Whether you’re searching for the right Michigan business name or registering your LLC with the Michigan LARA, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to perform a business entity search in Michigan, LLC naming rules, assumed names and registering your business.

General Rules for LLC Names

These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they're formed in.

1
Your LLC Business Name Must Be Unique

The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the State of Michigan. This is why it's imperative to perform a business entity search in Michigan before you file to create your LLC.

2
Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable with Another Business Name

It’s not enough for your LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Michigan. To that end, you cannot use any of the following factors to differentiate your name from that of another business:

  • Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
  • Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
  • The conjunction "And," or “&"
  • The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
  • Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
3
Your LLC Business Name Must Contain Certain Words

All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their names, usually at the end of the business name.

4
Your LLC Name May Have Other General Restrictions

Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:

  • Are very similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Michigan Comptroller, Michigan Police, Treasury, etc.)
  • Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
  • Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
  • Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out

Specific Rules for Michigan Business Names

The naming rules required by the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act closely follow the general guidelines all LLCs must adhere to.

How to Come Up with a Business Name

The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:

Appeal to your customers

Be memorable enough to stand out

Best represent your product or services

Not be used by another business

Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try Incfile’s free Business Name Generator.

Michigan Business Entity Search

Once you have an idea of the business name you’d like to use, you’ll need to complete a Michigan business entity search to ensure no other business in the state is already using your chosen name.

Incfile offers a fast, simple and convenient tool to look up your proposed business name. The Michigan LARA also offers a tool you can use to search the Michigan business registry to see whether someone has claimed your desired business name.

The Michigan LARA search tool lets you enter details and search by the following fields:

  • Entity name
  • Individual name
  • ID number
  • Filing number
  • We’re experts at incorporating LLCs

If the business name is already in use, you won’t be able to claim it. Try searching for a different business name instead.

Note: While many states administer business creation and management through the Secretary of State office, the Michigan LARA is the organization that handles it in that state. If you’re looking to perform a Michigan Secretary of State business search, you’ll need to use the LARA’s business search tool.

Find out whether your preferred business name is available in Michigan with Incfile’s free tool.

Trademarks and Service Marks

You must be careful that your Michigan LLC name doesn’t infringe on the service mark or trademark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name doesn’t engage in such a violation is to perform a trademark search through Incfile. If it's not in use, you may register it as a trademark yourself.

Make sure your business is starting off on the right foot when it comes to intellectual property.

Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.

Michigan DBA or Assumed Name

You can do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as), fictitious name or trade name. In Michigan, it's called an assumed name. You might choose to use an assumed name for a variety of reasons.

For example, your LLC might be called Michigan Tourism Holding Company, LLC, and you have a chain called Great Lakes Hiking Tours. You should file an assumed name to let the Michigan LARA know. You'll do that with the Certificate of Assumed Name form, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Name service.

Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.

Register and manage an assumed name or DBA name through our easy-to-use service.

Register Your Business Name with the Michigan LARA

Once you’ve completed a Michigan business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need an assumed business name, you can register your LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.

1

If you don’t want to form your LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Michigan LARA. You'll need to complete an Application for Reservation of Name and file it with the Michigan LARA. Once you do so, your name will be reserved for six months. You don't need to reserve a name if you're forming your business right away.

2

If you’re ready to start your LLC, you can file your Articles of Organization with the Michigan LARA or have Incfile do it for you.

Incfile can handle all your formation paperwork with the State of Michigan for you — and we’ll do it for free!

Form an LLC in Michigan for $0 + state fee ($50)

FAQs About Naming Your
Michigan LLC

How Do I Search for My Michigan LLC Business Name?

Use our free Business Name Search tool and enter your desired business name. You can also perform a Michigan business entity search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether any corporations or LLCs in the state are using that name.

Are There Any Rules on Naming My Michigan LLC?

Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs). Michigan's rules are very similar. We’ve detailed these rules above.

Can I Do Business Under a Different Name Than My LLC Name in Michigan?

Yes. You can opt to conduct business under an assumed name. Details are above.

Can I Reserve a Name for My Michigan LLC?

Yes. The Michigan LARA allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business right away. Details are above. If you're ready to start your business now, you don't need to reserve a name.

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