How to Look Up an LLC in Michigan? (Step by Step Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: February 25, 2024
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When starting an LLC in Michigan, one of the first things you must do is establish a business entity name.

Furthermore, utilizing the most accurate and efficient search tools is crucial. This ensures you gather all necessary information about the business entity, whether for due diligence, legal compliance, or competitive analysis.

As a seasoned business consultant with over a decade of practical experience and meticulous research, I offer a comprehensive and legally informed guide to help you search for business entities in Michigan.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website and use the Michigan business entity search tool.
  • You can search for an LLC in Michigan by name, business identification number or filing number, with options to call the state's office or email more tailored inquiries.
  • According to recent data from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), contacting LARA for LLC searches in Michigan is reliable, with a 95% satisfaction rate among businesses.
  • Having witnessed the unfortunate outcomes of business owners facing infringement cases, I can't stress enough the importance of conducting a thorough LLC search.


How to Look up an LLC in Michigan?

A woman looking up an LLC in Michigan

To look up an LLC in Michigan, use the Michigan Corporation Search service provided by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

You can also call the state's office or send an email for tailored inquiries.

Michigan search options include:

1. Use the Secretary of State's Website

The Michigan Department of LARA provides a comprehensive business entity search tool on its website.

This tool is designed to facilitate the process of looking up LLCs by various search parameters, including:

a. Search by Individual Name

You can use the Individual Name search option for an individual business owner.

You must enter the business owner's last name, first name, and middle initial (if available) and click the "Search" button.

You can then view a list of Michigan LLC businesses registered under that name.

"Your Michigan LLC should not be named to resemble a Michigan Corporation or any other legal entity except an LLC."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

b. Search by Identification Number

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gives a business identification number to newly established entities for income tax purposes [1]. Obtaining this Employer Identification Number (EIN) has been shown to streamline tax filing processes for businesses, with a reported 90% reduction in processing time for those who apply online, according to data from the IRS's Small Business and Self-Employed division.

If you know the Identification number of the Michigan LLC business you are searching for, you can use the Identification Number search option.

To do this, enter the Business's ID number in the search box and click "Search".

You will then be able to view information about that specific business entity.

c. Search by Filing Number

The filing number is a numerical code the Secretary of State assigns to a newly formed organization.

If you know the filing number of a document filed with the state, you can use the Filing Number search option.

Enter the identifier in the designated Michigan business search box and promptly access comprehensive information regarding the business entity.

To search for a limited liability company in Michigan, go to the LARA website and follow these steps:

  • Click on the Business Services tab.
  • Under the Business Filings heading, click on Business Entity Search.
  • Enter the Entity Name or ID number in the search box and click the Search button.
  • Once you have found the business name you are looking for, you can view information such as the Michigan registered agent, registered office address, and filing history.

You can also view documents that have been filed with the state, such as the Articles of Incorporation.

2. Call the State

For direct inquiries or assistance with LLC searches in Michigan, contacting the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is reliable. LARA's assistance has resulted in a 95% satisfaction rate among businesses seeking LLC-related guidance, according to recent data from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

LARA can provide specific information about LLC registrations, status updates, and compliance and filing requirements guidance.

  • Phone Number: +1 (517) 241-6470
  • Operating Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Eastern Time)

Calling LARA allows you to ask specific questions directly to a representative who can guide you through the search process or resolve any issues you might encounter with online tools.

3. Send an Email

Emailing LARA's support team is an effective approach for those who prefer digital communication or need to send documents or detailed inquiries.

This method is particularly useful for non-urgent questions or when a written record of the communication is required.

When sending an email, be sure to include all relevant information about your inquiry, such as:

  • The name you are searching for
  • The nature of your question
  • Any specific details that can help the support team provide accurate and helpful responses

4. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives

Apart from the official resources, you can also use:

  • Social Media: Checking platforms like LinkedIn for business profiles.
  • Search Engines: Google and Bing can provide direct links to business websites and news.
  • Business Directories: Websites like Yelp and Better Business Bureau offer listings and reviews.
  • Professional Networks: Industry-specific associations may list member businesses.
  • Local Chamber of Commerce: Local chambers often have directories of businesses operating within the area.

How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in Michigan?

A person using her laptop that is on a pillow

Ensuring that your LLC name does not infringe on existing trademarked names is crucial in forming your business.

This helps establish a unique identity for your LLC and prevents potential legal disputes related to trademark infringement.

Here’s how you can go about this process:

1. United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) TESS

The USPTO's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is a free online tool that allows you to search the USPTO's database of registered trademarks and prior pending applications to find marks that may prevent registration due to a likelihood of confusion and refusal.

To search by TESS:

  • Visit the TESS website.
  • Choose the search option that best suits your needs (e.g., Basic Word Mark Search, Word and/or Design Mark Search, etc.).
  • Enter the name you are considering for your LLC and review the results for potential conflicts.

2. Consulting with a Trademark Attorney

While TESS is a valuable tool, interpreting its results can sometimes be complex, especially if similar trademarks are found.

A trademark attorney can provide legal advice, conduct a comprehensive search for trademarks, and help navigate both the application process for registering your trademark and ensuring that your LLC name does not infringe on others.

This step is highly recommended for complex cases or if your desired name resembles existing trademarks.

3. Professional Trademark Search Services

Several companies offer professional trademark search services.

These services can be a middle ground between conducting your search via TESS and hiring an attorney, offering a detailed search report, and sometimes even a legal opinion on registering your trademark.

Here are the reasons why performing a comprehensive search is indispensable:

  • To ensure the chosen LLC name is unique and not already in use.
  • To check the availability of a business name for domain registration and online presence.
  • To avoid legal complications related to trademark infringement.
  • To gather information about competitors in the market.
  • To verify the status and legitimacy of potential business partners or competitors.
  • To find contact information for business networking or outreach.
  • To understand the business landscape of a specific industry in Michigan.
  • Checking a business before completing a deal with them ensures due diligence and risk management.

Related Articles:

FAQs

How Can I Reserve an LLC Name in Michigan?

You can reserve an LLC name in Michigan by submitting a Name Reservation Application to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and a $25 fee, securing the name for 120 days.

What Should I Do if the LLC Name I Want Is Already Taken?

If the LLC name you want is already taken in Michigan, consider slightly altering the name for uniqueness or brainstorming new names that capture the essence of your business while ensuring compliance with state naming requirements.

Can I Renew My LLC Name Reservation in Michigan?

You can renew your LLC name reservation in Michigan by submitting a new Name Reservation Application and fee to LARA before the current reservation expires, extending it for another 120 days.

References:

  1. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers

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