Verify Your Business Name With a Minnesota Business Name Search

Minnesota Minneapolis | Swyft Filings

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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Alexis Konovodoff
Written by Alexis Konovodoff
Written byAlexis Konovodoff
Updated December 04, 2023
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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Whether you want to register a corporation, LLC, or limited liability partnership in Minnesota, you’ll need to take care of one aspect first: giving your business a name. However, you can’t give your new business the same name as an existing entity. This opens up the question of business name availability.

Fortunately, there’s a way to check whether your desired business name matches an existing one. You can research that using the Swyft Filings business name search tool.

Free Minnesota Business Name Search

See if your company name is available in Minnesota with our free business name search service. There is no cost or commitment on your part. We will email you within 1 hour to let you know if your name is available Alaska and how to reserve it today.

This tool is free, easy to use, and produces quick, reliable results within an hour. Here’s how to check your future corporation or LLC name for availability through a business entity search:

  1. Fill out the short search form, which includes the desired name, company location, business owner’s name, and email.

  2. Submit your form and wait less than one hour as the tool scans the Minnesota Secretary of State Business and Liens Division database, looking for matching names.

  3. Receive your search results via email and proceed to reserve your desired name if it’s available, or conduct the search again with an alternative company name.

Key Takeaways

  • The state of Minnesota provides comprehensive naming conventions for new companies, and following them will be crucial when naming your business.

  • A unique company name ensures your business can operate legally, stay distinct in the market, and avoid legal issues.

  • Checking name availability is the initial step in registering your company, followed by the registration process, including getting your unique IRS Employer Identification Number.

Minnesota’s Business Naming Conventions

Suppose you look for a business name and find the one you wanted was already taken. In that case, you’ll probably want to search again with minimal changes to your original query. But how much change is sufficient for your company name to be legally distinct from another business?

Luckily, the Minnesota Secretary of State's website gives straightforward rules for such cases.[1] The following conventions will ensure your organization is in good standing and can progress with its filing status.

One character is the minimum difference needed for your business name to be legally distinct from another entity. For example, if “St. Paul Plumber” is taken, “St. Paul Plumbers” will be acceptable. The rule also applies to numbers and letters, i.e., “Northwest Inc.” vs. “Northwest 1 Inc.”

The first example also incorporates a general naming convention: Plural forms are viewed as distinct from singular nouns. 

Furthermore, when numbers are included in the name, using words, numerals, and Roman numerals will be sufficient to make the distinction. For instance, “Five,” “5,” and “V” are acceptable variations, even if the rest of the name matches completely.

Abbreviations and contractions are also viable ways of distinguishing a new company name: “St. Paul Reg. Agent Service” will be distinct from “Saint Paul Registered Agent Service.” Likewise, “Minnesota Golf Association” and “Minnesota Golf Assn” will represent two unique entity names.

Alternative or stylized word spellings are allowed, too, such as “EZ” instead of “Easy.”

Finally, your business name can be practically the same as another title if the designation differs. An example is “Minnesota Accounting Corporation” vs. “Minnesota Accounting Limited.”

No business can become genuine and legitimate without a unique name. Performing a Minnesota business entity search will be vital in the naming process and help you gain numerous advantages:

  • Powerful branding: Strong brands rarely have generic names, and customers will remember a company name if it’s recognizable. You can leverage the entity search tool to find the most impactful title.

  • Legal peace of mind: Working under a name that’s already taken can only lead to trouble down the road, as the original title holder might request that you change the business name or launch legal action due to infringement. Researching name availability before registering your business will ensure you never encounter these issues.

  • Faster domain registration: Your business can start operating online sooner if you can register a domain name immediately, and a business entity search will help you get a company name faster to then find and secure the most fitting domain name.

  • Business license acquisition: The faster you find a good name for your company, the sooner you can start working on launching your business and obtaining business licenses. Our services can help you with the license application process.

St Paul, Minnesota at night | Swyft Filings

Next Steps

Naming your company is the crucial initial step when launching a business. Besides checking for availability, your next steps related to the company name will be name reservation, domain registration, and, if necessary, filing a DBA. Let’s explore these three steps in more detail.

Complete Your Name Reservation

When you start the company registration process, you’ll need time to get your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation in order. During that time, your chosen name could get grabbed by another business. Name reservation serves to prevent that from happening.

