Naming A Business (Michigan)

By Marc F. Herron Shakespeare’s Juliet said:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Well, under Michigan law, it does matter what is in a business’s name. There are some specific words that are required to be in business entity names. For Michigan domestic profit corporations, a corporation’s name must contain one of these words; “Corporation,” “Company,” “Incorporated,” or “Limited.” Alternatively, the abbreviations of these words may be used, which are “Corp.,” “Co.,” “Inc.,” and “Ltd.” If the business entity is a professional service corporation, then the name must contain either “Professional Corporation” or “P.C.” For limited partnerships, the words “Limited Partnership” are required. For limited liability companies, the required words and abbreviations are “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “L.C.,” or “LC.” For low-profit limited liability companies, the word and abbreviation requirements are “Low-Profit Limited Liability Company,” “L.3.C.,” “L3C,” “l.3.c.,” or “l3c.” Continuing on, the required words and abbreviations for professional service limited liability companies are “Professional Limited Liability Company,” “P.L.L.C.,” “PLLC,” “P.L.C.” or “PLC.” Finally, when naming a limited partnership or limited liability company certain words and abbreviations must not be used. The excluded words and abbreviations are “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Corp.,” and “Inc.”

It is noteworthy that when naming a non-profit corporation, the use of the required words associated with naming a for-profit corporation is not statutorily required.

(Michigan Act 284, Public Acts of 1972; Act 192, Public Acts of 1962; Act 213, Public Acts of 1982; Act 23, Public Acts of 1993.)