Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is Michigan’s Secretary of State page includes a name availability checker. Check out LLC Name Search to learn more.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in learning more about starting a Michigan LLC or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
How to Name an LLC in Michigan
Time needed: 5 minutes.
There are guidelines to follow in doing a Michigan LLC name search. To learn more, check out LLC Naming Guidelines or read Foreign LLC Application for Registration if you’re planning to register a foreign LLC.
- Check Name Availability
Search the Business Entity Records in Michigan’s Official Secretary of State page to check if your chosen business name is available. You may also try typing your trademark, business, or domain name on any search engine to generate businesses with similar names and to ensure your trademark is unique and meets the state’s requirements.
Check out How to File a DBA to learn more about registering a DBA or trademark. For social media pages, use Social Searcher to avoid using similar page names.
- Check Domain Availability
If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name using Namecheap, Google Workspace, or other domain name sites. So customers can easily find your business over the Internet. Use the Kinsta app to manage your domains efficiently.
- File Name Reservation
A Name Reservation Certificate is required along with a Certificate of Formation. You can reserve a name online, by mail, or in person with a $25 filing fee (plus tax for online).
File your Certificate of Formation and Name Reservation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Michigan. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau — Corporations Division, P.O. Box 30054, Lansing, MI 48909.
Guidelines to Follow in Naming LLC
- Use a business name with the abbreviation “LLC” or the phrase “Limited Liability Company.”
- Your decided business name must not coincide with any existing government entity. Otherwise, you might have to face legal lawsuits when filing your LLC.
- Use the LLC name availability checker to ensure your business name is unique.
- Get a license first if you plan on using restricted words to avoid any complications.
Note that you must put adequate effort into naming your LLC because this name will be with your business for a long time. Making your LLC name unique is vital as it would prevent people from confusing your business with others, not to mention it would be easier for them to recall your business, products, or services.
How To Do a Michigan LLC Online Name Search
As a part of your LLC registration process, it is important to have a suitable name for your LLC in accordance with the State naming guidelines. So, when you select a name for your LLC, you also need to run a quick search on the Michigan Business Entity Search page to check whether the name is unique and there is no other business running in the State with the same name.
1. Access the Business Entity Search Tool on the State website
The Michigan Secretary of State website offers a Business Entity Search Tool to assist you in finalizing a name for your business LLC. This tool is helpful in deciding the uniqueness and availability of the name. Also, keep a list of backup names ready, so you can select a final name in a few attempts.
2. Run the Search
After you navigate to the Search page, you can run the search by Business name. To begin the search process, you need to enter the name in the blank space and then click on the “Search” tab. You can also conduct the search using other available options, i.e., Business Identification Number, Filing Number, and Individual name.
3. Perform the Search
To finally search the name, there are different types of strategies available on the search page. The first type of strategy is the one where you can type in the keyword and you have to select the option “Begins with”. This way, it will show the names of the competing businesses in Michigan starting with the same name as your proposed name. Or, there are other options such as “exact match”, “Keyword” and “Soundex”. So, if you type in the words that your business’s name contains or exactly matches, this will give the results for all the competing businesses.
While conducting the search, you can exclude usage of identifiers such as “LLC” to access wider results from different forms of business structures running in a similar name. Conduct thorough research of the name by using the provided filters before filing it with the Authorities.
If you also wish to use a Trademark for the distinct identity of your business in the State, you can run a trademark search on the Trademark Database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see whether the chosen name is already in use by any other business entity.
If you also plan on conducting your business online through a website, you should also check if a domain name similar to your chosen business name is available or not.
How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Michigan
To reserve an LLC name in Michigan you need to submit a name reservation request form to the Massachusetts Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $25.
Starting a business in Michigan might seem difficult and overwhelming but one crucial step is reserving a proper name which complies with the rules and regulations set by the law. The name of your Limited Liability Company (LLC) has a significant impact on how your business is viewed in the market, which is why choosing a memorable and unique name is vital.
Reserving an LLC name might not be as confusing or difficult as it seems. Once you have identified a name that you like for your LLC, the first step is to check if the name is available. Michigan does not permit LLCs with similar or identical names from co-existing in the market.
To check if your desired name is available, you can search the corporate records on Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website. You should provide details such as the first word(s) of the name as well as any other specific words and/or phrases that you want to include in the name.
Furthermore, once you have established that your proposed name is available, you can then proceed to reserve it for a period not exceeding six months by filing for a name reservation with LARA. There are two ways of making the reservation, online or by mail.
To make the reservation online, you will need to open an account on the MiLogin website, select ‘Create a New Application’ and identify ‘Name Reservation and Renewal’ from the eLicensing drop-down menu.
The second option, reservation by mail, requires you to download the form ‘Certificate of Reservation of Name’ from LARA’s website. The mail-in application should be mailed to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau, P.O. Box 30054, Lansing, MI 48909.
Upon receipt of the name reservation application, LARA will issue a certificate or deny the application. The certificate is valid for six months, and if you have not used the name within that timeframe, it becomes available for other businesses to utilize.
It is essential to note that name reservation does not equate to the establishment of an LLC; instead, it serves as a temporary protection or safeguard for your proposed business name. The establishment of an LLC requires compliance with Michigan’s state regulations as stipulated in the Michigan Compiled Laws.
In summary, reserving an LLC name is essential for businesses looking to establish certainty and brand recognition in a competitive market. Understanding how to reserve a name avoids losing one’s brand to a competitor or an entity that potentially used your proposed name. Taking these few steps can significantly help in saving time, hustles, and money.
In conclusion, a successful business venture in Michigan necessitates; combining the right resources, hiring the correct personnel, choosing the right name, and understanding Michigan’s legal framework. Moreover, constantly managing and enabling change throughout the entire process will ease any process hurdles efficiently. Proper planning and execution of one’s name reservation process could significantly enhance any new business’ internal and external mechanics for the long haul.
A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.
Having a domain isn’t necessary, but it is recommended. If you have a domain name, customers will find you more accessible through online means with your online website.
For domestic LLC, you can simply brainstorm for another name if the one you pick is no longer available. For foreign LLC, you must think up a “fictitious name,” which you’ll use only in the state.
LLC names are important as it is the main identity of your business. While naming your LLC make sure to choose the one that suits the nature of your business. Follow the naming guidelines before you start filing your LLC name