A good name is the basis of reputation and brand success. It will follow you all the way, on business cards and billboards, in newspapers, and in conversations. No matter what circumstances potential customers or partners encounter your company name for the first time, it must be memorable.
The issue of uniqueness is especially acute when planning to start a Wisconsin LLC and filing Articles of Organization. Some entrepreneurs may find their application rejected because the name is already in use. Unfortunately, the money paid as a registration fee you cannot get back and the opening of the LLC is postponed.
You can avoid surprises when planning to start an LLC in Wisconsin. The only thing you need is performing an LLC name search before you file the registration documents. Checking will not take you long, but LLC name search Wisconsin will tell you if the name you have chosen is unique. However, according to the state law, significant differences do not include:
- plural and singular;
- the existence or not of “insignificant words,” such as “the,” “and,” “of”;
- lowercase and capital letters;
- the use of the word “Wisconsin” and its abbreviations;
- changing a number expressed by digits into a corresponding word.
Do not forget about the importance of a digital presence. Many customers and partners will look for you online. You should check that the domain name corresponding to the company name is free before you file the registration documents.
Reasons to Perform an LLC Name Search
When you have started your Wisconsin LLC and come up with the perfect name for your company, take your time getting filed the Articles of Organization and to order an advertisement. Making sure it is legal, you should do an extra search for a name online or use the Checking for Wisconsin LLC name availability service on the Department of Financial Institutions website.
You should approach the process of LLC name search in Wisconsin in a comprehensive way, without restricting yourself to a single source. Internet searches, for example, sometimes show that a proposed name might be available, but in fact it is already reserved by another company. Information about reserved names is not in the public domain, so you can find out about them only by making a request to the state.
Additional options offered by the search include:
1) Finding Similar Names
The names of companies in the same business are often similar. By searching for your existing name, you may find that there are several competitors with similar names nearby, and your LLC getting mixed with them.
Doing a Wisconsin business name search in advance avoids this. Having all the information, you can find a new name or change an existing name in time, making it unique at the stage when you started your Wisconsin LLC. It will make you stand out from the rest, and it will help you attract new customers and return old ones.
2) Checking Your Business Status
The name check is useful not only at the preparation stage, but also after you have filed the Articles of Organization and registered. You not only get access to the LLC’s information, but you can also find out your Entity ID, which is necessary for some requests.
3) Registered Agent and Office Information
A name search will also give you information about a Wisconsin registered agent, the contact person for the company.
If you ever need a business service of process or discussion about partnership, you cannot do it without a Wisconsin registered agent.
4) Maintaining Current Business Information
By changing your registered agent, its address, or by concluding a contract with a new registered agent service, you can update the company’s data. The information about changing your registered agent, available to the Department of Financial Institutions, should be updated on the name search service.
How to Perform a Wisconsin LLC Name Search
You can find information about how to search a business name and its process on the Search Corporate Records page of the Department of Financial Institutions website. From the first starting your LLC and filing Articles of Organization, the Search Corporate Records will be useful for monitoring status and finding contacts.
To start a WI LLC search, use checking a name’s availability and enter all or a part of the desired name. After following these steps, you will receive a message indicating that the business name is available, or a list of companies that are currently using it.
If you click on the LLC name, you will see the following information:
- Legal Entity Name;
- Date of Initial Registration;
- Entity Type (LLC, Corporation, etc.);
- Registered Office Address;
- Registered Agent;
- Current Status;
- Most Recent Annual Report;
- DFI Entity ID Number.
You can also use the business name search Wisconsin page for:
- request a status reference;
- file an Annual Report.
What If My Name Is Unavailable?
What should you do if the Corporate Records Search shows that the perfect name you have spent so much time and effort to create is already in use? Do not give up! There are several ways to proceed, depending on whether your company is foreign or domestic.
If the LLC is domestic, formed in Wisconsin, you will have to think about other names. You can contact the Secretary of State’s office and consult with them to choose the name you want and file the reservation application.
In the case of Foreign LLCs, the law provides for some additional options. If your company has been created and is doing business in other states, it has already had an established business name according to their requirements, and you do not need to change it.
However, Wisconsin business activities are quite high, and if the name of your company does not meet the state’s uniqueness requirements, they may require you to register a fictitious name to be used only here. The owners of foreign qualify your LLC need to file an Adoption of Fictitious Name form. This name also has to be checked by WI LLC name search and be legal.
How to Make a Wisconsin LLC Name Distinguishable
Whether you are starting a new company or are faced with adopting a fictitious name in the process of expanding your business, the name selection phase is very important. It can take hours or even days of hard work to come up with a name for a limited liability company that will be both sound and memorable.
Being creative is not enough. The requirements of the legislation are also important:
- having an “identifier” that describes the type of business: “limited liability company”, “limited liability co”, “LLC”;
- to avoid prohibited words that may mislead the public as to the nature and purpose of the company, or hints at its connection with the state.
Following all the LLC name requirements mentioned above is mandatory. Otherwise, the state will deny registration.
Department of Financial Institutions’ FAQ page provides useful information on how to create a fully distinguishable name and what details can help you to make one appropriate name out of an unusable one.
If the LLC Wisconsin name search shows that the desired name is already in use, to make it unique in the eyes of the state, you would have to make a substantial change. However, it is possible to provide reserving an original name, if:
- add or delete a keyword;
- use synonyms;
- change the word order;
- come up with a unique spelling.
Creating a fully distinguishable name that meets all the requirements of the Department of Financial Institutions website is difficult. Use your imagination, ask your friends for help by brainstorming together, use a Wisconsin secretary of state business name search, and do not miss the opportunity to reserve your company name, if you are not yet ready to file Articles of Organization for approval.
If the check shows that the chosen name is free in Wisconsin, you can use that name on your Articles of Organization to automatically assign it to the company.
If you are not ready, you should not hurry with the filing of the documents. A mistake made at the stage of creating an LLC can be costly in the future, so you should be as careful as possible. Use a filing for a name reservation not to worry that someone will take your name, and concentrate on preparing the company for opening.
Need Help Starting an LLC?
Creating your own LLC is a great event, but the formation process is not always easy. Consider this before you develop your business plan, and think about hiring an LLC formation service, that makes the process much easier.
Choosing one of the best companies such as Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness, starting a business can be without any paperwork and extra costs, and a successful start determines the company’s development in general.