Michigan Business Entity Search is maintained by the state’s Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Their database contains information related to existing business entities in the state, including Michigan LLCs and corporations.
For most states, it is the office of the Secretary of State that handles the entity database. However, there is no specific Michigan secretary of state business search. In the case of Michigan, this responsibility is handled by LARA.
Generally speaking, this is the biggest difference between how other states and Michigan handle the search. The function itself is largely similar to other states and their usage.
Accessing And Using Michigan Corporations Search
The business entity search is often called the Michigan Corporation Search. And though it is handled by the corporations division, it includes results for all relevant business entities. These include LLCs, partnerships, etc.
As with other states, the Michigan business entity search is important beyond just getting information on entities. It is also widely used to help with the selection of a name for new entities in the state.
The state requires that the name of a new entity be unique and distinguishable upon record. Therefore, when you intend to start your Michigan LLC or another entity, doing an entity search can aid name selection. It’s a good idea to proceed with the search with a few names in mind.
That way, you can quickly check for availability. In case the name you desire isn’t available, you can quickly move to the next option. It’s also a good idea to read through the business name restrictions and suggestions from the state, so you don’t pick a name (or words in the name) that the state doesn’t allow.
Michigan’s business entity search is available on the LARA website.
Available Options On Michigan Business Entity Lookup
On the entity search page of the LARA website, you’ll find that the search has four basic options. Two of these options have their own search type options as well. It’s only possible to use one of the search options available. These are:
- Search by Entity Name
- Begins With
- Exact Match
- Search by an Individual Name
- Begins With
- Exact Match
- Search by Identification Number
- Search by Filing Number
Apart from these, the search section also has an option to select the number of results you want to see for every page. Depending on your preference, you can choose to see 25, 50, or 100 results per page. Of course, this assumes that these results are available for that specific search query.
Better Understanding The Available Search Options
You may have noticed that some search options have additional methods to refine the available search. An understanding of these options can make your Michigan LLC search and lookup for business entities a lot easier. These are valid for entity name as well as individual name options on the entity search.
- Begins With: This option matches the entered search term with the beginning of entities and options to search. This doesn’t have to be a full name (or entity name), but it must match with the beginning of the desired search result(s).
- Exact Match: As the name implies, this is a specific option where the entered query must be an exact match for the desired search result.
- Keyword: The entered search query is considered a keyword and checked against existing entity/official names in the database. The system will return records that contain the search words in their name. The order of the words in the results is not important, but all of them must be included. This is also called the “full text” search option.
- Soundex: This employs an algorithm where the phonetic similarity of the entered search term and entity/person name is checked.
When used for the entity name option, these refinements can make finding a business easier. It’s also the best choice for looking up a name for your new Michigan business entity.
As applied to individual names, this option will return names associated with business entities. These could be managers, designated officials, or the Michigan Registered Agent of a business.
Now that we’ve covered these, we can also look at the two remaining options.
- Search by Identification Number: This is an exact search that matches the entity identification number issued by the state. It will only show one result.
- Search by Filing Number: Same as the previous option, except it uses the filing number.
Information Available With Michigan LLC Search And Entity Search
Since there is no MI SOS business search, using the above information on the LARA business entity search will provide you with relevant information on an existing business. Or for that matter, the name availability for your use.
Once you click on the name of an entity, you’ll find relevant information about the business. These include entity name and type, business ID, business purpose, business term, registered agent name and address, management specifications, and a few more specifics. Relevant filings by the business entity are also available.
How To Reserve A Business Name In Michigan
The business name reservation is a handy tool that’s often used by entrepreneurs. This option makes it possible to reserve a name for your business entity without actually forming the business.
Since the name’s the identification of a business and its first impression on customers, it’s important to get it right. Consider the large number of existing entities and the new ones that get registered every day. It can be quite difficult to find an attractive name.
Should you find a name like that, it’s a good idea to go the quick route of reservation. While this is just an example, entrepreneurs take the reservation route as part of business or tax strategy, setting up logistics, and many other reasons.
Is It Necessary To Reserve A Business Name?
Reserving a business name is an entirely optional process. As we’ve discussed, there are plenty of reasons to make the best of this feature.
But then again, there is no reason to go down this route unless you absolutely have to. If you’re not worried about name availability or related issues, there is no reason to spend your money and resources on a reservation.
How Much Does A Business Name Reservation In Michigan Cost And How Long Does It Last?
Filing for a name reservation for an LLC in Michigan costs $25. This is a non-refundable fee and doesn’t guarantee the acceptance of the reservation. If the state accepts the request, the name reservation stays valid for six months.
Once this six-month period is over, you can file for reservation again, paying another $25 filing fee. That’s a reasonable fee and quite a generous time period.
Filing A Name Reservation Request In Michigan
Once you have a name for your MI LLC in mind, you can move ahead and reserve it. The process can be completed online or by filing a paper form. It is easier and more convenient to file the “Application for Reservation of Name” online.
If you choose to go the paper route, you’ll have to download and fill Form 540 (pdf) for the application for name reservation. This form, and other relevant forms for your LLC are available on the forms section of the LARA website.
For filings via postal mail, the filing fee should be included as a check or money order made in favor of the “State of Michigan”. The completed form and the filing fee should be mailed to:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909
Alternatively, the form can be submitted in person at the following address:
2501 Woodlake Circle
When submitting the form in person, you can choose to pay via credit cards as well.
It’s worth noting that the form offers only one entry for the name reservation option. So, you should do your due diligence and check for name availability before submitting the form. Using the Michigan Business Entity Search to ensure name availability for your LLC or business entity will substantially increase your chances for success in name reservation.