Do you have the perfect name idea for a new business entity in the state of North Carolina, but you’re not quite ready to form your company?
North Carolina allows you to reserve a business name until you’re prepared for the business formation process, but how does the reservation process work and how long will the state reserve the name for you? In this guide, we’ll run down all the important details of reserving a business name in North Carolina.
Rocket Tip: If you’d rather officially incorporate in North Carolina rather than file the extra paperwork to register a business name, there are many good incorporation services that can do it for you.
How to Reserve a Business Name in North Carolina
The first step is to determine if your desired business name is even available in North Carolina to begin with. The North Carolina Secretary of State provide a convenient search tool that you can use to find existing business names registered in the state. Once you’ve determined the availability of your desired name, you can begin the process of reserving it with the state.
In North Carolina, anyone can reserve a business name by filing the Application to Reserve a Business Entity Name with the Secretary of State’s office. You can download the form at this link. This application requires the following information: Corporations Division P.O. Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
Once you have completed the form, you will need to include a check for $30 made payable to the “Secretary of State.” Then, you can mail the form and the check to this address:
Corporations Division P.O. Box 29622 Raleigh, NC 27626-0622The Secretary of State also gives you the option of uploading your application directly to their website and making your payment online. In order to do this, you will need to make an account and select “Upload a New Name Reservation” under PDF Filing.
How Long Is My Business Name Reserved For?
A business name reservation lasts for 120 days in North Carolina. You will need to form your business during this period. If you allow the reservation to expire without officially forming your business, someone else could claim your business name. You can also reserve your business name for a 10 year period by filing the Application to Reserve Business Entity Name (10 Year Reservation). However, this kind of reservation is only for individuals who have acquired the “goodwill” of an entity authorized to do business in North Carolina.
Just because you aren’t ready to form your North Carolina business entity doesn’t mean you can’t lock down your desired business name.
It is easy to reserve a business name in North Carolina, as you can submit the application form online or by mail. You do not need to provide much information, and the reservation will give you 120 days to form your business.