Do you have the perfect name idea for a new business entity in the state of Wisconsin, but you’re not quite ready to form your company?
Wisconsin allows you to reserve a business name until you’re prepared for the business formation process, but how does the reservation process work and how long will the state reserve the name for you? In this guide, we’ll run down all the important details of reserving a business name in Wisconsin.
Rocket Tip: If you’d rather officially incorporate in Wisconsin rather than file the extra paperwork to register a business name, there are many good incorporation services that can do it for you.
How to Reserve a Business Name in Wisconsin
The first step is to determine if your desired business name is even available in Wisconsin to begin with. The state has a convenient name availability search tool available on the Department of Financial Institution’s website, which you can access here at any time. Once you’ve determined the availability of your desired name, you can begin the process of reserving it with the state.
Unlike many Wisconsin business filings, you cannot make a name reservation online. You’ll need to mail in a printed application instead. The simple two-page form you’ll need to fill out to reserve your name is called a Name Reservation Application, which can be acquired from the Department of Financial Institutions. You’ll need to fill out this document with the following information: Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions 4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705
Once you’re finished filling out the form, you should write a check for $10 or $15 (the fee depends on your entity type) made payable to “Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions” and mail it with your completed reservation form to the following address:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions 4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower Madison, WI 53705
How Long Is My Business Name Reserved For?
Once you submit your Name Reservation Application form, the state of Wisconsin will reserve your business name for a period of 120 days (60 days for foreign and domestic partnerships). If you know that you’ll need a longer name reservation, Wisconsin allows you to modify the form to create a longer registration. You can find more details on the form itself. Please note that there is an additional fee to do so, but the reservation can last as long as ten years if need be. The fee for an extended reservation is $50 for most entities.
Just because you aren’t ready to form your Wisconsin business entity doesn’t mean you can’t lock down your desired business name.
If the name you want is available today, there’s no reason to wait until you form your business to reserve it for your exclusive use. The required form is easily filled out with your basic information, and the filing fee is quite affordable, so you should reserve your name today.