Individuals looking to form a new entity of any type in Minnesota may want to consider reserving their desired operating name with the office of the Secretary of State. This filing will allow them time to complete all filings properly without worrying about the impending availability of a name. Any entity filings regarding entities with invalid names will be rejected outright in Minnesota, thus reserving a name can save you time and money if done properly.

In order to reserve a name online you must have previously registered an account with the Business and Lien System. If you have not done so please feel free to follow our step-by-step tutorial (available here) to create a new account. We will be assuming for the purposes of the online portion of this tutorial that you have indeed created such an account already. The following represents the basic information you will need to know about name reservations in Minnesota:

  • The reservation can be filed online, in person or through the mail
  • A reservation filing will cost $55 if filed online or in person and $35 if filed by mail
  • A reservation lasts for a period of twelve (12) months before expiring

Individuals planning on filing in person or through the mail may want to conduct a basic business name search via the Secretary of State’s website to make sure that their desired name is indeed available. Individuals filing online thankfully are spared this extra step due to the fact that Minnesota determines the availability of a name immediately upon beginning the reservation process.

How to Reserve (Online)

Step 1 – To begin, you must login to your aforementioned online account with the Business and Lien System here. To do so, navigate to the login page and, after entering your credentials, select Sign In.


Step 2 – Navigate to the business search page. If you scroll down past the search function you will see a list of fileable forms at your disposal. Select Name Reservation from the list to continue.


Step 3 – As mentioned above, online filers have the advantage of an immediate, digital availability check. Input your desired operating name and select Search to verify its availability. As you can see, this page offers a brief overview of the regulations guiding the naming of entities in Minnesota. For a more comprehensive guide please read through the full name availability guidelines here.

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Step 4 – Once you’ve found an operating name that is verified to be available select File Name Reservation to begin the actual filing.


Step 5 – For the first section of the filing, input the name and address of at least one (1) nameholder into the provided fields. Select Save Nameholder when complete.


On a subsequent page you will have the opportunity to add additional nameholders should you desire to do so. Select Next once you’re satisfied with your nameholder information.

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Step 6 – If you would like to add a PDF attachment with extra information to your filing you may do so at this point by selecting Upload File and then indicating the desired PDF on your computer’s hard drive. Once complete, select Next to continue.


Step 7 – If your account does not already have delivery information stored within it you will need to add this information here. To continue, input your name, email address, and phone number and then select Next.


Step 8 – If you would like to add client reference information you may do so here. Once complete select Next to continue.


Step 9 – Finally, add the email address you would like to use for official notices. Once submitted, select Next to review your information thus far.


If everything looks up to standard select Submit.


Step 10 – Before proceeding to payment you must have the nameholder (or their agent) e-sign your filing by inputting their name and selecting Submit.


Once complete select Continue to US Bank to make your payment.


Step 11 – Enter your US Bank login info here to continue. If you do not have an account select Pay Without Registering.


Step 12 – To complete your payment input the following information and select Continue:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Card number
  • Expiration date
  • Card security code
  • Card billing address (if different)

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How to Reserve (PDF)

Step 1 – Individuals who would prefer to file by mail ($35) or in person ($55) may do so by filing out the Request for Reservation of Name PDF form either by hand or on the computer. To complete the form you must input the following information:

  • Desired Name
  • Reserved for (individual/entity)
  • Filer’s address
  • E-signature of filer / date
  • Email address
  • Contact(s) names/addresses


Step 2 – To submit the form you must attach a check to your form made out to the Minnesota Secretary of State for the correct amount given your filing method ($55 in person; $35 by mail). Have both the filing fee and form delivered or mailed to the following address:

Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services

Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

60 Empire Drive, Suite 100 St Paul, MN 55103

How to (Video)