The first step to forming an LLC in Minnesota is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it is available for use.
Your Minnesota LLC name must be unique and must follow certain state requirements.
Minnesota LLC Name Requirements
Before searching your LLC name in Minnesota, there are a few requirements you need to know:
1. The abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must be used at the end of your Minnesota LLC name. The abbreviation “LLC” is the most common.
2. Because a Minnesota LLC is not a Corporation, your desired LLC name cannot use the word “Corporation”, “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations (“Corp.” or “Inc.”).
3. Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable. This means it must be different and unique from all other businesses registered in Minnesota.
Differences in designators (the identifiers at the end of a business name) and differences in grammar do not create distinguishability.
- LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
- singular, plural, and possessive
- A, An, The
- and, or, &
- hyphens, slashes, periods, commas
- three vs. 3
The following examples are NOT distinguishable:
- Smith Investments, LLC vs. Smith Investments, Inc.
- Apple Farm, LLC vs. Apple Farms, LLC
- Print Shop, LLC vs. The Print Shop, LLC
- Night & Day, LLC vs. Night and Day, LLC
- Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC vs. Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Inc
- Three Teachers Consulting, LLC vs. 3 Teachers Consulting, LLC
Searching the Minnesota Name Database
1. Visit the Database
Go to the Business Entities Search page:
2. Search your LLC
Enter your desired LLC name in the “Business Name” box. To maximize your search results, select “100” in the “Results per page” drop down menu.
Leave out the designator “LLC” and any punctuation.
Capitalization doesn’t matter.
To be thorough, just enter the first word or two of your LLC name to ensure you see everything that is potentially similar. (Ex: if your desired Minnesota LLC name is “Johnny Apple Farm LLC”, just enter “johnny apple”).
To be even more thorough, just enter a part of the first word. (Ex: if your desired Minnesota LLC name is “Printing Solutions LLC”, just enter “print”).
3. Browse the Results
Click the “Search” button and browse the list of existing Minnesota businesses:
If your desired LLC name appears in the list exactly as you want it, your desired Minnesota LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
If the results show a name that is deceptively similar to your desired LLC name, your desired Minnesota LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.
If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your desired LLC name is available for use.
If a “Sorry, no results” message appears in the Minnesota database, that means your desired LLC name is distinguishable and available for use.
Pro tip: If you’re not 100% sure that your desired Minnesota LLC name is distinguishable, just file your paperwork with the state. If your name is not available, the Minnesota Secretary of State will send back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.
Once you find a Minnesota LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: Minnesota LLC Registered Agent.
And check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.
Minnesota Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Minnesota Secretary of State by phone at 651-296-2803 (Option 2) between 9am and 4pm, or by email at email@example.com.