How to Check LLC Name Availability in Virginia

A laptop with a search engine open that says "LLC Name Search"

Before you form an LLC, register an assumed or fictitious name, or start a corporation, you'll need to complete a business name search with the Virginia Name Check Availability Search tool to see if your name is unique.

In our Virginia LLC Name Search guide, we'll show you exactly how to check LLC name availability in Virginia.

Need help forming your LLC? Check out our Best LLC Services review.

SKIP AHEAD:

Complete a Virginia Name Check Availability Search

Complete a Domain Name Search

Register Your Business Name


Virginia LLC Name Search

The Virginia State Corporation Commission requires all business names to be distinguishable from other business entities in the state.

It's also important to search for a matching domain name (URL).

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

How to Search Available LLC Names

You can check your business name availability by searching the Virginia Name Check Availability Search online database.

How to Check Available Domain Names

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

Find a Domain Now

How to Register Your Business Name

Register Your Name

An LLC name is officially registered when you file your LLC application documents and form an LLC.

Ready to register your LLC name? Use our Virginia LLC guide to get started.

Registering a DBA in Virginia (also known as an assumed or fictitious name) is a separate process that requires filing with the State Corporation Commission.

Reserve Your Name

You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Virginia for up to 120 days before you officially register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you have the opportunity to register it yourself.

Name reservations can be filed online or by mail with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. The filing fee is $10.

You can also extend your name reservation for an additional 120 days if needed.

Virginia Naming Requirements

Some key guidelines for Virginia LLC names include:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or “limited company” or one of their abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., LC, or L.C.).
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes Virginia reserved names.

Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

Virginia also has the following restrictions for LLC names:

  • Your name cannot contain any word, abbreviation, or combination of characters that states or implies the LLC is a corporation or a limited partnership.
  • Your name cannot include the words “bank” or “trust” unless the LLC will be engaged in the banking or trust company business, or it is clear from the context of the remaining words that it will not be engaged in such business.
  • Your name cannot include the words “engineer,” “architecture,” or “land surveying,” or any variation of those words unless the LLC will be lawfully engaged in those services or it is clear from the context of the remaining words that it will not conduct such business.
  • The words “United States,” “national,” “Federal”, and “reserve” may not be included in the name of a business entity that is engaged in the banking, loan, building and loan, brokerage, factorage, insurance, indemnity, savings, or trust business.

For more information, check out Virginia’s State Corporation Commission website.

Distinguishability

It is important that your name be distinguishable from all other business names. In Virginia, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all other existing or reserved business names in the state.

The following differences do NOT make a name distinguishable in Virginia:

  • Business entity type identifiers
  • Articles, conjunctions, and prepositions 

Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.

Is your name already taken? Our free AI-powered LLC name generator will generate thousands of new ideas.

Virginia LLC Name Search FAQ

How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Virginia?

You can use the Virginia Name Check Availability Search tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the How to Search Available LLC Names section.

Should I name my LLC after myself?

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

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

To explore other naming options, use your free AI-powered LLC Name Generator.

What words can’t be used in a Virginia LLC 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.

Additionally, Virginia LLC names cannot contain any word or abbreviation that implies the LLC is a corporation or a limited partnership, and they cannot contain the words “engineer,” “architecture,” or “land surveying,” unless the LLC will be lawfully engaged in those services or it is clear from the context of the remaining words that it will not conduct such business.

Learn more about LLC naming requirements in the Virginia Naming Requirements section.

Should I use an LLC name generator?

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

What is a brand name?

A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.

Learn more about branding with your business entity name with our How to Name an LLC guide.

Do I have to include LLC in my name?

Yes. Virginia requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.

Learn more about LLC naming requirements in the Virginia Naming Requirements section.

Do I need to renew my business name in Virginia?

Virginia doesn't require LLCs to renew their name.

Can my business name be different from my LLC name in Virginia?

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 or an assumed or fictitious name in Virginia. 

In Virginia, LLC assumed or fictitious names are filed with the State Corporation Commission.

Learn more about assumed or fictitious names with our Virginia DBA guide.

Does my LLC need a DBA name?

Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about Virginia DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Virginia from the dropdown menu.