How to Register a Business Name

Learn how to register a business name with ease! Our comprehensive guide covers choosing, checking availability, and registering your business name properly.
How to Register a Business Name- business globalizer

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If you are doing business, you already know how vital a business name is. But if you think about it in general, how do you recognize or introduce a brand to others? Of course, by its name. Sometimes, it’s the first thing to show off on official documents. 

When you start your entrepreneurial journey, one critical step is appropriately registering your business name with the Government. Registering a business name is not just picking a name; it is creating a brand, a vibe, and an identity that will turn heads.

This blog will guide you through all the nooks and crannies of registering a business name. So grab a beverage, maybe a cup of your favorite brew, and dive into business name registration!

What Is a Business Name?

When a business or company legally operates its business activities under an official name used for legal purposes, it’s called a business name. With this name, your customers will recognize you. Most of your customers make purchase decisions based solely on the business name. Business name variations are based on business activities and business types at the federal or state levels. Once you register a business name, it becomes your exclusive property. 

Simply put, your business name is registered as a legal name with the state or government. You can use this name for different purposes, such as tax filing, obtaining necessary business licenses, or as paperwork in business formation documents. 

It is good to say that different names exist for different purposes. Such as:

  • Entity Name or legal name.
  • Trade Name.
  • Fictitious Business Name or DBA.
  • Domain Name.

Why Do You Need a Business Name?

You may wonder why you need a business name. Let us help you here. Take a look below to learn the reasons: 

  • Credibility and Trust: Your business name is like giving your business its own ID card in the big world of commerce. A professional and suitable business name can build trust and credibility with your target audience. It can help potential customers feel confident in choosing your products or services.

  • Brand Awareness: A business name helps create a unique identity for your company. It’s often customers’ first impression of your business and can convey your brand’s essence, values, and purpose. 

  • Credibility and Trust: Your business name is like giving your business its own ID card in the big world of commerce. A professional and suitable business name can build trust and credibility with your target audience. It can help potential customers feel confident in choosing your products or services.

  • Recognition and Recall: A well-chosen business name is memorable and easily recalled. This makes it easier for customers to find you and refer others to your business.

  • Professionalism: A thoughtfully selected business name adds professionalism to your enterprise. It demonstrates that you’ve put thought into your brand and are serious about what you offer.

  • Differentiation: A unique business name sets you apart from competitors and prevents confusion in the marketplace. It can make your business stand out and be easily distinguishable.

  • Flexibility and Expansion: Choosing a business name that isn’t too narrow allows for potential business growth and expansion into new markets or product lines without changing your name.

  • Increasing Sales: If you have a catchy business name relevant to your company’s products or services, it attracts potential customers. This is necessary to increase sales.

  • Attracting Talent: When you have a brand name like Google or Facebook, it will attract jobseekers or talents to work for you.  

  • Apply for an EIN: When you want to do business in the U.S., you must have an EIN or employer identification number. You must mention the registered business name in Form SS-4 to apply for the EIN.

Is It Necessary to Register a Business Name? 

Registering a business name is like giving your new venture a VIP pass to the world of commerce! Besides the benefits mentioned above, the necessity of registering a business name varies depending on the different business structures:

  1. Limited Liability Company: In terms of an LLC, the company uses a business name to reveal itself as a separate entity from its owners. Having a business name for your LLC protects your personal assets from business liabilities and creates trust among customers, investors, and LLC members.

  2. Corporation: When you launch a corporation, you must list your company’s name for filing with the secretary of state or government agency. You must register a unique business name to prevent others from using it. Register the business name to get a domain name for your corporation’s website. 

  3. Sole Proprietorship: Regarding sole proprietorship, registering a business name isn’t mandatory, but having one is good. This will save your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit. Even you can use a “Doing Business As” or “Fictitious Business Name.” 

  4. Partnership: In terms of partnership, registering a business name isn’t necessary if you already have a DBA or are doing business as a name.

