Verify Your Business Name With a Virginia Business Name Search

Confirming your business entity name availability is a crucial step in the incorporation process. Save time and money by using a free online tool to search.
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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Catherine Cohen
Written by Catherine Cohen
Written byCatherine Cohen
Updated December 05, 2023
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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You’ve paved the way for the success of your Virginia company throughout your creation stage. The next process in your launch is naming the enterprise. It might seem like there’s not much to it — but there are a few more steps than just running with the first name that comes to mind.

You need to take your time during the selection phase to avoid the risk of using someone else’s name. Otherwise, legal liability is virtually inevitable.

In addition to our LLC filings, annual report services, compliance documents, and name change assistance, Swyft Filings also provides a user entity search option. It eliminates all the guesswork associated with entity searches and offers fast results. It only takes a few seconds to type in the necessary information:

  1. Enter your desired small business name.

  2. Tell the software your enterprise’s headquarters location.

  3. Type in your contact information (name and email).

  4. Tap “Submit,” and you’re good to go.

Simple, isn’t it? All that’s left now is to wait up to one hour for the tool to process your request. Once your results are ready, Swyft Filings will email you to let you know whether or not your desired name is taken. If your name is free, we’ll tell you what to do next and how to reserve your organization’s name.

Free Virginia Business Name Search

See if your company name is available in Virginia with our free business name search service. There is no cost or commitment on your part. We will email you within 1 hour to let you know if your name is available Alaska and how to reserve it today.

Knowing you have a handy search tool available 24/7 is great, but that’s only the starting point. You must also understand Virginia’s rules governing your name selection, the benefits of looking up available names, and what follows your search. Keep reading to go step by step through these processes.

Key Takeaways

  • A Virginia entity search tells you whether your desired business name is available.

  • You should always perform a search before registering your company to prevent trademark-related lawsuits and speed up your business launch.

  • Swyft Filings offers a hassle-free way to check the availability of your desired Virginia LLC or corporation name.

Virginia’s Business Name Conventions

Whether you want to set up a Virginia corporation or LLC, a Virginia business name search should be one of your priorities. While performing your search, keep in mind that the Virginia Secretary of State has several do’s and don’ts you need to follow:

  • Don’t use insurance-related wording — Your business name shouldn’t include any words or phrases that may make others mistake you for an insurer. After all, you’re starting an LLC or corporation — you don’t plan on carrying insurance risks.

  • Do use wording relevant to your type of company — If you’re launching a Virginia LLC, make sure your name contains “limited liability company.” You can also use an abbreviation (LLC, L.L.C) for a catchier name. Likewise, the name of a Virginia corporation must include “corporation” or “incorporated.”[1]

  • Don’t use names that refer to state organizations — The state of Virginia has several organizations, such as the Department of Transportation and the Department of Elections. Avoid using words that may make people believe you’re associated with one of these organizations. You risk incurring severe penalties and fines.

  • Do use a unique name — As discussed previously, no copycats are allowed in the Virginia business world. Apart from copying other businesses’ products and services, you can’t replicate or emulate their names either. They may sue you for trademark violations, which can be a significant hit when getting your enterprise off the ground.

  • Don’t use words associated with other types of entities — When launching a new business entity, don’t use names that blur the lines between you and other enterprises with the same structures. For example, your LLC shouldn’t contain words like “incorporated.” Likewise, corporations shouldn’t have “LLC,” “partnership,” or similar phrases as part of their business names.

  • Do avoid inserting “national,” “reserve,” “federal,” and “United States” in your business name — If you’re a brokerage, building, or trust company, don’t add these words to your name. In the worst-case scenario, you won’t even be able to register your organization.

  • Don’t use irrelevant trades — Your name should reflect the offerings you’ll provide. For instance, don’t add “engineering,” “surveying,” or “real estate” to your business name unless you offer those services.

Now you know how a Virginia business entity search works, but there’s much more to uncover regarding this topic. For instance, why exactly should you perform one when setting up your enterprise? Here are a few reasons:

  • Better protection against lawsuits — Once your advanced search gives you the green light to use the desired name for your LLC, you no longer have to worry about lawsuits. Search results can tell you that no other Virginia organization uses your LLC name, providing much-needed peace of mind. Companies won’t be able to sue you for violating trademark conventions because you’re not violating them.

  • Faster business license application — You can’t launch your enterprise without receiving your license. However, you can’t move on to the licensing part without naming your company. An entity search speeds up this process by telling you whether your business name is available within minutes.

  • Quicker access to a domain — After receiving a license and entity number, you want to set up your domain. Domains are usually similar to business names because they’re more memorable this way. How can you buy a domain if you don’t even know the name of your enterprise? A search tool like Swyft Filings lets you reserve a name and domain faster.

