A Minnesota LLC search is a way to look up public information on an existing business in the state or check the availability of an LLC name you'd like to use for your own business. 

You can conduct a search at the Minnesota Secretary of State website, whether you're deciding on a name for your LLC — limited liability company — or you want to check details an existing business in the state.

Someone typically performs a business search to find out the following types of information about an entity: 

  • Whether the business has been formed legally
  • If the business is in good standing 
  • The entity's address 
  • The registered agent's address

You can also use the search tool to carry out administrative tasks for your business, including the following: 

The first step you should take when creating an LLC in the state is checking the availability of the LLC name you want to use.

How to Search the Name Database

Just about anyone can do a business search, including inquisitive consumers, business owners, and business affiliates. You'll be able to find all publicly available information on a given business as long as you do a correct search.

You can use one of two search criteria when searching the business database: file number or business name.

  1. Start your search at the Business Entities Search page.
  2. In the “Business Name” box, enter the name you're searching. 
  3. Choose “100” for the number of results to maximize the results you get. You can omit any designators at the end of names (such as LLC), capitalization, and punctuation.
  4. Enter just the first one or two words of a business name to get more thorough results. For example, if you wish to use the LLC name “Lemon Tree Grove LLC”, simply enter “lemon tree.”
  5. To conduct an even more thorough search, only enter a portion of the first word in the business name. For example, just enter “shop” if your desired LLC name is “Shopping Adventures LLC.”
  6. Click “Search” to see the list of existing businesses in the state.
  7. Click “Details” next to an entity in order to go to the information page for that business. The information page gives you access to the filing history and Certificate of Good Standing for that entity, as well as other public information.

If you see the name you want on the list in the exact way you wish to use it, it's not available. Your desired LLC name also isn't available if you find results for existing businesses with deceptively similar names. In these instances, you'll have to either come up with a new name altogether or use some creativity and make the name unique.

As long as you get no results for names that are the same or too similar to yours, your business name is available for you to use. If you get the message “Sorry, no results,” that means no results were the same or similar to yours, so you're free to use your desired LLC name.

You can also search by file number at the Business Entities Search page. Simply enter the file number and click “Search.” You'll immediately go to the information page for the entity matching that file number. 

If you're not completely sure that the LLC name you want to use is unique and distinguishable from existing names, go ahead and file your paperwork. If the state finds that your desired name isn't available, it will send your filing back to you and let you know that you need to come up with another LLC name.

When you find an available name for your LLC, you're then ready to choose a registered agent for your business.

A business name search is a relatively quick and easy way to check business name availability if you want to start your own business. It also allows the general public to find information on existing companies in the state. Searches are generally free, although you may have to pay fees to order specific documents.

If you need help with an LLC name search in Minnesota or another state, you can post your legal need 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.