Michigan LLC Name Search

A laptop with a search engine open that says "LLC Name Search"

Before you form an LLC, you will need to complete a business name search with the Michigan Business Entity Search tool to check if your LLC name is available.

In our LLC Name Search guide, we will show you exactly how to look up available business names for free in Michigan.

SKIP AHEAD:

1. Check Michigan LLC Naming Guidelines

2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search

3. Complete a Domain Name Search

How to Search Available LLC Names in Michigan

1. Check Michigan LLC Naming Guidelines

Before you do a name availability search, it makes sense to check if your business name meets the basic state guidelines.

Some key guidelines for Michigan LLC names include:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., LC, or L.C.).

  • The name of a low-profit LLC must contain the words "low-profit limited liability company" or the abbreviation "L.3.C." or "l.3.c.,", with or without periods.

  • The name must be distinguishable in the records in the office of the administrator from the name of any existing Michigan business or any reserved name

Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

Michigan has a long list of restricted words that may require approval to use. You can view the entire list on the Michigan LARA website.

Additionally, Michigan has the following restrictions for LLC names:

  • Your name cannot imply that the LLC is organized for any purpose other than the one outlined in its articles of organization.

  • Your name cannot contain the words "corporation" or "incorporated" or the abbreviations "corp." or "inc."

For more information, check out Michigan’s official state statutes.

2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search

Once you know your LLC name meets Michigan guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by searching the Michigan Business Entity Search tool.

It is important that your name be distinguishable from all other business names. In Michigan, a distinguishable name that has a different sequence of letters or numbers from all active names of corporations, limited liability companies, or limited partnerships. 

The following differences do NOT make a name distinguishable in Michigan:

  • Business entity suffixes (e.g., LLC, Corporation)
  • Punctuation

Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.

What if my LLC name is already taken? If your LLC name is unavailable in Michigan, it’s time to come up with some new ideas. 

Use this guide to naming your business to learn some brainstorming tips. You can also use our free LLC name generator to come up with some name ideas.

3. Complete a Domain Name Search

When deciding on a name for your LLC, you should make sure that a similar or exact domain name is available. A matching URL will help potential customers find your LLC faster.

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How to Reserve or Register Your Business Name

Reserve Your Name

You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Michigan for up to six months before you officially register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you have the opportunity to register it yourself. 

Name reservations can be filed online or via hard copy with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The filing fee is $25.

Register Your Name

If you want to register a legal entity name for your LLC, you can do so at the time of formation filing. Michigan provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Articles of Organization.

Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, called an assumed name in Michigan, is a separate process that requires LLCs to file with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Michigan LLC Name Search FAQ

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

You can use the Michigan Business Entity Search tool to see if your preferred business name is available.

Should I name my LLC after myself?

While there’s no rule against naming an LLC after yourself, most experts advise against doing this. 

One of the benefits of starting an LLC is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.

What words can’t be used in a Michigan LLC name?

Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.

Michigan has a long list of restricted words that may require approval to use. You can view the entire list on the Michigan LARA website.

Should I use an LLC name generator?

If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your LLC, an LLC name generator can help you come up with some ideas.

What is a brand name?

A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.

Do I have to include LLC in my name?

Yes. Michigan requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.

Do I need to renew my business name in Michigan?

Michigan does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but LLC DBAs must be renewed every five years with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

You can renew online or by mail. The filing fee is $25.

Can my business name be different from my LLC name in Michigan?

Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or an assumed name in Michigan. 

In Michigan, LLC assumed names are filed with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Does my LLC need a DBA name?

Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about Michigan DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Michigan from the dropdown menu.

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