words or abbreviations with the same meaning in a different language.

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the South Carolina Corporation Name Requirements section.

Do I need to renew my business name in South Carolina?

South Carolina doesn't require corporations to renew their legal name.

Can my business name be different from my corporation name in South Carolina?

Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name. However, corporations cannot file for a DBA in South Carolina.

Does my corporation need a DBA name?

Corporations cannot file for a DBA in South Carolina.