Do you want to abbreviate your company name on your advertising materials? Do you want to transact business under another name without forming a new entity? Both are feasible under Michigan law, but you must make sure to follow the right steps!
First, the law requires that you file a Certificate of Assumed Name for your business. More importantly, the assumed name MUST be distinguishable from the names of active limited partnerships, corporations or limited liability companies. Also, the assumed name may not contain a word or phrase indicating it is organized for a purpose other than is stated in the Organizing Document (e.g. Articles of Incorporation).
For example, if your company’s name is Detroit Eats and Beats LLC. You cannot file a certificate of Assumed Name to transact business under Detroit Eats. Why? Because an active limited liability company has that name. What if you picked a different assumed name that was available? This could be permissible BUT you must make sure the assumed name does not contain any words that suggest the purpose is different from what you stated when you organized the company.
So, let’s say your LLC was organized to operate music cafes and your Articles of Organization specifically state this purpose. Your assumed name likely cannot be Detroit Sports. Why? It indicates that the company is organized for something other than what is stated in your Articles. You must be careful not to run afoul of state law!
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