Virginia Business Entity Search – Best Ways To Search Legal Business Name

Looking forward to naming your new business entity in Virginia? Well, this will be your one-stop destination for all help that you need while naming your new business, be it an LLC or a Corporation. There are some naming guidelines set by Virginia SOS that you need to strictly adhere to. We will provide you with simple step by step guidelines to help you register your business name. The Virginia business entity search is a must while you plan to name your business in Virginia.

Why Do Virginia Business Entity Search?

The primary objective of performing the Virginia business entity search is to ensure that your chosen name is unique and can be used legally to form a business in Virginia. You can only register your business at Virginia SOS with a valid and unique name. The entity search results will help you understand whether your business name is available for registration or you have to decide on another name.

virginia secretary of state

Virginia LLC Naming Guidelines

There are certain naming guidelines to consider before doing the Virginia LLC search. The SOS set these naming guidelines.

  • Your LLC name should be unique.
  • The term” LLC”, “LC”, “Limited Liability Company”, and “Limited Company”, in any of its forms must be present.
  • You must not use restricted words that are often used by governmental agencies.
  • Use of any obscene words is strictly prohibited.

Virginia Corporation Naming Guidelines

The business naming guidelines of a corporation are quite similar to that of an LLC. However, your Virginia Corporation search must comply with the following guidelines.

  • Your corporation name must be unique.
  • The corporation name must include  “corporation”, “company” or “corp” at the end.
  • Your corporation name must not get confused with a governmental agency.
  • The use of offensive words in your corporation title can get you to cancel your business registration.

Virginia Business Entity Search Method

To perform the business entity search, you need to visit the Virginia SOS website. The business entity search result generated can let you know whether your chosen business name is registered or already reserved. It also helps to find out more details about other businesses. The Virginia SOS allows you to perform your search in multiple ways. 

virgina business entity search

1. Search for Name Availability – To search for name availability you can just search your chosen name and click on name check. If your name is unique you will get options for name reservation. However, if your name is already reserved or registered you can see the company details with whom your name conflicts.

2. Search for Existing Business Information– To know more about an existing business you can simply search by Entity Name and Entity ID. Additionally, you can also perform an additional search with the following options –

Filters Available – Starts With/ Exact Match/Contains

  • Entity Name
  • Entity ID
  • Principal Name
  • Registered Agent Name
  • Filing Number

Virginia Business Entity Search Process

The business entity search process helps you to legally name and register your business, be it an LLC or a Corporation. You can perform the Virginia Business Entity Search Process by visiting the Virginia SOS page.

1. List out Your Desired Business Names – Select 2 or more names and then move ahead with the name availability search. This will help you register your business faster in case one of your business names is not available.

2. Perform the Virginia Name Search – Once you have decided on the name, you can do the Virginia name search. You can visit the Virginia SOS website and use the business name search tool.

3. Check Out the result – The search results generated can help you check the names according to the filter used. If your chosen name does not conflict with any reserved or registered name you can move ahead with the next step.

4. Reserve your LLC/Corporation name (Optional): Once you have selected a name that matches your business niche you can reserve your name in Virginia for 120 days. For that, you need to pay a filing fee of $10. If you plan to extend the reservation you have to pay the fee again within the 120 days timeframe.

5. Register your business with Virginia SOS: If your chosen name does not appear in the search result, then you might want to register your business with the  Virginia Secretary of State. You may choose to register your business through a registered agent or you can do it all by yourself.

Other Considerations Before Choosing a Name

There are a few other important things as well to consider before you move ahead and register your business name. You must remember that your business name will have a lot of significance in the future as well.


Trademark Search – It is important that along with registering your business you also do a state trademark search. Performing a trademark search helps you know whether you can use the same name to grow your business in the future or not. The trademark search will save you from any legal actions in the future.

Domain Name – If your business name and website name are the same more people can reach you very easily. 

Social Media Name – Many brands exist on social media platforms. Thus to avoid confusion it is always advisable to open accounts using your brand name on different social media platforms. This can help you with marketing promotions as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where should I Perform Virginia's business entity search?

You have to visit the official page of Virginia's secretary of state site to do a business entity search.

2. What should Virginia corporation comply?

Virginia corporation complies to add either corporation, company or corp at the end of the business name.

3. What is the filing fee to reserve a business name in Virginia?

$10 is the filing fee to reserve a business name in Virginia for 120 days.

4. How can you search for the existing business entity?

You can search about existing entities in the state by entering the entity name or by the entity ID.


We hope that you had a smooth experience while performing the Virginia Business entity search. We have guided you on what you should and should not do to register your LLC/ Corporation name search. The Virginia SOS website will give you in-depth information on the business entity as well.

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