Businesses Can Seek Name Availability

January 7, 2008
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LANSING — Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth Director Keith W. Cooley said entrepreneurs now have the ability to check name availability on the Corporation Division’s Web site before submitting documents for filing. 

According to a news release, the DLEG Bureau of Commercial Services along with the Department of Information Technology have been working together to add the program on the Corporation Division’s Web site. 

“This program has been requested by our customers for a long time, and we now have the technology to make this feature a reality,” Cooley said. “Previously, prospective business owners would submit their name to the Corporation Division and would have to wait to hear back if there were any potential conflicts. It’s a priority to make it as easy as possible to open a business in Michigan, and this is another step we’ve taken to cut the red tape.” 

The program allows customers and businesses to search the availability of a name; however, final determination of whether a name is available for use is made during the review process when a document is submitted for filing.

"Giving entrepreneurs the ability to check name availability is yet another way we are using information technology to benefit our citizens and businesses," said Teri Takai, director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology. "DLEG has led the way on a number of exciting technology initiatives, and we value our strong partnership with them."

The Name Availability program checks to see if a name is distinguishable on the record from other active corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, active assumed names and any active name reservation or name registrations on file. The name should have a different sequence of letters or numbers to make it distinguishable. However, distinctions such as punctuation, and required words at the end of the name, such as company, limited partnership, limited liability company and all of their abbreviations, are not used to determine the availability of a name and not considered distinguishable.

If the name is not available, the program will allow the customer to view details on the conflicting name by simply clicking on the name. The program will also highlight any other issues with the names, such as required words, and words or phrases prohibited or restricted by other state of Michigan or federal statutes.

The Name Availability program contains an e-mail address and phone number to the Corporation Division for inquiries about the program. The program can be accessed at www.michigan.gov/corporations by clicking on Name Availability.

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