With a Michigan LLC search, you can use an online database to look at a list of all LLCs in the state. You can also search for or research specific LLCs.

Before you start an LLC, you should make sure the name is available for use by searching for it and checking it against existing entities on Michigan's online database. All LLC names must end with Limited Liability Company, L.L.C., or LLC (most companies use the abbreviation LLC). The name you choose also can't imply that it's a corporation, so words like Corporation, Incorporated, Corp., or Inc. cannot be part of the name. The name must also be distinguishable, which means it has to be different from the names of the existing entities in the state.

Designators and identifiers at the end of the name, like LLC, don't make names distinguishable on their own. You should find a unique alternative name if the name you want is already being used. These differences also don't make names distinguishable:

  • Differences in singular, plural, and possessive forms of a word
  • Conjunctions like "and" or the ampersand symbol
  • Punctuation, including hyphens, slashes, periods, and commas
  • Differences in written or numerical numbers
  • Deceptively similar names, like Speedy Delivery and Super Speedy Delivery

How to Use Michigan's Online Database for Searching

After you visit the state's online database, follow these steps:

  1. Under the word Search by Entity Name, enter the name you want to use for your LLC. 
  2. Select a search type from the menu near the top right side of the page.
  3. After you click on the search button, the results will appear in a new window.
  4. Find the company you would like to research in the results.
  5. Click on the name to see the business's details.

You can review all the information that the Corporations Division makes available to the public about the company. You can even look at images of all filed documents. If your search says, "No Conflicts Found", then the name you prefer is available for use in Michigan. However, you can't use the name for your company if your search says, "Name Not Available". Click on "Display Conflict" to see a list of any existing corporations or LLCs with similar names.

Follow these steps to search the database with an Identification Number: 

  1. Click on Search Database by Identification Number
  2. Enter the identification number into the provided field
  3. Click "search" to see information on any active entity that matches the ID number, along with inactive businesses that once used the number on a secondary page.
  4. For more details on an entity, click on the name. 

If you have any questions about using the online database or about whether an LLC name is available, call the State LLC Registration Office.

Tips for Creating an LLC Name

The LLC name you choose should be easy to spell to make sure customers, clients, and potential investors can find the name quickly when they're looking for the company. Short names are easier to remember, and a name with a positive connotation will leave people with a positive feeling when they hear about the business.

The Name Availability Process

Most people who are forming an LLC  in Michigan do a name availability search, and everyone has to follow the naming guidelines in Michigan. When you use the state's online database to do a search, enter the name exactly as you want the name of your future LLC to appear. 

You should also see if the name is available as a URL. Even if you don't plan to build a website immediately, buying the domain name will reserve it for your business and keep other companies from using it. You can also use Google apps to get a professional email address like @yourbusiness.com and take advantage of cloud storage, security, and lots of great business tools. 

A business entity search can give you useful information about a business, such as:

  • Whether a business was formed legally
  • Whether it's in good standing
  • The nature of the company
  • The address of the business's registered agent 

If you need help with a Michigan LLC search, you can post your legal need or post your job on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.