How To Register Your Business Name
So you've started or want to start a business and need to know how to register your business name? Congratulations! Naming a business may seem easy, but it can be more complex than people think. There are considerations to take into account, as well as forms to fill out. This article will outline the process for registering your business name.
- Choose your business name. When choosing your business name, you'll want to have several alternatives in mind in case your first option isn't available. You'll also need to find out if there are any state or local requirements that need to be taken into account when using assumed trade names. There are other considerations to take into account as well, such as how will the name look on business cards or advertisements? How easy is the name to pronounce and what does the name imply? You also want to avoid embarrassing undertones and unintended associations with other groups or people the business is not associated with.
- Find out if the name is available. Once you've chosen a business name, you need to find out if the name is available. You can do this by having your county clerk's office check a list of fictitious or assumed names operating in your region or state. If the business name you chose is already in use, you need to choose another name on your list.
- Register your business name. Once you've found a name that hasn't already been taken, the next step is to actually register the business name. When registering your business name, the legal name of the business is the name of the person that owns the business or in the case of a partnership, the name that appears on the your partnership agreement or the last names of the partners. The fictitious name or DBA (doing business as) name that we're talking about in this article will be different from the legal name of your business. When registering your business, different states have different requirements has far as how to register fictitious names. For example, North Carolina requires a certificate of an assumed name to be filed whether the business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation. However some states, like Alabama, don't require registration of a fictitious name, but give businesses the option to register a trade name if they choose.
As you can see, choosing and registering a business name is not always an easy task. However, there are several resources you can take advantage of to help you with the process. Good luck with your new business!