There’s a lot to a name: It has to be catchy enough to draw people in, clever enough to represent your brand, and compliant enough to get approved by the state. To ensure your LLC name
is compliant with Wisconsin regulations and available to be used, it will need to be unique from all existing ones.
Fortunately, the state of Wisconsin makes it easy to find a name that won’t get rejected. All you have to do is make a list of possible names and run each through the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’name availability search engine
. Before you begin brainstorming ideas, it might be helpful to check Wisconsin’s detailed guidelines for naming an LLC
. Note that slight variations in spelling, punctuation, and suffix are not enough to be considered unique in Wisconsin.
As with other states, Winsconsin state law mandates that your company’s name end with the proper suffix. For LLCs, you have a few options: Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Co., LLC, or L.L.C. Whichever one you settle on must appear at the very end of your company’s name — with or without a comma before it.
Finding an available business name
is the first step. Then, you’ll need to reserve it to ensure nobody else scoops it up. If there’s going to be a long time between the date you’ve chosen your name and the time you expect to file your Articles of Organization, you can fill out the Name Reservation Application
and deliver it to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Corporate and Consumer Services. For a one-time nonrefundable fee of $15, you can reserve the name for 120 days. You also can expedite your name reservation for an additional fee of $25; to do this, check the box at the top of the form.
Something else to think about is whether you’ll want to use a trade name or “Doing Business As” (DBA
). A DBA is simply a name you use for your business that isn’t its legal name. To get a DBA in Wisconsin, visit Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions website
and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use. If the name is available, you can file online via the same site.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to trademark anything with your business. To see if your business’s name or logo is trademarked, you can do a free search with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
. You also can find more information about trademark registration for your Wisconsin LLC here