Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you.
You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Virginia. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
As an entrepreneur, you already have so much to think about. Let ZenBusiness take care of the name reservation paperwork so you can focus on launching your dream business.
Alternatively, if you’d rather setup an LLC and solidify the name that way, we have a special discount and will do it for $0 + state fee ($79 less than LegalZoom).
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
Nope, there’s no Virginia law that says you need to reserve a name before forming your LLC. You have the option to file for a reservation, but there’s no obligation involved. Ready to start your business? Skip this step and go straight to the Articles of Organization.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Virginia LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $10 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Virginia business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does a Virginia Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the Commonwealth of Virginia can reserve an entity name. Filing your name registration prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the Commonwealth during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the Commonwealth of Virginia lasts for 120 days, during which you have exclusive ownership of that name.
During the last 45 days of your reservation, you can renew it by filing another application and paying an additional $10 fee. You can renew it as many times as you’d like, but to avoid accumulating a bunch of $10 fees, it’s a good idea to form your LLC within the first 120-day period.
And if you decide to hand off your reservation to someone else, just send the State Corporation Commission a notice of the transfer that includes your signature and the transferee’s name and address.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in Virginia?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability. The State Corporation Commission offers a database for exactly this purpose. Head over to the “Check Name Distinguishability” page and enter your desired name to see if it’s being used. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the Commonwealth of Virginia (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
On the SCC’s Limited Liability Company Forms page, you’ll find Form SCC631: Application for Reservation or for Renewal of Reservation of a Business Entity Name. The title lacks brevity, but the form itself doesn’t. It only asks for four things:
- The name you want to reserve
- Your name
- Your mailing address
- Your signature
When you’re done, include a check (payable to “State Corporation Commission”) for $10 and mail it off to:
State Corporation Commission, Office of the Clerk
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197
Mailed documents are usually processed within 6-9 business days. But if you can’t wait that long, you can file an “Expedited Service Request Form” and pay $50 for next day service or $200 for same day service.
That all you have to do! The next step is to get your business off the ground by filing the Articles of Organization.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Virginia to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $10 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $100 Virginia LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $10 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate.
Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state. While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, ZenBusiness is an entrepreneur favorite. Other than that, IncFile and Northwest are two other popular options with appeals of their own.
How to Reserve an LLC Name in all 50 States
We break down the LLC Name Reservation process for all 50 states. View all of our guides below.
- Alabama LLC Name Reservation
- Alaska LLC Name Reservation
- Arizona LLC Name Reservation
- Arkansas LLC Name Reservation
- California LLC Name Reservation
- Colorado LLC Name Reservation
- Connecticut LLC Name Reservation
- Delaware LLC Name Reservation
- Washington D.C. LLC Name Reservation
- Georgia LLC Name Reservation
- Florida LLC Name Reservation
- Hawaii LLC Name Reservation
- Idaho LLC Name Reservation
- Illinois LLC Name Reservation
- Indiana LLC Name Reservation
- Iowa LLC Name Reservation
- Kansas LLC Name Reservation
- Kentucky LLC Name Reservation
- Louisiana LLC Name Reservation
- Maine LLC Name Reservation
- Maryland LLC Name Reservation
- Massachusetts LLC Name Reservation
- Michigan LLC Name Reservation
- Minnesota LLC Name Reservation
- Mississippi LLC Name Reservation
- Missouri LLC Name Reservation
- Montana LLC Name Reservation
- Nebraska LLC Name Reservation
- Nevada LLC Name Reservation
- New Hampshire LLC Name Reservation
- New Jersey LLC Name Reservation
- New Mexico LLC Name Reservation
- New York LLC Name Reservation
- North Carolina LLC Name Reservation
- North Dakota LLC Name Reservation
- Ohio LLC Name Reservation
- Oklahoma LLC Name Reservation
- Oregon LLC Name Reservation
- Pennsylvania LLC Name Reservation
- Rhode Island LLC Name Reservation
- South Carolina LLC Name Reservation
- South Dakota LLC Name Reservation
- Tennessee LLC Name Reservation
- Texas LLC Name Reservation
- Utah LLC Name Reservation
- Vermont LLC Name Reservation
- Washington LLC Name Reservation
- Wisconsin LLC Name Reservation
- Wyoming LLC Name Reservation