How Do I Register My Business Name in Michigan

How Do I Register My Business Name in Michigan?

If you are planning to start a business in Michigan, one of the first steps you need to take is registering your business name. Registering your business name not only helps protect your brand identity but also ensures that no other business can use the same name within the state. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register your business name in Michigan.

1. Choose a unique name: Before registering your business name, make sure it is unique and doesn’t infringe on any trademarks or existing business names.

2. Conduct a name search: Perform a name search on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) website to check if your desired business name is available. This step is crucial to avoid any conflicts later on.

3. Register your business: Once you have a unique name, you can register it through LARA’s Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL). You can file the necessary forms online or by mail.

4. File the Articles of Organization: If you are starting a limited liability company (LLC), you need to file the Articles of Organization with the CSCL. This document includes your business name, purpose, registered agent, and other relevant information.

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5. Register a trade name (DBA): If you plan to operate under a name different from your legal business name, you will need to file a Doing Business As (DBA) registration with the county clerk’s office where your business is located.

6. Obtain necessary permits and licenses: Depending on your business type, you may need to apply for specific permits and licenses to operate legally in Michigan. Check with the Michigan Business One Stop website to determine which permits and licenses are required for your industry.

7. Register for taxes: To fulfill your tax obligations, register for state and federal taxes. You can register for state taxes with the Michigan Department of Treasury and federal taxes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

8. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN): If your business has employees or operates as a partnership or corporation, you will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS. This number is used for tax purposes and is necessary to hire employees and open a business bank account.

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9. Maintain compliance: After registering your business name, it is important to maintain compliance by filing annual reports, renewing licenses, and updating any changes to your business information.


1. How much does it cost to register a business name in Michigan?
The filing fee for registering a business name in Michigan is $25.

2. Can I reserve a business name in Michigan?
Yes, you can reserve a business name for up to six months by submitting a Name Reservation Request form to the CSCL.

3. Can I change my business name after registration?
Yes, you can change your business name by filing an Amendment of Articles form with the CSCL.

4. Do I need an attorney to register my business name?
No, you can register your business name yourself using the online filing system or by mail.

5. How long does it take to register a business name in Michigan?
The processing time for registering a business name can vary, but typically it takes around 7-10 business days.

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6. Can I use a name that is already trademarked?
No, using a name that is already trademarked can lead to legal issues. It is important to conduct a trademark search before registering your business name.

7. Do I need to register a DBA if I am using my personal name for my business?
If you are using your legal name as your business name, you do not need to register a DBA.

8. Do I need a physical address to register my business name?
Yes, you must provide a physical address where your business is located or your registered agent’s address.

9. Can I register a business name if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, non-U.S. citizens can register a business name in Michigan, but additional documentation may be required.

Registering your business name is an important step towards establishing your brand and protecting your identity. By following the steps outlined above, you can navigate the process of registering your business name in Michigan efficiently and legally.

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