Minnesota Entity Name Search

How to Do a Minnesota Business Name Search

Selecting the right name is an essential first step for your Minnesota LLC, requiring you to ensure the name’s availability. Searching the Minnesota business entity database is vital to avoid infringing on existing business names and intellectual property rights within the state.

Our Minnesota LLC name search guide offers essential tips on checking LLC name availability in Minnesota, reservation, and registration, helping you secure a unique and compliant business identity efficiently.

Minnesota Entity Name Search (Summary)

Minnesota business entity name search

Steps to search the business entity database in Minnesota, for name availability:

  1. Search the Minnesota Taxable Entity Search to check if your chosen business name is available
  2. On the website, locate the “Business Filings” section and click on it.
  3. From the options provided, select “Search for a Business Name.”
  4. You will be redirected to the “Business Entity Search” page. Enter the desired business name in the search field provided.
  5. Click on the “Search” button to initiate the search process.
  6. The search results will display any existing businesses with similar names or any potential conflicts with the name you entered.
  7. Review the results to see if the desired business name is available. If no conflicts or matches are found, the name is likely available.

Note: It’s important to conduct a thorough search using various keywords and variations to ensure the availability of your preferred business name.

Here’s the link to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s business services website: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/business-liens/

What is a Minnesota Business Entity?

Minnesota business entity

A Minnesota business entity refers to a business that is legally recognized and registered to operate within the state of Minnesota. The process and regulations for establishing and running a business entity in Minnesota are overseen by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office.

Like in other states, there are several types of business entities that can be established in Minnesota, including:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest form of business structure, owned and operated by one person. The owner is personally liable for the business’s debts and obligations.
  2. Partnership: A partnership can be a general partnership, limited partnership (LP), or limited liability partnership (LLP). It involves two or more people sharing the profits and losses of a business.
  3. Corporation: A corporation is a separate legal entity owned by shareholders. It can be a for-profit (C corporation or S corporation) or a nonprofit organization. Corporations have more strict regulations and reporting requirements compared to other business structures.
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is a hybrid structure that combines the personal liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and operational flexibility of a partnership.
  5. Cooperatives: In Minnesota, another option is forming a cooperative, which is owned and operated for the mutual benefit of those using its services.

The process of creating a business entity in Minnesota typically involves choosing a business name, filing the appropriate formation documents with the Minnesota Secretary of State, and paying any necessary filing fees.

A Minnesota Secretary of State Business Search is performed to find specific information on Minnesota’s business entities or to determine if a name you would like to use.

Minnesota Secretary of State Business Search

Man with a laptop doing a Minnesota business name search

A Minnesota Secretary of State business search can be done to find specific information on Minnesota business entities or to check if a name you are interested in using is available. When searching the Minnesota business database, you can search by name or file number.

When you search for entities, the information you will receive includes the filing history of the company, a Certificate of Good Standing and any other details that are publicly available.

Minnesota Business Entity Search

A business entity search can be done by anyone. This is something you might do if:

  • Business owner, or aspiring business owner
  • Customer
  • An affiliate

All publicly available information is possible to find if you use the right search criteria. You can use the business search function to find Certificates of Good Standing and pay $15.00 for the Certificate.

Name Searching

  1. Visit the Minnesota Secretary Of State’s website.
  2. Select the “Business Name” tab on the search page.
  3. Click “Search” and enter the name you wish to search. You will see a page with results matching your search criteria.
  4. Click the Details link next to the result that interests you to learn more about the entity.

All details regarding the business that you are checking will be made available. This includes all information publicly available about the filing history of the business as well as details about the Certificate of Good Standing.

Search by File Number

If you’d prefer, you can search by file number. This is a more efficient search method.

  1. Choose the File Number tab in the Search Business Filings section at the top of your search box.
  2. Enter the file number, and click “Search.”
  3. You’ll get one match result as long as the file number is entered correctly.

The detailed information for each business entity will be displayed to you. You will also have access to the filing history of the company and its Certificates of Good Standing.

Searching for a Business Name

Searching for a business name requires only a portion of the name. You can search only a portion of the entity name if there is no match for your business name. You can also use the options below the search bar to perform a more thorough search.

  • Search Scope: You’ll only see results for companies whose names begin with the exact words that you have entered if you choose the “Begins With‚ÄĚ tab. You’ll only get results for companies whose names match your entered words if you choose “Contains”.
  • Filing Status: Search results will only show active company names if you select “Active”. Selecting “Inactive” will only show names that are currently inactive.
  • Include Prior Names: This section shows only results for the most recent names. If you choose “Include”, the database will show results for all company names, regardless of whether they are active or prior.

Cost to File a New Nonprofit or Business in Minnesota

These are the costs to file a new nonprofit or business:

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

More information will result in more accurate results. When searching for a business name to find out if it is available, be sure to follow the state’s guidelines when creating a business entity. Minnesota, like other states, has its own rules regarding company names.

You can’t check for availability of certain company names online, so it is best to call the office or visit them in person.

Minnesota Secretary of State

Mailing Address

Minnesota Secretary of State ‚ÄĒ Business Services
First National Bank Building
332 Minnesota St., Suite N201
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Phone: (651) 296-2803

Email: business.services@state.mn.us

Additional Steps

1. Trademark Search

MN Entity Name Trademark Search

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

Check if a social media name is available for a new business name

5. Register Minnesota Business Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of Minnesota will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Bizee, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. There are affordable online services that can design a logo for you and assist with the process.

Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in Minnesota

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

To learn more about starting a business and proper filing procedures, as well as obtaining the right forms, you can visit the Secretary of States website.



author avatar
Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email:   info@llcradar.com Phone: 972-776-4050
  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.