Michigan LLC Name Search

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Michigan LLC.

Checking the LLC name availability in Michigan is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Michigan businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.

Our Michigan LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Michigan, and how to reserve and register your business name.

Interested in forming an LLC? We recommend using an LLC formation service in order to ensure that you do not accidentally file your business name incorrectly and have your application denied.

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How to Search for a Michigan LLC Name

Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Michigan.

Step 1: Follow the Michigan LLC Naming Guidelines

Check that your selected name conforms with the Michigan LLC naming criteria:

  • Your name must include the term “limited liability company” or one of the abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  • Your name cannot include words falsely implying you have a business relationship with a government entity (FBI, Treasury, Real Estate Commission, etc.).
  • Your company’s name cannot contain words that suggest it is a financial institution, corporation, or engages in other types of activity under deception.
  • You are not authorized to use phrases that indicate your organization is formed for any cause other than those authorized. Therefore, if you use terms like “clinical” or “legal,” you may need to file supplemental documentation to verify that your LLC includes a relevant licensed professional.
  • Your LLC name cannot include terms like “Region,” “Municipality,” or “Provincial,” which suggest that your firm is a governmental institution.
  • You shall not use terms such as “treasury,” “trust,” and “stakeholder” unless you receive approval from the Financial Commission or Commissioner.
  • Specific laws vary by state, but organization types other than LLC, such as “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” and “Limited Partnership,” are often banned.
  • Your LLC must be unique and easily distinguishable from another business entity registered in your state.

Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.

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Step 2: Look Up Michigan LLC Name Search Availability

The next step is to conduct a Michigan LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Michigan.

  • LLC Name Search: Search the Michigan Taxable Entity Search to check if your chosen business name is available. You aren’t required to pay a fee to search. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
  • Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.

To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.

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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.

Step 3: Reserve Your Michigan LLC Name

You are required to file for a Name Reservation Certificate in addition to your LLC Certificate of Formation in Michigan. The name reservation filing fee is $25 (or $10, depending on the entity type).

You can reserve a business name for 120 days with the Michigan Name Reservation tool online or by mail using the Application for Reservation of Name.

Name reservation renewals must be completed 30 days before expiration if you do not establish your LLC within a specific period or according to Michigan’s guidelines. Reservations can be extended for two 60-day periods and are eligible for renewal at the end of the term.

Using a Michigan DBA for Your LLC

A DBA (“doing business as”) name is referenced as an assumed name in Michigan. With a DBA, you can conduct business under a different name than your company’s official name.

You can also use a DBA and legally operate under a new name if you want to preserve your LLC but engage in another commercial activity. The fee to obtain a Michigan Assumed Name Certificate is $25.

LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.

Step 4: Register a Michigan LLC Trade or Service Mark

You can search a mark on the federal trademark database to determine if someone has registered your business name.

You can file a request for a trade or service mark after you confirm the availability and reservation of your LLC name.

By notifying everyone in the state that they cannot use your mark for any purpose, you can distinguish the products or services your firm offers by registering your LLC’s business “mark” (which relates to trade and service marks) with the Michigan Secretary of State (such as brand name, slogans, and logos).

These factors are crucial for an LLC owner to file a mark registration with the Michigan Secretary of State. The filing fee for a Michigan Trade or Service Mark Application is $50 per class (“class” means goods and services).

Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Michigan, check out the steps on how to form a Michigan LLC.

Michigan Secretary of State Contact Information 

Mailing Address

Corporations Division
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909

Physical Address

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
644 W. Ottawa St.
Lansing, MI 48933

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Email: CorpsMail@michigan.gov

Phone: (517) 241-6470

Michigan LLC Name Search FAQ

Why do I need to do a Michigan LLC name search?

When forming a Michigan LLC, you will be required to choose a name.. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the Michigan Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Michigan Taxable Entity Search or MI SOS Name Search tool on the Secretary of State website. You aren’t required to pay a fee when using MI SOS Name Search.

How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Michigan?

You can use the Michigan Taxable Entity Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Michigan Secretary of State Business Services Division via phone at (517) 241-6470 or email at CorpsMail@michigan.gov for assistance conducting a Michigan LLC name search.

Can I renew a Michigan LLC name reservation?

Yes. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application 30 days before it expires. Download and fill out the Application for Reservation or Renewal of Reservation of an Entity Name.

Is the Michigan Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?

Yes. You can use the Michigan Name Search tool to find a name for your LLC. Enter the desired name for your LLC to determine its availability.

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