NAMING YOUR MICHIGAN LLC

1. Naming Guidelines

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Michigan naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

Be sure to follow these naming guidelines:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your Michigan LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your Michigan LLC.

For a complete list of naming rules in Michigan, you can visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.

2. Do a Michigan Business Entity Search

Before filing your name reservation request, you can use the Michigan Business Entity Search to check available LLC names in Michigan. To perform the most effective search, type in the name you would like to use, excluding identifiers like “LLC”, and leave all other boxes blank. This will return all entities using the same or similar names.

If your business name is several words, you can even search just the first two words to ensure you pull up all possible similar names.

3. Is the URL Available?

Another important consideration to make when selecting a business name is whether or not your desired web domain name is available. Having a URL that clearly matches your business name is important. This seemingly small step can make a big difference in how prospective customers find your business.

The best way to determine if your desired URL is available is to search for it using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

4. Michigan LLC Name Reservation

Michigan’s Secretary of State Corporations Division handles all LLC naming questions and requests. Business names can be reserved for 6 months following the month of filing.

To reserve a business name, you must file an application online or by mail. Applicants may also file by email (CDfilings@michigan.gov) or fax (517) 241-0538. If you email or fax an application, you must create a MICH-ELF account using this form.

When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the “State of Michigan.”

Michigan LLC Name Reservation

File Online with the State of Michigan

File Online


OR


File by Mail

Download Form


Fee: $25

Mail to:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

While reserving the name for your LLC is straightforward, there are some other things you should think about when choosing the best name for your business. You may want to do a Trademark and Social Media search for your name to see if it's available for use across the internet. This will help ensure you have full, unrestricted use of your business name.

Trademark Search

Conducting a trademark search of your business name and associated slogans or logos before registering can help prevent costly litigation in the future. Discovering that another entity has trademarked your business name does not automatically disqualify you from using it.

However, it is important to know who is using the name, what industry they operate in, and where they are located to be sure you do not inadvertently infringe upon anyone’s intellectual property rights.

To complete this step: 

  • Complete a Michigan trademark search to see if your business name or associated slogans, logos, or others are in use by another business in your state. 
  • Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s electronic records to find any federally registered trademarks associated with your business name.

Social Media Search

Just as important, or more so, than finding a domain name that fits your business is ensuring that your business name is available for use across social media platforms. You can do this by simply searching your business name on each major site, or use a tool such as Namecheckr to search across all platforms at once.

BOTTOM LINE

Having a name for your business is an important first step for creating a successful LLC, and one that is incredibly easy to do. Once you have found your preferred name using the Michigan Business Entity Search, you'll want to secure your domain name so that your customers will be able to find your business online. Reserving your name with an Application for Reservation of Name will help you stand out from the competition. With your name secured, you will be ready to take the next steps to formalize your Michigan LLC.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

What's Next?

Now that you have your name, it's time to take the next steps to establish your LLC. Check out our full guide on how to form an LLC in Michigan, where we can guide you every step of the way.

Form an LLC