What Are Your Business Name Registration Requirements?

You may now wonder if any significant requirements exist to register a business name. Most often, the requirements for business name registration are: 

  • Business Entities.
  • Business Information.
  • Owner Information.
  • Original Business Name.
  • State Agencies of formation.
  • Local And County Agencies of Formation.
  • DBA/Trademark/Trade name.

Business Name Registration Process

At this point, you know about the main concept, necessity, and requirements for a business name registration. Now let’s dive into the registration process. Once you form a business entity, you can legally have a business name for tax compliance, branding, and advertising. So let’s explore the steps for registering your business name: 

Choosing and Selecting a Business Name

Before diving into the registration process, invest time in thorough research to choose a business name that connects with your target audience and aligns with your business objectives. Consider your industry, competitors, and desired brand image. Determine a memorable and catchy name and how you want to use it according to your needs, such as: 

  • Business Entity Naming: Different entity types may have different naming requirements. If you register your business entity as an LLC, corporation, or limited partnership with the state, you may need to obtain a legal entity name to present in the formation documents. Your entity name tells how the state should identify your business.

  • Trade Naming: When an LLC or corporation uses a different name for selling its products and services, you must file for a trade name more relevant to your products or services. Think about the famous giant manufacturer Adidas AG. They use the trade name Adidas for marketing and selling purposes. 

  • DBA or Doing Business As: Suppose you form a sole proprietorship business; you don’t have to obtain a legal name. You can use your real name. Meanwhile, you can choose a DBA or avoid using your real name. 

  • Domain Naming: To run your business digitally, you must get a domain name for your online presence. By doing this, the name will be safe from unauthorized use. So choose a name that seems easier and more catchy.

You can check out the premium business formation solution service on Business Gloibalizer’s site. 

Business Name Availability Search

Once you choose the name, it’s time to check the name’s availability. Many government websites provide online databases or search tools to help you verify if the name is already in use. Conduct a name search through the relevant government agency or online platform to ensure that your chosen business name is available for registration. 

Name Reservation for Business

In some cases, you might be able to reserve a business name for a certain period of time if you’re not yet ready to formally establish your business. This can give you time to complete other preparations. So, make sure to reserve your chosen name once you decide to register. Most importantly, complete the official business formation paperwork while reserving time.

File Business Name Registration Forms

Depending on your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.), you might need to file registration forms for your business name differently. Research the requirements for your specific business structure. The most common ways to register a business name are: 

  • Legal Entity Name: The most popular way to register a business name is as a legal entity name. You can register a legal business name by forming an LLC or corporation with state-specific rules and laws. By filling out Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization, you can ensure your business name is legally available for use in official documents, tax filings, or obtaining an EIN. 

  • Applying for a Trademark: Trademarking your business name is crucial. While registering your business name gives you the legal right to use that name, it does not automatically prevent other people from using it. A legal entity name can be available in the state, but the scenario differs at the federal level. If you want to protect your business name as a brand, consider checking if the name is also available for trademark registration. It’s essential to check your business, product, and service names against the USPTO’s trademark database. You can complete the official application form at the appropriate trademark office.

  • Fictitious Business Name Registration: If you have multiple businesses or don’t want to use your personal or real name, you can apply for a fictitious business name or DBA name online. While applying for a DBA name, ensuring it complies with legal and trademark regulations is essential. 
    Registering DBAs online has different requirements from state to state. Therefore, you need to move forward with registering a DBA. You must now complete the form with accurate and necessary information that the county clerk’s office or the Secretary of State’s office will provide for you.

In Summary, visit the website of the relevant government agency responsible for business registrations in your jurisdiction. Download or obtain the necessary registration forms and any accompanying instructions.

Submit Required Documents

Prepare and submit your completed application and the required documents to the appropriate trademark office, county clerk’s office, or state agency. This can often be done through the official websites of the jurisdiction. 
Online submissions are becoming increasingly common and convenient. This could include application forms, proof of identity, information about business activities, and other relevant information.

