Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Minnesota. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Quick Note: If you’ve already found the ideal business name and would like to secure it quickly by starting the LLC, an online LLC service can do it for you. No need to navigate confusing state-website portals or file anything yourself.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
No, it isn’t mandatory to reserve a name before launching your business. The state of Minnesota offers the option to reserve a name, but you are under no obligation to do so. Feel free to file your Articles of Organization right away if you’d like.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Minnesota LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $35 fee by mail or a $55 in person or online. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Minnesota business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
How Long Does a Minnesota Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Minnesota can reserve an entity name. Filing your name reservation prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. Minnesota is quite generous when it comes to name reservations.
Placing a reservation will give you sole ownership over your name for an entire year. And if that isn’t long enough, you’re allowed to renew your reservation for as many subsequent 12-month periods as necessary by filing a name reservation and paying a fee each time.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in Minnesota?
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability using the Secretary of State’s Online Business Services page. See here for instructions on how to check availability. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Minnesota (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief—you’re ready to reserve it.
There are a few ways you can reserve your LLC name, but the quickest and easiest is online. Get started by heading to the Online Business Services page and selecting “Name Reservation” from the list at the bottom. You will need to create an account if you don’t have one. From there, simply follow the instructions and you’ll skate through the process.
If you prefer a paper form, you can find it here. Fill in your information, then send your form and $35 fee to:
Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103
Or, if you happen to be out on the town in St. Paul, you can drop it off in person at the same address.
There are different fees depending on how you file. Online and in-person submissions come with a $55 fee because they are processed immediately. Mailed forms only cost $35 because they take 5-7 business days to process.
And that’s it! The 12-month reservation will begin as soon as your form is processed. Now it’s time to start thinking forward to filing your Articles of Organization. Check out our comprehensive guide here.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Minnesota to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $35/$55 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $155 Minnesota LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $35/$55 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate. Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state of Wyoming.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.