How to Find If a Company Name Is Available in Michigan?

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Does Michigan already hold your business name?
Does Michigan already hold your business name? (Image: michigan map image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com)

Depending on the type of business you are forming, you may register your business name either with the county clerk for sole proprietors and co-partnerships, or with the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth for LLCs, limited partnerships and corporations. While the process of determining name availability for both groups requires the same search method, the process for picking your own business name will depend on whether you are registering with the county or the state.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Business name

Visit the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth at Michigan.gov (see Resources), the state's government website.

Click on "Commercials Services and Corporations" at the top left corner and open the tab for "Business Services."

Click on "Online Services" and find the "Name Availability" link, which provides you more information about how to choose a name. Click "Name Availability" again to get to the search page.

Type in the name you wish to search for exactly as you want it to appear on your own business license and click "Search." Include words like "International," "Partnership," "Corporation" or "Limited" if you want those words to be part of the name of your business.

Examine the results. If the name is taken, "Name Not Available" will appear. However, if your conflict is due to using banned words or an inappropriate phrase, the search will tell you that as well.

Click on "Display Conflicts" to see the company who has already taken the name. Contact the state's Corporation Division at 517-241-6470 with the business's identification number if you have questions.

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