How to Look Up an LLC in Minnesota? (2024 Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: April 10, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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No matter if you're trying to start a Minnesota-based LLC or you simply want to search for the details of the specific Minnesota LLC, the process can be time-consuming and stressful. Luckily, with the right information and guidelines this process can actually be stress-free.

After years of experience in managing LLC operations, I have gained profound insight into the legalities and ups and downs of establishing and running an LLC. Having the right information and doing the right thing makes the biggest difference in the business world.

To provide you with the most updated information on LLC lookup in Minnesota, I consulted my colleagues and researched the latest changes in LLC search process.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Minnesota, visit the Minnesota Secretary of State's website and search for the business name.
  • Minnesota search LLC options include name search and file number search.
  • Following the naming guidelines set forth by the Minnesota Secretary of State decreases registration rejection likelihood by over 75%, according to data from the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.
  • In my opinion, it's advisable to consult with legal professional who can provide clear guidance if you are uncertain about trademark infringements.



 

How to Look up an LLC in Minnesota?

A man looking up an LLC in Minnesota

There are several search criteria you can use to look up an LLC in Minnesota. These include:

1. Minnesota Secretary of State Search Tool

If you need to look up an LLC in Minnesota, the best place to start is the business entity search or corporation search on the Minnesota State Secretary's website.

With this option, you may need to:

  • Enter the business name
  • Click the "Search" button
  • You should see the business entity search page
  • If you know the business name that you are looking for, click on the "View Details" button
  • You should see the business detail page

The business detail page should contain basic information about the business, including the business entity type, status, filing date, and registered agent information.

You can click on the "View Document" button if you need more information about the existing business. This will take you to the business's filing history, where you can view all documents that have been filed with the State Secretary.

The Secretary of State's website offers two search options:

a. Search by Business Name

The easiest way to look up an LLC in Minnesota is by conducting a Minnesota LLC name search. You can search for businesses by name, entity type, or filing number. You can also limit your search to any of the three criteria:

  • Search Scope (use either "Begin With" or "Contain")
  • Filing Status (use either "Active" or "Inactive")
  • Include Prior Names (Use either "Exclude" or "Include")

To achieve best results, type only a portion of the business name.

"When conducting searches, exclude terms like "LLC," "L.L.C.," or "Limited Liability Company" for more effective results."

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

b. Search by File Number

The file number search is a great option if you know the business entity's filing number. This number is assigned by the Secretary of State when the business files certain documents, such as its Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization.

You can enter the filing number into the search bar and click "Search." This will take you to the document detail page, where you can view the filed document.

2. Call the Business Service Line

You can also reach out to the office directly via phone. This will allow you to explain your inquiry and ask for assistance with any specific concerns you may have regarding the LLC you are researching.

You can call any of the following numbers depending on  your location:

  • Metro Area: 651-296-2803
  • Greater MN: 1-877-551-6767
  • MN Relay Service: 711

Take note that phone hours are between  9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

3. Schedule an Appointment

Scheduling an appointment with the Secretary of State's office may not be necessary for a routine LLC lookup in Minnesota, but you can do so if you  have specific or complex inquiries such as filing certain documents or addressing specific issues that may require in-person or dedicated time.

The office staff may provide guidance on the best way to obtain the information you need.

4. Email the Department

Another option is to reach the service department directly at business.services@state.mn.us.

Sending an email allows you to  make further inquiries and ask for assistance with any specific concerns you may have regarding the LLC.

5. Other Search Alternatives

There are alternative sources and methods you can consider when performing the LLC lookup.

These are:

  • Online business directories, such as Yelp or industry-specific directories, to find basic information about the business. 
  • Commercial business services providers who provide detailed business information, including financial data and corporate history. However, these services may require a subscription or one-time payment.
  • Check with the county clerk's office where the LLC is located. County records may contain additional details, assumed names, or filings related to the business.
  • For certain professional LLCs, check with relevant professional associations or licensing boards as they may have information about licensed professionals and businesses.
  • Local chambers of commerce often maintain business directories and may provide information about local businesses, including contact details and industry affiliations.
  • Legal databases and public records searches may provide additional insights into businesses. However, access to certain records may be subject to regulations and restrictions.
  • Conduct general searches on popular search engines to find  information about the LLC, especially if it has an online presence.
  • You can also explore social media platforms where the company has a presence. Companies may share information about their activities, services, and contact details.
  • If the LLC is associated with a specific industry, relevant trade associations or organizations may have directories or information about businesses in that sector.

