How to Check LLC Name Availability in West Virginia

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

Before you form an LLC, register a trade name, or start a corporation, you'll need to complete a business name search with the West Virginia Business Organization Search tool to see if your name is unique.

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

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

SKIP AHEAD:

Complete a West Virginia Business Organization Search

Complete a Domain Name Search

Register Your Business Name


West Virginia LLC Name Search

The West Virginia Secretary of State 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 search for an LLC name in West Virginia via:

  • Online database
  • Phone

We recommend calling the Secretary of State for preliminary name approval, even if the online database shows that your name is available on the West Virginia Business Organization Search.

Online Database

You can check your business name availability by searching the West Virginia Business Organization Search online database.

Phone

You can call the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Business Registration Unit at (304) 558-3333 or 1-800-982-8297 for a preliminary name availability screening.

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 West Virginia LLC guide to get started.

Registering a DBA in West Virginia (also known as a trade name) is a separate process that requires filing with the Secretary of State.

Reserve Your Name

You can optionally reserve your LLC name in West 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 via hard copy with the West Virginia Secretary of State. The filing fee is $15.

West Virginia Naming Requirements

Some key guidelines for West 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.). "Limited" may be abbreviated as "Ltd." and "company" may be abbreviated as "Co."
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state. This includes West 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.

West Virginia also has the following restrictions for LLC names:

  • Your name cannot include any of the following: incorporated, corporation, company, limited, inc., corp., co., or ltd.
  • Your name cannot contain any word or phrase which implies that the LLC is organized for any purpose other than the one stated in its articles of organization.
  • The terms “banking” and/or “insurance” cannot be used in the business name if the business activity does not include “banking” and/or “insurance.”
  • Words such as “engineer” or “engineering” may only be used if the purpose is to practice professional engineering and one of the principals is a registered West Virginia professional engineer.
  • Some other licensed professions have specific requirements and prohibitions.
  • Your name cannot include “911.”

For more information, check out West Virginia’s official state statutes.

Distinguishability

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

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.

West Virginia LLC Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the West Virginia Business Organization Search tool to see if your business name is available.

You can also call the West Virginia Secretary of State at (304) 558-3333 or 1-800-982-8297 for a preliminary name availability screening.

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 West 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, West Virginia LLC names cannot include any of the following: incorporated, corporation, company, limited, inc., corp., co., or ltd.

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

Do I need to renew my business name in West Virginia?

West Virginia doesn't require LLCs to renew their name.

Can my business name be different from my LLC name in West 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 a trade name in West Virginia. 

In West Virginia, LLC trade names are filed with the Secretary of State.

Learn more about trade names with our West 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 West Virginia DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting West Virginia from the dropdown menu.