Do you have the perfect name idea for a new business entity in the state of Virginia, but you’re not quite ready to form your company?
Virginia 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 Virginia.
Rocket Tip: If you’d rather officially incorporate in Virginia 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 Virginia
The first step is to determine if your desired business name is even available in Virginia to begin with. The state has a convenient business name search tool available on the State Corporation Commission’s website, which you can access here at any time. Once you’ve determined the availability of your desired name, you can begin the process of reserving it with the state.
Unlike many Virginia business filings, you cannot submit a name reservation request online ― this request must be made in writing. The simple one-page form you’ll need to fill out to reserve your name is called an Application for Reservation of a Business Entity Name, which can be acquired from the State Corporation Commission. You’ll need to fill out this document with the following information: State Corporation Commission P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Once you’re finished filling out this form, you should write a check for $10 made payable to the “State Corporation Commission” and mail it with your completed reservation form to the following address:
State Corporation Commission P.O. Box 1197 Richmond, Virginia 23218
How Long Is My Business Name Reserved For?
Once you submit your application form, the state of Virginia will reserve your business name for a period of 120 days. If you’re still not ready to form your business entity at the end of that 120-day period, you may submit a renewal request for an additional 120 days. Your business name is eligible for a renewal starting 45 days before your previous reservation expires. You will have to pay the $15 fee again.
Just because you aren’t ready to form your Virginia business entity doesn’t mean you can’t lock down your desired business name.
If the name you want is available today, there’s no reason to wait until you form your business to reserve it for your exclusive use. The required form is easily filled out with your basic information, and the filing fee is quite affordable, so you should reserve your name today.