Pay for Business Name Registration Fees

A registration fee might be associated with reserving or registering your business name. You must pay the required fees once your necessary paperwork is completed. The cost to register for trademarking, DBA online, or business name registration varies from state to state and service agency to service agency. 

Create a Web Presence by Buying a Domain Name

In this digital age, your business name needs a home on the web, like a cozy den, for your online presence. If possible, get a domain name similar to your business name. It’s like your business’s street address in the digital world—bonus points for nabbing the “.com” crown!

It’s good to say that your domain names don’t have to match your business’s legal business names, trademarks, or DBAs. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the availability of your business (domain) name. You can buy or get a domain name through the registration service, especially if you plan to start an E-commerce business. 

You can talk to a business legal expert to find the perfect registration service, then choose the one that meets your needs in terms of price and support. Domain registrations must be renewed regularly.

Business Name Protection

Now that you know how to get or register a business name, protecting it from theft is crucial. To be honest, the protection of your business name is co-related to the business registration process:

  • Reserving a name gives you security against others using it.  

  • When you check the availability of a name before registration, you choose an available name in the state for doing business under this name. 

  • By filing a distinctive trademark, you can secure your business name. 

  • By having a domain name, you can protect your business name online. 

Name Registration Guideline

Choosing or registering a business name is one of the most critical steps for every entrepreneur. You need to follow these guidelines: 

Dos: 

If you want business name protection at the state level, you can choose a business entity like an LLC, corporation, or partnership. 

  • If you want business name protection at the federal level, you can apply for a trademark. 

  • If you plan to operate your business under a name different from your legal business name, you may need to register a “Fictitious Name” or “Doing Business As” (DBA).” This is common for partnerships and sole proprietorships. 

  • You should choose a unique, short, and catchy business name for the registration.

  • The name should be relevant to the products and services the business will offer. 

  • You can use creative naming strategies, like synonyms and clever wordplay, to create punch lines that target customers or audiences. 

  • Use abbreviations for the name you want to register. 

  • If the name reservation expires, renew it if necessary to avoid losing it.

  • Choose a name that is easy to pronounce and spell.

  • You must keep all the copies of the documents you filed and obtained during business name registration.

Don’ts:

  • A business name registered with the registry of limited companies can’t be used as a domain name.

  • Don’t use a name that is too unique for your business or customers because a unique name can be challenging to remember and pronounce.

  • Don’t choose an unavailable or common name for domain names. Try to use a name that is available in multiple languages.

  • Avoid using hyphens or apostrophes.

  • Don’t use a name that describes a specific location. This will create obstacles on the road to your business’s growth.

  • Avoid using entity identifiers like LLC,” “limited liability company,” corporation,” or “lnc.” while your business isn’t established or registered under the same.

  • Take permission to use words like insurance, bank, trustee, or trust.

  • Don’t choose words for registering the business name to create confusion with the government agency.

  • Avoid using offensive or racial words.

Rules for State-Wise Business Name Registration 

If you’re dreaming big, like turning your business into a superstar LLC or corporation, it’s time for the state showdown. Each state has its own rules. Registering a business name is like giving your business a birth certificate, and making it official in your chosen state.  Requirements to register a business name in some states are given below:

California

In California, you can get a business name by following these considerations: 

  • You have to file Articles of Organization.

  • You can get a DBA name if your business has no legal name.

  • After Filing DBA, you must publish a statement in the local newspaper Within 30 days. 

Texas

In Texas, you can register a business name by following these considerations: 

  • To register a business name, you need to check the availability of a name by doing a name search. 

  • You can get a business name online or by mail by registering Articles of Organization if the name is available.

  • You must register with the local county clerk’s office to operate your business (LLC, sole proprietorship, or partnership) under a different name in Texas.

Delaware

In Delaware, you can get a business name by following these rules:  

  • Registering your business with the state of Delaware allows you to get a business name for your LLC or Corporation. 

