Search Your Business Name with the Minnesota Secretary of State and Register Your LLC
Whether you’re searching for the right Minnesota business name or registering your LLC with the MN Secretary of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on Minnesota business entity search, LLC naming rules, fictitious names and registering your business.
Minnesota Secretary of State Business Search
You need to check whether there’s already another Minnesota LLC registered with your desired business name. That means searching the Minnesota Secretary of State website using their business search tool. You can easily look up MN LLCs and corporations by name and other details. Using the tool is easy.
If the business name is already used, that means it’s not available and you won’t be able to register it. Try searching for a different business name instead.
Minnesota Secretary of State Rules for Naming Your LLC
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Minnesota Secretary of State naming rules. These do vary from state to state — we’ve got general naming rules below, as well as naming rules specific to LLC businesses formed in MN.
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 Minnesota. This is why you should check business name availability on the MN SOS website.
Your LLC Business Name Must Not Be Confusable With Another Business Name
It’s not enough for your MN LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of a corporation or LLC in Minnesota. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
Your LLC Business Name Must Contain Certain Words
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their name. These words should normally come at the end of the name.
Your LLC Business 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 MN agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Minnesota Department of Revenue, Minnesota 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 Olympic organization
- Imply a purpose that it would be illegal for your business to carry out
Assumed and “Doing Business As” (DBA) Names in Minnesota
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Minnesota, doing business under a different name is known as an “Assumed” or “Doing Business As (DBA)” name. You might choose to use a different name from your MN formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Minnesota Renewable Resources Holding Company LLC and you want to trade as “Supreme Solar Panels.” You should file a DBA to let the Minnesota Secretary of State know. In Minnesota, you do that through a Certificate of Assumed Name Registration, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.Incfile's assumed business name service
Business Name Registration for Your Minnesota LLC
Once you’ve searched for your Minnesota business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your MN LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
- If you don’t want to form your Minnesota LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Minnesota Secretary of State. You will need to complete a Name Reservation form and file it with the MN SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away. Minnesota SOS LLC name reservation form.
- If you’re ready to start your Minnesota LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with the Minnesota SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your Minnesota LLC
You might find the following answers useful.
Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can search the register of the Minnesota Secretary of State, which will tell you if there are any MN corporations or LLCs with that name.
Yes. Known as “assumed names,” “fictitious names,” “doing business as names” or “trade names,” you can choose to conduct business under a different name. Details are above.
Yes. The Minnesota Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you are ready to start your business now, you do not need to reserve a name.
Useful Resources for Naming Your Minnesota LLC
You might find these other resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Minnesota LLC name does not infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name does not infringe is to carry out a trademark search through Incfile. If it doesn’t infringe, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.Incfile Trademark Search and Registration Service
Find the Perfect Name for Your Minnesota LLC
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