How to Register a Business Name in Wisconsin

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The County Register of Deeds in Wisconsin requires a Registration of Firm Names to file a business legal name for sole proprietors and general partnerships. Business entities identified as corporation, limited liability, and limited partnership and limited liability partnership must file forms to Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Corporations Section to be complete the process to register a business name in Wisconsin. Learn the requirements necessary to successfully register a business name in Wisconsin.

Things You'll Need

  • Name availability
  • Registration of Firm Names Form
  • Fees

Start a business name search to guarantee availability at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website (see Resources). Begin a business name availability search to assure no one is currently using the name in order to start the process to register a business name in Wisconsin.

Review the two different name availability standards when naming a corporations, limited liability company, limited partnership or limited liability partnership. Compare your business name to the two different mandatory standards for compliance at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website prior to processing the request to register a business name.

Complete the Registration of Firm Names form to register a business name in Wisconsin only for sole proprietors and general partnerships. Select the appropriate form at Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website. It must be legible and written in black ink.

Contact the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Corporations Section for business entity structured as a corporation, limited liability, and limited partnership and limited liability partnership. Complete the registration process by calling (608) 261-7577 or by mail at 345 W. Washington Ave., 3rd floor, P.O. Box 7846, Madison WI 53707-7846.

Pay the filing fee, $10.00 for the first page and $2.00 for each additional page, by a check. Send the fees with completed forms to Register of Deeds for sole proprietors and general partnerships to register a business name in Wisconsin. Verify the Register of Deeds contact and mailing information to send your registration on the website of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and depends on your county.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider writing the return address on the completed forms for faster processing.
  • Be careful if your business plans to obtain credit because you are required to register your firm name under Wisconsin State Statute 134.17 to avoid a $1,000 fine or one year in jail.

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