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.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
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.
- 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.
- 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 $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
To reserve an LLC name in Wisconsin you need to submit a name reservation request form to the Wisconsin Secretary of State by mail or online by paying a filing fee of $15.
So, how do you go about reserving an LLC name in Wisconsin? The process is not overly complicated, but it requires a certain level of understanding and adherence to the state’s specific guidelines. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your desired name remains available until you are ready to officially establish your LLC.
First and foremost, it is important to conduct a thorough name search to determine if your preferred name is already in use. In Wisconsin, the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) maintains an online database called the Wisconsin Corporate Records Service (WCRS), which allows individuals to search for existing business names. Taking the time to search for potential name conflicts can save you the hassle of altering your name further down the line.
Once you have confirmed that your desired business name is available, you can proceed with reserving it for a period of up to 120 days. To initiate the name reservation process, you can submit an Application for Reservation of Name to the DFI. This application can either be mailed or submitted in person, accompanied by the required filing fee. In Wisconsin, the fee for reserving an LLC name is currently set at $15.
On the application form, you will need to supply information about the name you are reserving, your own name and address, and any optional remarks you might have. It is vital to ensure these details are accurately completed to avoid unnecessary delays or rejection. Once your application is processed and approved, the DFI will provide you with a reserved name certificate that officially confirms your reservation.
One important aspect to note is the time limit imposed on the reservation period. In Wisconsin, a reserved LLC name is valid for 120 days. If your desired name is reserved while you work on gathering the necessary documentation and fulfilling the requirements to establish your LLC, it is crucial to be mindful of this time frame. Failure to meet this deadline will result in the name becoming available for other individuals or entities to claim.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that name reservations in Wisconsin do not guarantee the availability of the name when it comes time to officially register your LLC. Other business entities or individuals could still have the chance to register a similarly titled company if time permits. Therefore, it is advisable to proceed with the necessary steps to form your LLC as soon as possible after reserving the name.
In conclusion, the process of reserving an LLC name in Wisconsin should not be taken lightly. It is a critical step in establishing your business with the desired name, protecting your brand identity, and avoiding potential conflicts down the line. By adhering to the state’s guidelines, conducting a thorough name search, and filing an application for name reservation, you can seize the opportunity to secure the name that best represents your business aspirations.
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