Wisconsin Business Name Search

Starting your own business is a lot of work – but building a business from the ground up is a rewarding and potentially profitable endeavor. You need a business name before you start gearing your business towards success and creating a reputable brand. 

Once you have come up with your business name, you need to make sure no other businesses in Wisconsin share that name, and you need to secure that business name by registering it. Keep reading about the Wisconsin business name search and registration process. This guide is designed to make registering your Wisconsin business straightforward.


Generate Business Name Ideas


How To Prepare Before You Search For Wisconsin Business Name Availability

Before you search for Wisconsin business name availability, you’ll need to develop a catchy and memorable business name. To establish a name for your business, you can use the business name generator tool. The tool will generate names automatically based on the root words you use. To develop strong root words for the business name generator, you will need to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Don’t use generic terms – if you’re starting an ice cream business, try to avoid overused terms with your root words. For instance, avoid using the phrase ‘ice cream’ and try coming up with more symbolic and unique ways of describing the product, like ‘dairy whip’ that consumers don’t hear often.
  • Keep your name short – consumers’ attention spans are becoming shorter, making them less likely to pay attention to longer names or remember them in the future. So, limit your business name to a maximum of 2 words to make it more effective.
  • Use rhyming words – the business name generator comes with a useful filter that helps you develop rhyming and alliterative names. By rhyming the two words in your business name, you can make it more catchy and improve how it sounds – and your name will be more fun for consumers to say and repeat to others!

Ideally, you should develop a few name ideas using the business name generator in case the name is already being used in your state. You won’t have to go back to the drawing board, and the process will be shorter.

You can use the domain name availability checker to ensure you will be able to secure a website for your business. This is an important step since domain names are becoming increasingly challenging to secure.

How To Search For An Available Business Name In Wisconsin

Before registering your business name in Wisconsin, you must ensure that no other Wisconsin businesses already have that name.

You need to visit the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s website to do this. Then, visit the Department of Financial Institutions, which will lead you to the ‘business entity search’ page. Once you have reached this page, enter your business name idea into the search bar. If the results show another business is using this name, then you should refer to your shortlist of business name ideas. Or, you can make small alterations to the name to make it more unique.

Once you have found an available business name, you need to secure it so that you have the full rights to this business name, ensuring that no other business in Wisconsin can use it.

How To Register Your Wisconsin Business Name

To register your Wisconsin business name, you will need to appoint a registered agent for the business. This could be you or another business member, but they must reside in Wisconsin. When your business is served through a legal process, it will be served to this registered agent.

The following method for registering your business is specific to registering an LLC. If you don’t think an LLC is a proper structure for your business entity, you might consider registering the business as something else.

The Articles of Organization (Form 502) are available on the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s website in the Department of Financial Institutions. To register your business name in Wisconsin, you can fill out the form on their website and submit it online, or you can print the form and submit it by mail.

Procedures And Policies For Registering Your Wisconsin Business Name

To register your business name in Wisconsin, you will need to provide the following information:

  • The name of your LLC.
  • The name and address of your LLC’s registered agent.
  • Whether managers or members will manage the organization.
  • The names and addresses of each LLC organizer.
  • The LLC’s business email and phone number.
  • The signature of your LLC’s organizer.
  • The name of the individual who drafted the articles.

It’s advisable to prepare all of this information before filling out the form, as you may have to establish your business’s email and phone number. Having all the information at hand before you fill out the form will make the process quicker and more straightforward.

Wisconsin Business Registration Office

Here are the contact details for the Wisconsin business registration office:

Wisconsin Secretary of State Websitehttps://sos.wi.gov/index.html
Wisconsin Secretary of State Emailstatesec@wi.gov
Wisconsin Secretary of State Phone608-266-3159
Wisconsin Secretary of State Opening HoursMon-Fri 7.45 am – 4.30 pm

How Much Does It Cost To Register A Business Name In Wisconsin

You will have to pay a filing fee to register your business in Wisconsin. You will have to pay a filing fee of $170 to file your Articles of Organization (Form 502) via mail. If you file your Articles of Organization using the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s website, you will have to pay a filing fee of $130. 

If you’re not ready to register your business name in Wisconsin, but want to ensure that no other business entity adopts the name. In that case, you can reserve your business name through the Wisconsin Secretary of State for a reservation fee of $15.

Why Should You Register A Business Name In Wisconsin

If you’re still unsure about the reasons why you should register your business name in Wisconsin, here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to register your business:

  • Reserving your business name – if your business is registered with the Wisconsin Secretary of State, then no other business entity will be permitted to register under that name.
  • Your company becomes more reputable – if your business has Limited or Ltd following its name, this will add more reputability and credibility to your business. Investors and potential clients will feel that your company is trustworthy.
  • Reducing your personal liability – if your business gets sued, you don’t want to be paying out of pocket for the settlement. If your business is registered, you won’t be held personally liable in any legal processes regarding the company.

Support For Registering Your Business Name In Wisconsin

When you register your business in Wisconsin, you will likely have a few questions during the process or need support when using the online portal for registration. So, you need to know what the Wisconsin Secretary of State offers support.

During the registration process, any queries can be answered by emailing the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s email help desk at statesec@wisconsin.gov.

Or, if your question is more urgent, you may wish to call the office at 608-266-3159.

Conclusion

Registering your business in Wisconsin can be tricky if you don’t know where to go. Hopefully, this guide has given you everything you need to register your Wisconsin business easily and without confusion. 

You shouldn’t start establishing your brand under your business name until you have performed a Wisconsin business name search and registered the name. Otherwise, you could suffer losses should the name already be taken or if it gets snapped up by another business before you manage to register it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

After you have found a name that is unique, suitable for your business and available, it's time to reserve that name so that you can start putting your business together. In order to do this, you can either send in a letter application, or use a Name Reservation application.

As you're completing this form, keep in mind the following:

- The fee required for submitting a reservation of name application is $10 or $15 depending on the term of reservation needed.

- You can opt for expedited service with the addition of a $25 fee.

- Your chosen name can be reserved for a period of 60 or 120 days.

Knowing what information you'll need to complete the name reservation application can make the process much easier. So before you get started, keep in mind that you'll need the following pieces of information on hand:

- The chosen name of your business.

- Your business type and the term you wish to reserve the name for.

- The address and name of the applicant.

- Applicant's phone number

    (Source: Wisconsin Name Reservation Form - Linked Above)

If you've come up with a list of different names that can work well for your business, then there's a good chance you can avoid this issue altogether. However, in some cases you may find that coming up with a unique, suitable name in certain markets may be more difficult.

Odds are, you can go back to the drawing board and come up with something that will work well. However, there can also be some cases in which those creating businesses are set on their chosen name, or something as close as possible to it.

If this is the case for you, then you can contact the SOS office in order to seek out some more options. They will be able to help you out by providing smaller changes you may be able to make, or at least answer questions related to the process.

If you're still unable to find a business name that suits you, try using our business name generator to get unique name ideas (click here to find our business name generator).

To search for an available business name in Wisconsin, you must visit the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s website and the Department of Financial Institutions. There, you will find the business entity search. Enter your name into the search bar and see if any Wisconsin businesses are using your proposed business name. If no business entities are registered, you can register your business under that name.

You should register your business name for three reasons:

-To reserve the name for your business.

-To ensure you are not held personally liable for your business.

-To make your business appear more legitimate and trustworthy.

Matija Kolaric

Amazing content is the core of what we do. With more than 5 years of experience in branding, name development, and business, Matija helps create and manage content production.

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