Q: Are there any stipulations on naming a real estate company in NC? (Planning on flipping and/or renting properties out)

1 Lawyer Answer

Will Blackton

Answered
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: I assume you're asking about LLC naming conventions, because that is the most common type of corporate entity formed to hold real estate for investment purposes. Many real estate investors form LLCs for each property and name the LLC after the street address of the property. For example: "123 Main Street LLC"

Are there any restrictions on naming LLCs in North Carolina? Yes, a few:

The name of a limited liability company must contain the words "limited liability company" or the abbreviation "L.L.C." or "LLC", or the combination "ltd. liability co.", "limited liability co.", or "ltd. liability company".

You cannot use the same name as a preexisting LLC or one that is substantially similar. Search for preexisting names using the North Carolina Secretary of State website at: http://www.sosnc.gov/search/index/corp.

You cannot use words that denote professional credentials if you're not a licensed professional (and organizing the LLC under specific statutory schemes for creating these types of corporations), like "architect" "engineer" "surveyor" "realtor" or "insurance." Don't use any variations of those words either, like "architecture" or "engineering." There are also restrictions about using the words "co-op" and "cooperative."

See Sections 55D-20 and -21 of the North Carolina General Statutes for more information about naming companies in North Carolina.

If you are partnering with any other investors, have an operating agreement drafted by an attorney. My experience is that it will be wildly more expensive to resolve a dispute arising from an agreement provided by an online legal services company, than an agreement drafted by a qualified attorney with your specific goals in mind. If you're working with a lender, make sure they're on board with the property being titled to an LLC.

Reach out to a NC attorney with experience in business transactions/formation and real estate if you require more information.

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