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Register Business Name - How to Register a Business Name - Prepare a company name to register.

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Starting a new business is a huge process, and finding time to register a business name is an important part of that process. After all, a business name is the identity of your business, and all business owners want it to be perfect. The only problem with registering a business name is that many of them are already taken, and business owners can only register a name that is not already being used. Here’s a quick guide on how to register a company name.


Prepare a company name to register.

Before a business owner can register a business name, he will want to select several possibilities. The name should be memorable, and he should beware of names that denote certain connotations, whether it is through the initials the business will use often, or through the general look or sound of the name. Make a list of about five to 10 names as possible business names to register.

Consult databases before you register a business name.

Now that the business owner has a list of possibilities, she should make sure that the business name sets her business apart from competitors and does not infringe on any trademarks. The easiest way to do this is to consult several databases. Start with the county clerk’s office in the county where you will be doing business. Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for registered trademark names, and look through the Thomas Register to search for unregistered trademark names. Both are important when considering which business name to register. Using a business name that is already taken should be avoided, however, it is possible to use it if the other business with that name is in a completely different part of the country, but it is important to consult a trademark or business lawyer before trying to register a business name that is the same as another business.

Ways to register a business name

There are several different ways to go about registering a business name, and the method that should be chosen depends entirely on what kind of business name it is. For example, the legal name of the business is the actual name of the person or group that owns it. In other words, a business that is owned by only one person has the same name as the person who owns it. This legal name does not need to be registered because it is already the owner’s legal name, and it becomes the legal name of the business simply through his ownership of the business. A business owned by more than one person is named by the last names of the partners, and this name also does not need to be registered. The legal names of limited liability corporations, or LLCs, and corporations are created by filing articles of organization with the state government.

LLCs and corporations usually do not have to take another step to register their company name because the name the company will operate under automatically becomes registered with the state government when the articles of organization are filed. However, a sole proprietorship and partnerships often choose to register a different business name for them to operate under. This is often denoted as “Doing Business As,” or DBA. This type of business name is also known as a fictitious name. The requirements for registering this type of name vary from state to state, but they all require an application to be filed with a governing body, some at the state level, and others at the county level. The Federal Government has set up a website which lists the requirements for registering a business name in each state.

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