Sign welcoming drivers into the state of Virginia | Swyft Filings

Next Steps

Your Virginia entity search has delivered great news — you can safely use your desired Virginia business name. You must act fast to prevent others from taking your LLC or corporation name. Getting a domain name is also essential, and you may also want to consider applying for a DBA. Here’s a breakdown of each step.

Complete Your Name Reservation

Your comprehensive Virginia business name search will be in vain unless you reserve your LLC name.[2] After verifying the business name availability of your LLC, it’s time to complete your name reservation. It’s critical to obtaining your business license. The process is to:

  • Download and complete this form.

  • Send the form to this address:

    • State Corporation Commission

    • Office of the Clerk

    • P.O. Box 1197

    • Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197

  • Pay the $10 state filing fee.

Choose a Domain Name

Once you complete your Virginia entity search and name reservation, don’t put your feet up just yet. Selecting a domain name should follow your name reservation and name availability check. It makes your LLC or corporation more memorable and helps increase your online presence. That’s right — both of these can help your company take off.

Here’s how to choose a domain name for your Virginia business:

  • Use wording related to your company.

  • Don’t exceed 13-14 characters.

  • Include keywords and be specific.

Squarespace’s easy-to-use domain search tool can help you quickly find and register a domain name that matches your Virginia business. You can then choose from Squarespace’s flexible website templates, pre-designed layouts, and curated design elements to build a website — no coding required. Start your business with Swyft Filings and receive a free domain from SquareSpace for one year.

Consider a DBA

What if your Virginia Secretary of State business search comes up blank, and the business name for your LLC is unavailable? There’s another way — file for a fictitious business name.

Also known as a DBA (doing business as) or trade name, it’s a name under which you operate, but it’s not the same as the actual name of your business entity.[3]

If this sounds good, take the following steps to select a DBA for your Virginia LLC:

  • Download and fill out this form.

  • File online using the State Corporation Commission platform.

  • Alternatively, submit your form to State Corporation Commission:

    • State Corporation Commission

    • Office of the Clerk

    • P.O. Box 1197

    • Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197

  • Pay the $10 state filing fee for your entity type.

File Your LLC Online

Choosing your business name might have seemed daunting, but Swyft Filings is the light at the end of the tunnel. Contact us to wrap things up regarding your incorporation after doing your Virginia entity search and picking a name for your Virginia LLC.

We’ll take care of all the filings on your behalf efficiently and leave no stone unturned in the process. This way, we’ll help ensure your LLC takes off in good standing with the Virginia Secretary of State.

Free Virginia Business Name Search

Enter your desired Virginia company name to see if it is available with our free business name search.


How do I find out if a business name is available in Virginia?

There are many ways to determine if your business name is available in Virginia. Many people utilize the official tool on the Virginia Secretary of State website, but Swyft Filings is an even better option. It’s free and only takes a few seconds to provide the tool with the necessary information. From there, choose “Submit,” and you’ll know for sure whether your name is taken within 60 minutes.

The Virginia Secretary of State business entity search is the process of looking up a company by name, ID, or registered agent. It offers critical details about an enterprise, primarily if it uses the same name or one similar to your desired enterprise name. Business owners perform this search before applying for licenses to avoid legal issues.

How do I find out if a company is registered in Virginia?

The easiest way to determine if a company is registered in Virginia is to look it up on the official Commonwealth of Virginia Clerk’s Office page. Visit the site and navigate to its business finder tool. Type in the corporation’s name in the “Search” field and press enter. You should now see basic information about the company, including where it’s registered.

How much does a Virginia business entity search cost?

You won’t have to spend a dime on your business search using Swyft Filings software. It’s 100% free, user-friendly, and determines name availability within an hour.

There’s no reason you should think twice about your decision to do a business entity search. You’ll discover with absolute certainty whether you can safely use a company name without the risk of a lawsuit. Moreover, you can proceed to other stages of your business creation faster.

How do I find a business entity in Virginia?

You can find any business entity in Virginia with Swyft Filings. Our business entity search software only requires you to enter the name and location of the enterprise you’re searching for. The interface is intuitive, so no worries — you won’t be overwhelmed by unnecessary features.


  1. State Corporation Commission. “Business Entity Names.” Accessed May 9, 2023.

  2. State Corporation Commission. “Reserve a Name in the Clerk’s Information System.” Accessed May 9, 2023.

  3. State Corporation Commission. “Fictitious Names.” Accessed May 9, 2023.

Originally published on July 12, 2023, and last edited on December 05, 2023.
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