Registering a Business Name

Online Database

Once you’ve decided on a legal ownership structure and completed your business plan, you may need to register your business with the Commonwealth of Virginia. An online database lets you search to see if your chosen name is available or actively being used. The business name database is under the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

  1. Select “SCC efile” 
  2. Then “Check Name Distinguishability” 
  3. Then select “Submit” 
  4. Enter the proposed name of your business in the appropriate field and then select “Check Name” 

Once you’ve determined an available business name and chosen a legal structure, you can register online at the above web address.

Where to Register

As mentioned earlier, to register with the State Corporation Commission (SCC), you must first determine your business structure. Based on your business structure, you may or may not need to file with the SCC and/or the Clerk of the Circuit Court. In general, if you are a sole proprietor who is doing business under your name only, you are not required to file with the SCC or Circuit Court Clerk. However, see about regarding assumed or fictitious name filing requirements.

Corporations, Limited or General Partnerships or Limited Liability Companies must register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), the Department of Tax and possibly with the Virginia Employment Commission. For more information on registering a business and any associated forms and fees that may be required, please visit the State Corporation Commission page and select Virginia Formation Documents and Formation Fees. You may also want to consult an accountant and/ or attorney for more precise advice based on your business.