Virginia Business Entity Search is a very important part of the business ecosystem in the state. It serves several purposes and remains important for setting up and managing a business. Additionally, it also serves as a way for getting information on existing business entities.
The entity database in Virginia is maintained by the State Corporations Commission. The database contains information on several entity types, including LLCs and Corporations. Generally speaking, there is a lot of information that you can get about a company from the database.
Information on name availability is another use of the business entity search. In Virginia, you the business entity search for the following purposes. Do keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list.
- Getting information on a business entity.
- Checking for name availability when setting up a new entity.
- Purchase a certificate of good standing.
- View and file annual reports (where relevant).
- Pay registration fee (where relevant).
Apart from these options, the search is divided into two sections, which are useful depending on the intent of the user. These options are:
- Virginia SCC: Name Availability Search – this option checks if a name is available for use by a business entity.
- Existing Business Entity Search – this option provides search for existing business entities in the state.
Using Virginia Name Availability Search
Using the name availability search is a good option for Virginia LLC name search when you’re setting up a new business entity. This search function is viable for most business entities. You simply enter the business name you wish to register and start the search.
The website will let you know if the name is available for use. This makes the process of finding the right name for a new Virginia business entity or Virginia LLC very easy. This is a fairly ‘intelligent” tool that usually gives good results. It also checks for name distinguishability, which makes the results more likely to be accurate and useful for business name setup.
Even so, it’s a good idea to also check the name through conventional business entity search as a way to double-check the name options and results.
Using VA Business Search
Using VA business search is an excellent way of getting information on existing businesses. As noted earlier, it allows you to perform several administration actions for your existing business. The following options are available for business search:
- Search by business name
- Keyword – This option looks for specific keyword(s) in a business name. The order of the entry of keywords is not important. Results will be displayed as long as the business entity has the input keyword in its name.
- Starts With – Using this option is handy when you know the starting of the name of a business entity, but not its full name. For this option, the results will show entities that start their name with the entered search term. If you know the full name of the business, you can use this as an “exact match” search.
- Contains– This option will show business names that contain the search term.
- Search by SCC ID – It’s a quick way to look for a business with its assigned SCC ID. This ID is usually given to businesses when the state accepts their articles of organization. Search by SCC ID is an exact search and will return only the relevant business as the result.
Information Available With The VA Business Search
When you start the search, the results page will show any businesses that match the search term. This page shows the entity name, type, status, and SCC ID. Clicking on the name of an entity will take you to a page with detailed information on the selected entity.
This information includes entity name, type, status, date of formation, and a few other details. Information on the business principal address and the Virginia Registered Agent is also available.
Additionally, you’ll find several administrative options and forms available. If you own the business in question (or are related to it in a relevant capacity), you may use these options to file relevant forms and actions. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Change in registered agent status (appoint, resign as agent, or change the RA).
- File or view annual reports.
- Pay annual registration fee.
- Order a certificate of good standing.
- Manage email notifications.
- View eFile transaction history.
Virginia Secretary Of State Business Entity Search
In most states, the Business Entity Search is managed and maintained by the office of the Secretary of State. However, this isn’t true for Virginia as the entity search for this state is managed by the SCC (State Corporations Commission). So there is no specific business entity search available with the Virginia SOS.
But, if you’re following the convention in other states and intend to use the Virginia Secretary Of State Business Entity Search, the relevant option is the Business Entity Search provided by the SCC. This process is discussed above.
How To Reserve A Business Name In Virginia
Sometimes, you have an excellent business name in mind, but aren’t prepared to start your business yet. There can be several reasons to reserve a business name, from just wanting to grab the name quickly, to waiting for setting up logistics for your business.
Either way, if you have a name that you’d like to protect before setting up a business, it’s a good idea to consider filing for name reservation.
Is It Mandatory To File A Name Reservation In Virginia?
No, there is no obligation to file for a name reservation. You should do this if you have a good reason for name reservation.
On the other hand, if name reservation isn’t necessary or important for you, there is no need to spend time and resources on this process.
How Long Does A Name Reservation In Virginia Last?
When you file for name reservation, the state checks if it fulfills the naming requirements and whether the chosen name is unique and distinguishable on record.
If name reservation is possible, the Commonwealth of Virginia reserves it for 120 days. The filing fee for this form is $10.
When the 120 days are close to ending, you can file for a renewal of the name reservation. The renewal requires a filing fee of $10 and renews the reservation for 45 days. You can file for renewal as many times as you want.
Filing A Name Reservation Request
You can reserve a business name in Virginia by filing the Application for Reservation or for Renewal of Reservation of a Business Entity Name. The $10 filing fee for this form can be paid using a check made payable to “State Corporation Commission”. Once you’ve completed the form, you can mail it along with the filing fee to:
State Corporation Commission, Office of the Clerk
P.O. Box 1197
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1197
For best results and greater chances of success, it is usually wise to do a Virginia business entity search when picking a name for reservation. Using the name availability search is a similarly useful tool to picking an excellent (and available) name.