While these alternatives may provide supplementary information, the official Minnesota SOS website remains the most reliable and comprehensive source for verifying LLC details and compliance. Always exercise caution and verify information from multiple sources to ensure accuracy.

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

Two person working on two laptops on a table

You can check if a business name is trademarked in Minnestota by searching USPTO or SOT websites.

Performing both federal and state searches is crucial to ensure comprehensive coverage and avoid potential trademark conflicts such as infringement, opposition, cancellation, and domain name disputes. According to Trademark Factory, trademark conflicts can cause several damages to a business, including tarnishing the image and reputation of the company [1].

Industry reports indicate that up to 40% of businesses could encounter trademark disputes, emphasizing the critical need for conducting both federal and state trademark searches to safeguard against legal issues and protect the company's reputation, according to insights from Trademark Factory.

1. Federal Trademark Check (Through the USPTO)

To perform the search:

  • Go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
  • Navigate to the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) database, which allows you to search for registered trademarks.
  • Choose the "Basic Word Mark Search" option to search for trademarks based on words without considering design elements.
  • Enter the business name you want to check for trademarks.
  • Examine the search results to identify any existing trademarks that may conflict with the specific business name.
  • Pay attention to similar or identical trademarks as they may affect the availability of your chosen name.

2. State Trademark Check (SOT Website)

To perform the search:

  • Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State Website.
  • Locate the Business Services or Trademarks section, which may include information on state-level trademarks.
  • Enter the business name in the search bar and review the results for any matches or potential conflicts.

If you are uncertain about the results, it's advisable to consult with a trademark attorney who can provide professional guidance.

A person using a black laptop

Performing an LLC search in Minnesota is essential for various reasons, such as:

  • Verifying that the desired business name for your LLC is available and not already in use by another registered entity. 
  • Ensuring legal compliance by confirming that your chosen LLC name adheres to Minnesota's naming regulations and does not infringe on existing trademarks or intellectual property.
  •  Confirming the legitimacy of an LLC by verifying its existence, registration status, and other key details with the Minnesota Secretary of State. 
  • Performing due diligence before engaging in any partnerships, investments, or transactions by assessing the credibility, standing, and legal status of the entity.
  • Understanding the structure and leadership of the company, including ownership and management. 
  • LLC search can provide insights into the necessary steps and compliance requirements to change the business structure.

Performing an LLC search in Minnesota is a proactive step that supports responsible business practices, reduces legal risks, and contributes to the overall success and legitimacy of business operations.

When you are interested in forming your LLC, be sure to follow the naming guidelines set forth by the Minnesota Secretary of State. This will ensure that your LLC is properly registered with the state and that you can avoid any potential legal implications. Following these guidelines has been shown to reduce the likelihood of rejection during the registration process by over 75%, according to data from the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.

Related Articles:

FAQs

What Information Can I Find in an LLC Lookup in Minnesota?

An LLC lookup typically provides information such as the LLC's name, registration status, registration date, business ID, and the name and address of the registered agent.

Can I Perform an LLC Lookup for Foreign Entity in Minnesota?

Yes, you can perform an LLC lookup for foreign entity in Minnesota. The SOS website allows you to look up information for both in-state and out-of-state (foreign) entities that are registered to do business in Minnesota.

Is There a Fee for Accessing LLC Information on the Minnesota SOS Website?

Accessing basic information on the Minnesota SOS website is free. However, there may be fees for obtaining certified copies of documents or more detailed reports.

References:

  1. https://trademarkfactory.com/strategies-for-overcoming-potential-trademark-conflicts

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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