Wisconsin LLC Name Search – How to Name Your LLC

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Forming an LLC requires a different business name, which must be unique and adheres to the guidelines. The great thing is Wisconsin’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 Wisconsin LLC or forming an LLC in general, you can check out How to Start an LLC.

How to Name an LLC in Wisconsin

Time needed: 5 minutes

There are guidelines to follow in doing a Wisconsin 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.

  1. Check Name Availability

    Search the Business Entity Records in Wisconsin’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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 $15 filing fee (plus tax for online).

    File your Certificate of Formation online on the Secretary of State Online Services page of Wisconsin. You may also download the pdf file of the Name reservation form and submit it with the processing fee to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions 4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower Madison, WI 53705.

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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Secretary of State website offers a Business 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 by providing the corporate records of the competing businesses with the same name. Also, keep a list of backup names ready, so you can select a final name in a few attempts.

2. Enter the name

When you get to the search page, you can start the search by entering the proposed name in the blank space provided on the page. You will also see two types of searches that you can perform, i.e., Advanced search and name availability. After you enter the name in the search box, click on “Search Records.”

The search results will display a list of results that matches your proposed business name. You can click on the displayed results to know more about the competing businesses.

3. Search by Name Availability

You can also run the search by selecting the name availability filter. After selecting the name availability option, enter the proposed name into the blank space and click on the “Search Records” tab.

The Search Results will display the list of results, if any, running with the same name in the State. Else, a dialogue box will appear stating that no records appear with the entered name.

4. Perform the Search

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 Wisconsin

Wisconsin, one of the most business-friendly states in the United States, offers entrepreneurs a plethora of opportunities to establish and develop their dream businesses. One of the first and crucial steps in launching a new venture is reserving a name for your Limited Liability Company (LLC). As a potential business owner, it is important to understand the process of reserving an LLC name in Wisconsin, as it helps ensure your chosen name remains available while you complete other necessary tasks for starting your business.

Reserving an LLC name is a relatively simple procedure that can be completed by following a few straightforward steps. The entire process can be carried out easily online, saving both time and effort. Firstly, one needs to visit the official website of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (WDFI), where you will find all the necessary information and resources.

Once on the WDFI website, navigate to the “Start a Business” section and select “Domestic or Foreign Business Entities.” From there, you will find an option to “Reserve a Name” under the “Domestic Business Entities” heading. Make sure to carefully read the provided guidelines and requirements before proceeding further.

Next, you need to complete the name reservation application form accurately. It is essential to ensure the name complies with all the necessary guidelines set forth by the state. The name should not be too similar to any other registered entity in Wisconsin, as that may result in rejection. Once you have entered the required information, pay the small fee associated with the reservation process. Fortunately, the payment can be made online using a credit or debit card.

After successfully submitting the application and payment, the WDFI will review your request and confirm the availability of the desired name. Be patient during this process, as it may take several days for the WDFI to process and approve your reservation.

It is important to remember that a reserved name in Wisconsin is only valid for a limited period. Currently, name reservations are valid for a period of 120 days. Within this time frame, it is essential to complete all the necessary paperwork to register your LLC officially. This will help ensure that your chosen name remains reserved exclusively for your business.

Furthermore, it is crucial to understand that reserving a name does not mean your LLC is officially formed or recognized. You still need to complete the necessary paperwork such as filing Articles of Organization, submitting an Initial Report, and arranging for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These steps are vital to complete the legal and administrative process of forming an LLC in Wisconsin.

In conclusion, reserving an LLC name in Wisconsin is a vital step in the early stages of starting a business. Familiarizing yourself with the process and following the guidelines provided by the WDFI will maximize your chances of securing your desired name. Remember to act promptly and efficiently to complete the necessary paperwork and maintain the validity of your reservation. Taking these precautions and adhering to the state’s requirements will help ensure a smooth and successful path in establishing your business in Wisconsin.


What is a Trade Name?

A trade name (doing business as (DBA) name) is the official name under which a proprietor or company chooses to do business.

Is having a domain name necessary?

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.

What if my name is unavailable?

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.

How Do I Reserve an LLC Name in Wisconsin

To reserve an LLC name in Wisconsin, the process is relatively simple and straightforward. The first step is to conduct a thorough search on the department’s online database to ensure that the desired business name is available and not already in use by another entity in the state. It is essential to choose a unique and distinguishable name to avoid any potential conflicts or confusion in the future.

Once you have confirmed the availability of the desired LLC name, you can proceed with filling out the Name Reservation Application form provided by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. When completing the application, be sure to provide accurate information and follow all instructions carefully to avoid any delays or rejections.

Upon submitting the Name Reservation Application, you will also need to pay the required fee to reserve the LLC name for a specific period, usually 120 days. It is essential to keep in mind that reserving a name does not automatically register the LLC or provide any legal protections. It simply allows you to hold the name temporarily while you prepare to file the formal paperwork to establish the LLC.

While reserving an LLC name is not a mandatory step in forming a business entity in Wisconsin, it can be a beneficial preemptive measure to safeguard the chosen name. By securing the name early on, entrepreneurs can prevent any potential competitors or copycats from using the same name and diluting the brand identity.

In addition to protecting the LLC name, reserving a name can also help establish credibility and professionalism for the business. Having a unique and reserved name can make a positive impression on potential customers, partners, and investors, signaling that the business is serious and committed to its brand identity.

Overall, reserving an LLC name in Wisconsin is a prudent step for entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business entity. By taking the time to secure a unique and distinguishable name, individuals can protect their brand, build credibility, and ensure a strong foundation for their business. It is a relatively straightforward process that can offer significant advantages and peace of mind in the competitive business landscape.

In Conclusion

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

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