One of the first things you’ll need to do to form your LLC is select a name for your business. The name must contain “limited liability company,” “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “Ltd. Liability Company,” or “Limited Liability Co.” It’s free to do a name search through your county’s register of deeds to see if your chosen name is available.
If you want to reserve your business name, you can file an application with the North Carolina Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $10.
The name you choose when you form your LLC will be the official legal name of your LLC. You’ll use it when paying taxes and for other official matters.
You might want to have one or more other names that you can use for your business. This is totally optional, but for some businesses, it might be a good thing to have a different name or names to enhance the branding of your business.
You can’t just make up a name and use it, though. You have to register this alternative name (or names) with the state as a “doing business as” (DBA) name, or, as it’s usually called in North Carolina, an assumed business name.
To register a DBA, first do a search in the State’s assumed business name database to see if your desired name is already being used. This search is free.
Next, fill out an assumed business name certificate form and file it in person or by mail at the Register of Deeds for the county that is the principal place of business for your LLC. You can request up to 5 names at a time for a filing fee of $26.