A Minnesota Secretary of State business search is done to find out specific information about business entities in the state or to see if a business name you'd like to use is available. You can search by name or file number when doing a search of the business database in Minnesota. The types of information you'll receive when conducting a search for various entities include a company's filing history, a Certificate of Good Standing, and any other details that are available to the public.

Anyone can do a business entity search. You might want to do this if you're:

  • A business owner or aspiring business owner
  • A customer
  • An affiliate

You can find all publicly available information as long as you enter the correct search criteria. If you'd like to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing for your business, you can use the business search function and pay a $15.00 fee for the Certificate.

Name Searching

  1. Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State website.
  2. On the search page, choose the “Business Name” tab to the left of the search box.
  3. Enter the name you want to search into the search box and click “Search.” You'll see a page of results with matching names.
  4. To get more information on an entity, click the Details link next to the result you're interested in.

All the details of the business you're checking will be available, including all publicly available information and details about the business's filing history as well as the Certificate of Good Standing.

File Number Searching

You can search by file number if you prefer. It's a more effective search method.

  1. In the Search Business Filings section, choose the “File Number” tab located at the top of the search box.
  2. Enter the file number and select “Search.”
  3. As long as you enter the file number correctly, you'll get one matching result. 

You'll see detailed information that's publicly available for that business entity. Other information you'll have access to include the company's filing history and its Certificate of Good Standing.

Detailed Business Name Searching

Only a part of the name is needed when searching a business name to get results. If there's no match for the business name you entered, try to search just a part of the entity name. You can also perform a more detailed search using the options underneath the search bar.

  • Search Scope: If you select the "Begins With" tab, you'll only get results for company names that begin with the exact words you entered. If you select "Contains," you'll get results for businesses whose names match all the words you entered.
  • Filing Status: Selecting “Active” will have search results that show company names which are presently active. Choosing “Inactive” only shows names which are presently inactive.
  • Include Prior Names: In this section, selecting "Exclude" only shows results for the most current names. When you select “Include,” the database shows results for all company names whether or not it's a prior or active entity name.

Cost for Filing a New Business or Nonprofit

The costs for filing a new business or nonprofit are as follows:

  • Assumed Name – $50
  • Business Corporation, Limited Liability Company and Limited Liability Partnership (Domestic), Limited Liability Partnership (Foreign) – $155
  • Business Corporation, Cooperative (Foreign) – $220
  • Cooperative (Domestic), Cooperative Association – $80
  • Limited Liability Company (Foreign) – $205
  • Limited Partnership (Domestic), Limited Partnership (Foreign) – $120
  • Name Reservation – $55
  • Nonprofit Corporation (Domestic) – $90
  • Nonprofit Corporation (Foreign) – $70

Having as much information as possible when doing a search will yield more accurate results. If you're conducting a business search to get information on the availability of a desired business name, make sure you adhere to the state's guidelines for creating a business entity name. Minnesota has its own rules for company names, like many other states. Some company names can't be checked for availability using an online search, so you may need to call or visit the office to get this information.

You can always visit the Secretary of State website to get more information about how to start a business, proper filing procedures, obtaining the correct forms, and much more.

If you need help with a Minnesota Secretary of State business search, 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.