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website, reserving your business name doesn’t register the name with the database.[2] Instead, you ensure nobody else can take the name while you complete the process.

Business name reservations in Minnesota are made via a Request for Reservation of Name, which you can fill out and submit online or mail to:

Minnesota Secretary of State — Business Services

First National Bank Building

332 Minnesota Street, Suite N201

Saint Paul, MN 55101

The filing fee will depend on how you submit the form. Online and expedited submissions will cost $55, while mail filings will be $35.

Choose a Domain Name

It’s never too early to start working on your business website. After all, it will likely be the central component of your market presence, given how the majority of businesses either find customers or sell their products or services online today.

Reserving your business name will enable you to register an appropriate domain name. Of course, you can pick a name for your website before taking care of your company name, but that may lead to an awkward situation if the desired name is taken.

Squarespace’s easy-to-use domain search tool can help you quickly find and register a domain name that matches your Minnesota business. You can then choose from Squarespace’s flexible website templates, pre-designed layouts, and curated design elements to build a website — no coding required. Start your business with Swyft Filings and receive a free domain from SquareSpace for one year.

Consider a DBA

DBA stands for “doing business as.” In Minnesota, this is the same as the assumed name. You should get a DBA if you want your business registered legally under one name but operate under a different title.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development provides guidelines for assumed names.[3]

Firstly, the assumed name can’t be the same as the owner’s full name. Next, the title can only include the designation corresponding to the business type. Simply put, you can’t name your business “corporation,” “incorporated,” “corp.,” or “inc.” if your company is an LLC.

Similarly, your company can’t have a geographical name in the title unless it refers to the actual location where you’re doing business. So your Maple Grove IT service can’t be called “Brooklyn Park” or “Minneapolis IT Service.”

The Chamber of Commerce explains the necessary steps for registering a DBA.[4] You should find an available assumed name, submit the application, and cover the state fee.

You can fill out the application on the Secretary of State site. In that case, the fee will be $50. On the other hand, you can fill out the Certificate of Assumed Name and send it via mail to:

Minnesota Secretary of State — Business Services

Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

60 Empire Drive, Suite 100

St Paul, MN 55103

Mail applications require a lower fee of $30.

File Your LLC Online

After you’ve reserved your company name, domain, and the optional DBA, it’s time to submit your LLC application. This is also the phase when many business owners get overwhelmed with covering all of the moving parts of the process.

However, Swyft Filings is here to make your online application as easy as possible. In particular, we have a handy online platform and a team of experts to help you with every aspect of the process. Use our services to find a great company title, change your business name, or register your LLC, all in a matter of minutes.

Free Minnesota Business Name Search

Enter your desired Minnesota company name to see if it is available with our free business name search.


How do I find out if a business name is available in Minnesota?

The best way to find available Minnesota business names is to use a business name search tool to determine if your intended business name is taken.

The business entity search is a tool that allows you to search business filings in Minnesota. You can find out if a business name is already taken in the state or get information on an existing entity with straightforward search criteria. For instance, you can search for businesses by name or file number.

How do I find out if a business is registered in Minnesota?

To find out if a business corporation or LLC is registered in Minnesota, use the free business name search by Swyft Filings. Alternatively, you can find a list of registered businesses on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.

How much does a Minnesota business entity search cost?

Conducting this search with Swyft Filings is free. Similarly, searching for registered businesses through the Minnesota Secretary of State site has no state fees.

What are the benefits of registering a business in Minnesota?

A registered business in Minnesota allows you to conduct legal business services and remain in good standing with government institutions. Plus, registering your business name will help distinguish your organization from others in the market.

How do I apply for a business license in Minnesota?

To apply for a Minnesota business license, follow these steps:

  1. Create an account with the Secretary of State website.

  2. Use the online filings feature to answer questions about your company.

  3. Choose a business name and submit your application form.


  1. Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. “Naming Your Business.” Accessed May 05, 2023.

  2. Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. “Name Reservation.” Accessed May 05, 2023.

  3. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “Naming Your Business.” Accessed May 05, 2023.

  4. The Chamber of Commerce. “How to File a DBA in Minnesota.” Accessed May 05, 2023.

Originally published on August 03, 2023, and last edited on December 04, 2023.
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