You'll need to complete a Michigan LLC name search to check name availability before you form an LLC.
We’ll help you establish your Michigan LLC with a distinctive and legally recognized name.
Recommended: Northwest ($29 + State Fees) will register your business name when you form an LLC.
Check LLC Name Availability in Michigan
1. Do a Michigan Business Name Search
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.
2. Search Available Domain Names
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 online using your preferred domain registry, such as GoDaddy.
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3. Follow Michigan Naming Guidelines
If you're looking to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Michigan, there are specific naming rules you need to adhere to from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. These guidelines help to avoid confusion and ensure that your company's name is unique and representative of your business.
Your LLC's name needs to be different from that of any existing corporations, limited partnerships, or other LLCs. This requirement aims to avoid confusion among consumers. The proposed name:
- Must include “limited liability company” or “LLC” or “LC” with or without periods.
- In the case of low-profit LLCs – must include “low-profit limited liability company” or “L3C or l3c” with or without periods.
- Should not include words or phrases indicating that the LLC is organized for a purpose other than that stated in its Articles of Organization.
- Must not include the words "corporation," "incorporated," or the abbreviations "corp." or "inc."
In case your LLC operates under a name different from its true name, you need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name (CSCL/CD 541). The assumed name must also meet the requirement of being unique and not be the same as the names of existing limited partnerships, corporations, or LLCs.
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
Registering Your Michigan Business Name
Whether you're ready to get started or still laying the groundwork, it’s time to register or reserve your Michigan LLC name.
Register Your Michigan LLC Name
Registering your LLC name in Michigan is a simple process. Your business name becomes officially registered when you file the Michigan Articles of Organization. This crucial document marks the formal initiation of your business in the state.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the form and pay the necessary state filing fee.
Keep in mind: If you engage a professional LLC formation service, they can handle the registration of your LLC name and the formation of your LLC, making the process easier. To gain more insights, check out our Best LLC Services review.
Reserve Your Michigan Business Entity Name
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.
When reserving your name, you will have to pay a filing fee. Checks must be made out to the “State of Michigan.”
After choosing a name for your LLC, take the next step and create a unique logo with our Free Logo Generator.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
We reviewed and ranked the top LLC formation services.
Find out which is best for you.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
How do I utilize the Michigan Secretary of State's website to check for LLC name availability?
To check for LLC name availability in Michigan, use the business search tool provided by the Michigan Secretary of State. Enter the proposed LLC name into the search field, then go through the results to make sure that your chosen name is distinct and not already in use.
How does ensuring my LLC name is unique through a Michigan LLC name search protect my business?
By confirming that your chosen LLC name is unique via a Michigan LLC name search, you prevent possible legal disputes or trademark infringement cases. It helps maintain your business identity and shields you from legal ramifications linked to duplicating an existing business name.
Is it crucial to conduct a Michigan LLC name search before registering the LLC?
Yes, it is crucial. A Michigan LLC name search should ideally be conducted during the initial planning phase of your LLC. If your previous search was a while ago and you haven't yet registered the name, a new search should be done before the final registration process.
What factors do I need to consider when choosing an LLC name in Michigan?
In Michigan, your LLC name needs to be unique, must include the words "Limited Liability Company," "LLC," or "L.L.C.," and must avoid words that could mislead the public into thinking your LLC is a government agency or indicates it serves a purpose it does not.
What steps do I take after confirming my preferred LLC name is available in Michigan?
Once your preferred LLC name is confirmed as available through a Michigan LLC name search, you can reserve it for up to 180 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and paying the applicable fee.