Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

611 W. Ottawa St., Lansing, MI 48933

corpsmail@michigan.gov

1 (517) 241-9223

https://cofs.lara.state.mi.us/SearchApi/Search/Search

$0.00 USD
1 Day
How to Do a Michigan Business Entity Search:

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Corporations Online Filing System is an easy-to-use tool that offers a one-stop site for all your business filing needs. Users can perform business searches by entity name or keyword, individual name, identification number, or filing number.

1. 

Conduct a Michigan business entity search online.

1.1 
Navigate to Michigan's Corporations Online Filing System.

Go to the Michigan LARA website, scroll down to "KEY SERVICES," and then click on "Business Entity Search" to access the Corporations Online Filing System.

1.2 

Select a search option.

Select a search option.

The business entity search tool allows users to search by:

  • Entity name.
  • Individual name.
  • Identification number.
  • Filing number.

Select the most appropriate method based on the information you have about the business you are researching.

Since there is only one identification number associated with each business in Michigan, we suggest using the ID number search option to find an existing business, where possible. This is the most effective option and will provide you with a more refined search.

1.3 

Enter your search criteria.

Enter your search criteria.

Enter the business name, keyword, or business identification number, or filing number into the designated field. Then, click on "Search."

If you opted to search by the entity name or individual name, you can adjust the search type to "Begins With," "Exact Match," "Keyword," or "Soundex." The "Soundex" filter will return business names that sound like the search term.

1.4 

View your search results.

View your search results.

Depending on your search strategy, you may see a list of business names that includes each business's ID number and address. Browse through the different business names and click on the business you're researching.

On the results page, you will be able to view all documents filed and the business's information, including the mailing address, business type, resident agent, and formation date.

2. 

Check business name availability.

2.1 
Navigate to Michigan's Corporations Online Filing System.

In some cases, you may want to determine whether a business name is available for use. Start by going to the LARA Corporations Online Filing System.

2.2 

Search for your chosen business name.

Search for your chosen business name.

In the "Search by Entity Name" section, type your preferred business name without any punctuation or identifiers, such as "LLC" or "Corporation," into the search field next to "Entity name." Set the search type set to "Keyword," leave all the other search fields blank, and click on "Search" toward the bottom of the page.

For a more thorough search, we suggest only including the first word or two of your business name.

You can also set the search type to "Begins With," "Exact Match," or "Soundex," where the latter will return names that sound like the keywords provided. This can be useful when researching name availability as it may reveal businesses with names that are similar to the search term.

2.3 

View your search results.

View your search results.

If there are no matches for your search criteria, you will see a message in red toward the bottom of the search page stating that no records were found.

If there are registered business names that contain the keyword(s) you entered, these will appear in the search results. The list will include the entity name, ID number, old ID number, and address. Go through the list and look for your business name and any deceptively similar ones.

2.4 

Repeat your search with different filters.

Repeat your search with different filters.

When you have reached the bottom of the search results, you will see the option to perform a new search. Repeat your keyword search with each of the remaining search types: "Begins With," "Exact Match," and "Soundex."

You can also search alternate spellings of your chosen business name, as well as similar name options. For example, one might search "kwik" instead of "quick."

3. 

Additional Michigan business search steps.

3.1 
Perform a state trademark search.

The LARA website also features a marks and insignia search tool for business owners to check whether their chosen business name has been trademarked with the state of Michigan.

Type your chosen business name, or just the first word or two, in the search field next to "Search criteria." Leave all other fields blank or as is.

Click on "Search" and review your results.

Repeat your search using single keywords from your proposed name, and by changing the "Search By" criteria to "Mark Description."

If your business name is available, you can trademark it by completing the Application for Registration for Trademark/Service Mark. Read through the information provided before completing your application.

3.2 

Search the USPTO database.

Search the USPTO database.

Search the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) trademark database to check that your name has not been federally trademarked or is in the process of being federally trademarked.

3.3 
Conduct a domain name search.

In order to establish your online presence and help your customers find you, it is important to check that the domain matching your business name is available. You can do so on a number of sites, including Google Domains.

3.4 

Reserve your business name.

Reserve your business name.

Once you have determined that your business name is available, you can file an Application for Reservation of Name. The application costs $10.00 or $25.00 (depending on your type of business) and is valid for 120 days.

All instructions for completing and submitting the application can be found in the PDF download.

FAQs:

How do I find out if a business name is available in Michigan?

You can perform a quick and easy search on Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website by using the Corporations Online Filing System's business entity search tool.

Does it cost anything to do a business search in Michigan?

No. It is completely free to perform a business search with LARA.

How do I register a business name in Michigan?

Where you register your business name in Michigan depends on the legal structure you select for your business. While sole proprietorships and copartnerships file their business names with the county clerk in the county where their business is based, as well as any others in which they operate, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations file their business names with the state's Corporations Division.

How much is it to register a business name in Michigan?

It costs between $10.00 and $50.00 to register your business with the state of Michigan, which will automatically register your business name as well.

How do I trademark a name in Michigan?

You will need to complete and submit an Application for Registration for Trademark/Service Mark.

How do you check LLC name availability in Michigan?

You can use the business entity search tool on Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website.

How do I look up a business name in Michigan?

You can look up a business name using the business entity search tool on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website. See our step-by-step guide to performing a Michigan business entity search.

How do I look up an LLC in Michigan?

To conduct a business search for an LLC, navigate to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs' online business entity search tool, enter your search criteria, and click on "Search."

What information will a Michigan business entity search provide?

  • Business name and type.
  • Formation date.
  • Images of all documents filed.
  • Resident agent.
  • Mailing address, if applicable.

Related Articles

How to Do a Trademark Search

Find out how to check a name that you would like to trademark.

Delaware Entity Search

How to research a business entity and name availability in Delaware.

Indiana Business Search

How to check business name availability in Indiana.

Ohio Business Search

How to check business name availability in Ohio.