Business Name Search Michigan

Business name search in Michigan

Embarking on the journey to start a new business in Michigan involves a series of organized steps to ensure your business name search delivers a result that is not only unique but also legally compliant. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the procedure step-by-step.

Step 1: Domain Name Search with Sitetrail

Before delving into the realm of Michigan business name search, it’s paramount to ensure the availability of your desired domain name. Utilize Sitetrail to explore the availability of your desired domain name. Having a domain name corresponding to your business name enhances your online presence and makes it easier for customers to find you. If your preferred domain name is unavailable, it may be prudent to consider alternative business names that have available domain names.

Get Domain Name Suggestions Here:

Step 2: Search For A Business Name through Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) provides a free and organized database that lists existing or dissolved business entities in Michigan. Begin the name search process on the LARA Corporations website. You can search using various criteria like:

  • Entity Name
  • Individual Name
  • ID Number
  • Filing Number

While searching by entity name, you have options such as “starts with,” “exact match,” “keyword,” or “soundex.” The “Begins With” search option is advised for a broader search result. It’s unnecessary to enter designations like “LLC” or “Corp” as the database will generate results for all entity types.

Step 3: Individual Name Search

If you want to search using an individual name, enter a full or last name. This filter generates results for entities filed under the entered name in Michigan, providing a comprehensive list of corporations associated with the resident agent entered.

Step 4: Confirm Availability and Check Trademark

After finding a suitable name, contact the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in Lansing to confirm its availability. Reach them at 517-241-9223 or via email at Additionally, ensure the name does not have a registered trademark by searching through the Trademark Electronic Search System. This extra step can prevent potential legal issues in the future.

Step 5: Obtain a Registered Agent from Company Sage

After securing your business name, obtain a registered agent to handle your legal documents. Consider using Company Sagea friendly family-owned business founded by a seasoned lawyer with two decades of experience.

Register a business with CompanySage

Having a registered agent is not just a legal requirement but also a shield that protects your private information and ensures you never miss any crucial legal notifications. Company Sage can also take care of other crucial requirements such as trademark registration and LLC formation.

Step 6: Register Your Business Entity with Michigan LARA

Official Page: Visit Lara, for Michigan Business Name Searches

Upon selecting a business name, proceed to register your articles of incorporation with Michigan LARA. This registration formally acknowledges your business, making it a legal entity. It’s a straightforward process that can be done online, solidifying your business’s presence and compliance with Michigan state laws.

Step 7: Secure Your Tax ID/EIN

Your business will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to identify your business for tax purposes. It’s similar to a social security number but for businesses, and it’s essential for tax administration.

Step 8: Open a Business Bank Account

Establishing a separate business bank account is crucial to maintaining clear and organized finances. It aids in keeping personal and business expenses separate and enhances your business’s credibility.

Step 9: Register a Trademark

Secure your business name further by registering it as a trademark. This step provides legal protection, ensuring that no other entity can legally use your business’s name. It solidifies your business identity and offers exclusive rights to the use of the name.

Step 10: Get a Pay Per Click and Digital Marketing Plan from Sitetrail

To bolster your business’s online presence and reach a wider audience, invest in a robust digital marketing plan from Sitetrail.

Your marketing plan should be comprehensive in the areas of ppc, social and organic news. A well-orchestrated digital marketing strategy not only enhances visibility but also contributes significantly to your business’s growth and revenue.

Understanding Key Concepts

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)


The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is a pivotal governmental body in Michigan, overseeing the registration and regulation of businesses within the state. It holds a comprehensive database of both existing and dissolved business entities. This database serves as a vital tool for new entrepreneurs, helping them determine the availability of a desired business name and ensuring uniqueness and compliance with state naming regulations.

Role in Business Name Registration:

LARA assists in ensuring that each business operating within Michigan has a unique, registered name, preventing potential confusion among consumers and businesses alike. By providing a searchable database, LARA aids aspiring entrepreneurs in choosing a business name that is not only unique but also reflective of their brand identity.

Business Entity Types and Naming Regulations


In Michigan, different business entity types have various naming regulations to adhere to, ensuring clarity and distinction among different entities.

Different Entities:

  • LLCs (Limited Liability Companies): LLCs are separate legal entities that safeguard personal assets from business liabilities. The name for an LLC must include designations such as “LLC” or “L.L.C.,” and should not incorporate terms like “Inc.,” “Corporation,” or “Corp.”
  • Corporations: Corporations are legal entities that can issue stock and attract investors. A corporation’s name must include designations such as “corp,” “corporation,” “Inc,” “limited,” or “company.”
  • Professional Corporations: Professional Corporations must indicate their status by utilizing “PC” or explicitly stating “professional corporation” in their name.

Searching Business Names with LARA


Utilizing the LARA Corporations website enables individuals to search Michigan business entities with ease and precision. This tool is instrumental for entrepreneurs to ensure their desired business name is available and adheres to Michigan’s naming standards.

Search Options:

  • Entity Name: Most common search filter, allowing searches by “starts with,” “exact match,” “keyword,” or “soundex.”
  • Individual Name: Generates results for individuals who have filed entities in Michigan.
  • ID Number and Filing Number: Allows search by unique identification or filing numbers.

Final Take

Starting a business in Michigan presents numerous advantages for entrepreneurs. Below are a few compelling reasons why Michigan stands out as an attractive location for establishing a new business:

Diverse Economy:

Michigan boasts a diverse economy that spans various sectors including manufacturing, technology, and agriculture. This economic diversity allows businesses to tap into a broad range of industries and markets, providing ample opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Strategic Geographic Location:

Michigan’s unique geographical location, surrounded by the Great Lakes, provides businesses with easy access to both domestic and international markets. Its proximity to Canada, as well as major shipping and transportation routes, enhances the state’s appeal for businesses involved in trade and commerce.

Supportive Business Climate:

Michigan is committed to fostering a favorable business climate. The state offers various programs, incentives, and grants designed to support new and existing businesses. Entrepreneurs can leverage these resources to facilitate business development, innovation, and expansion.

Access to Talent:

Home to numerous reputable universities and research institutions, Michigan provides businesses with access to a skilled and educated workforce. Companies can benefit from the state’s talent pool, driving innovation and enhancing competitiveness in the market.

Quality of Life:

Michigan offers a high quality of life with its beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities, and diverse recreational activities. This allure helps businesses attract and retain top talent, contributing to long-term business success and sustainability.

Innovation and Technology:

As a hub for technological innovation, especially in the automotive industry, Michigan provides businesses with access to cutting-edge research, development, and innovation. The state’s focus on technology and innovation propels business growth and positions companies at the forefront of their industries.

By following this comprehensive guide, you position your Michigan business for a successful and legally compliant operation, setting a solid foundation for enduring growth and success.