Wisconsin LLC Name Search

Business Name Search in Wisconsin

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

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

How to Search Business Entity Names in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Business Entity Name Search

To search for business name availability in the state of Wisconsin, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) website, which handles business registrations in the state: https://www.wdfi.org/.
  2. On the DFI website, navigate to the “Businesses” section or look for a specific page related to Wisconsin business name availability search or registration.
  3. Look for a search tool or database provided by the DFI to check the availability of the business name you’re interested in. This tool allows you to search for existing business names and check if the name you want is already registered.
  4. Enter the desired business name into the search tool and initiate the search. The database will display any existing businesses with similar names or exact matches.
  5. Review the search results to see if the business name you want is already registered or if there are similar names that may cause confusion.
  6. If the name you want is not listed in the search results or is sufficiently distinct from existing businesses, it is likely available for registration. However, it’s advisable to consult with legal professionals or experts to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and to verify the availability of the name.
  7. If the name you want is already registered or deemed unavailable, you will need to choose an alternative name that is unique and not already in use.

Please note that while these steps provide a general overview, it’s essential to refer to the official Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website for the most up-to-date and accurate information on business name availability in the state.

Wisconsin business name search
Wisconsin LLC Name Search

Business Name Search in Wisconsin: You can use the Wisconsin Business Entity search to find out if a preferred name for a business in Wisconsin is available.

You can also use this search to locate information about an existing business. Business owners can visit the Secretary-of-State (SOS) website to search for names and assist with administrative tasks.

Wisconsin Business Search for Name Availability

Wisconsin Entity Search

To form an LLC within Wisconsin, you must search the SOS website for names available.

You must follow specific guidelines when choosing a name to your LLC.

To find out if the name that you are interested in using is already being used by another company in the state, start with a search. Two businesses cannot have the same name in Wisconsin. It is important to verify that the URL for that name is available.

You will likely need it to create a website. You can purchase the domain name ahead of time if you are concerned about other people using it.

To search for name availability, visit the Financial Institutions section (DFI) website. Type your desired name into the search bar and perform a search. If you receive a message that the name is not being used by any other business, it can be used for your LLC.

Wisconsin Name Search by Business Entity

A name search can also be used to locate a business entity that is in existence.

  • The legal status of the business (DIS-dissolved, etc.
  • The address of the business
  • The Registered Agent’s Address
  • Filing history (date of the most recent annual reports)

This search allows business owners to find Certificates in Good Standing and submit required reports for their LLC.

You can search for a business entity on the SOS website by entering your Wisconsin business name, or an advanced search. To ensure accurate results, you should enter as much as possible of the name and as many keywords as possible when using the simple name search.

These results will give you a preview of information about the business, including:

  • Name of the business
  • Identification number (not EIN).
  • Type of business (LLC PLLC or LP, etc.
  • Date was incorporated
  • Status current with the SOS

To view detailed information about the business, select the matching name. This includes everything above and any filing requirements.

You can search for the name of your business to view details about your LLC. Once you have found the right LLC, click on it to see details, file any reports, request certificates, and update information for your registered agent.

Information not available

The following information will not be found when you search online for a business entity:

  • Employer Identification Numbers (EINs/FEINs)
  • Names of the members of the LLC
  • Numbers for the business
  • Trademarks and DBAs (Tradenames).
  • Information about state taxes
  • Names of business owners
  • Information about any partnership (GPs).

Year-End Corporate Filings

Remember that year-end reports filed for businesses are only effective for 90 days. A document that is filed before December 29 will become effective on January 1st, three days after it was filed. However, this will only occur if the document has been filed in its entirety.

A new effective date will be given if the document needs to be returned for revisions. Keep in mind, however, that offices will be closed for the holidays on New Year’s Day and December 25, 2018.

You can create an LLC, or any other type of organization (corporation or partnership), to change or create. For filing, you will need to contact

The Corporation Section of The Division of Corporate & Consumer Services within the DFI. This department will also be responsible for licensing any out-of-state companies that wish to do business in Wisconsin.

File Changes and Contact Information

Wisconsin emai Contact Information

The Department of Financial Institutions will not accept cash payments for filing or copy services but will accept personal checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders.

Although businesses can still visit the department to file their paperwork, they are encouraged to use this website to simplify the process and make filing more efficient.

Here are the contact details for the Department of Financial Institutions.

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions | Contact

Mailing Address

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, WI 53705

Physical Address

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, WI 53705

Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Phone: (608) 261-9555

Register Your Wisconsin Business Name

Your LLC name can be reserved in Wisconsin for up 120 days before you register it. This allows you to prevent other businesses from registering the name until your turn.

You can make name reservations by mailing to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. The filing fee is $15.

Additional Steps

1. Trademark Search 

WI 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin

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.

Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.

Wisconsin Business Name Availability Search FAQs

  1. What is the importance of conducting a business entity name search in Wisconsin? A business entity name search in Wisconsin is crucial for ensuring the name you choose for your business is unique and not already in use or too similar to an existing business. This step is vital for legal compliance and avoiding potential trademark or name infringement issues.
  2. How can I perform a business entity name search in Wisconsin? You can conduct a name search using the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ online search tool. This allows you to search their database for existing business names and check the availability of your desired name.
  3. Is there a fee to search for business names in Wisconsin? Generally, conducting a basic search for business name availability on the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ website is free. However, fees may apply for more detailed reports or official documents.
  4. What steps should I take if my desired business name is already taken in Wisconsin? If your chosen business name is unavailable, you will need to select a different name that is unique and complies with Wisconsin’s naming rules. It’s recommended to have a list of alternative names to streamline the process.
  5. Can I reserve a business name in Wisconsin before forming my entity? Yes, Wisconsin allows the reservation of a business name for a specified duration. This involves submitting a name reservation application and paying a reservation fee, as specified by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
  6. What are Wisconsin’s specific guidelines for naming a business entity? In Wisconsin, your business name must be distinguishable from other registered entities. Additionally, specific business types, such as LLCs or corporations, must include a designation (like ‘LLC’, ‘Inc.’, etc.) in the name. The state’s guidelines provide more details on restricted or prohibited words.
  7. How do I ensure my business name adheres to Wisconsin’s legal requirements? To ensure your business name meets Wisconsin’s legal requirements, review the naming guidelines provided by the Department of Financial Institutions. Additionally, consider a trademark search to avoid potential legal issues.
  8. What are the next steps after finding an available business name in Wisconsin? Once you confirm that your business name is available, you can proceed with registering your business entity by filing the necessary formation documents and paying any associated fees with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
  9. Is it possible to use a different name than the registered business name in Wisconsin? Yes, you can use a ‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) name in Wisconsin. However, you must ensure that the DBA name is properly registered and does not conflict with existing registered business names.
  10. How current is the information in the Wisconsin business name database? The Wisconsin business name database is regularly updated, reflecting new registrations and changes. For the most current information, it’s advisable to conduct your search close to the time you plan to register your business.
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

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