  • You can file for a “doing business as” or DBA name with your state’s business division in Delaware.

  • Whether you plan or not to create a business website today, you should buy the web address to prevent others from acquiring that domain name. This will ensure your business or domain name is available in business searches.

  • Sole proprietorship and partnership businesses can get a trade name to operate under different names. 

Wyoming 

In Wyoming, you can obtain a business name by following these steps: 

  • For doing business in Wyoming, you must do a name search by using Business Name Availability, Domain Name Search, Federal Trademark Records, and Searching the Web to check the availability of your chosen name.

  • In Wyoming, sole proprietorships and general partnerships can get a business name by filing a DBA.

  • You can reserve your name in Wyoming if you don’t want to form an LLC or corporation immediately. 

  • You can file for a fictitious business name for an existing LLC or corporation.

  • Your name must include LLC, L.L.C., or the phrase “limited liability company for the entity. 

  • In terms of the corporation, your business name must include “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited,” or an abbreviation of one of these terms.

Nevada 

In Nevada, you can obtain a business name by following these considerations: 

  • Registering your LLC or corporation with the Nevada Secretary of State allows you to legally have a business name. Therefore, you need to file Articles of incorporation and articles of organization. 

  • In Nevada, any business structure can obtain a business name by filing a DBA for a different name. 

Business Name Restrictions by State 

For your concern, you should know some specific business name restrictions, which are different from state to state: 

  • In California, you can’t use “Bank, Trust, Trustee, or Olympic” to register or file a business name. 

  • In Texas, you should avoid “Bank, Insurance, Olympic, Trust, or cooperative.”

  • In Delaware, “Bank, banking, and banc” words deemed objectionable by the Secretary of State are restricted for use as business names.

  • The words “Education, School, College, University, Bank, Banking” are objectionable to the Wyoming Secretary of State. 

  • For registering the business name in Nevada, avoid “Insurance, Bank, Trust, Engineer, Engineered, Engineering, Professional Engineer, Registered Engineer, Licensed Engineer.”

  • Words “banker, banking, surety, historical, museum, underwriter, school, handicapped” to be wary of consideration for choosing as a business name in New York. 

Which State Is Best to Register a Company in the USA?

Most professionals recommend registering the business in the following States: 

Wyoming 

If you want to register a business cheaply and easily online, Wyoming is the right fit with reasonable tax benefits. There is a strict asset protection law for business owners. Especially if you prefer to register an LLC, your LLC assets get protection from your personal liabilities.

Delaware

There are over 1,000,000 business entities in Delaware. Delaware is undoubtedly a wise option to start a small business, LLC, or corporation as a non-resident. The business filing process in Delaware is faster than in other states. In Delaware, you don’t have to pay any value-added tax on business transactions or the transfer of capital stock. 

Nevada 

In some ways, Nevada is the best place to start a business from a tax point of view. The state has excellent tax benefits because no personal, corporate, or franchise income taxes exist. You can efficiently run an LLC without an operating agreement. 

Texas 

If you are considering incorporating or expanding your business in the U.S. as a non-US resident, Texas is the ideal state, especially for small businesses. This can offer many benefits to entrepreneurs. One of the main advantages is the business-friendly environment. The supportive climate and favorable regulatory environment lay the foundation for small businesses to thrive. 
At the end of the day, the choice is yours regarding which state you want to register your business. But as a startup or a new business, you need to consider these:

  • Good business climate.
  • Solid but business-friendly laws.
  • State incentives and funding opportunities.
  • Economic opportunities, robust infrastructure, and tax savings.

Appoint a Business Name Registration Agency

Lastly, you can complete the business name registration with your state’s business registration agency. Some states offer online registration options, making the process more convenient. It’s recommended to seek legal advice or consult a professional business advisor like Business Globalizer when choosing and registering your business name. Consulting with our legal experts can provide solutions and additional guidance tailored to your situation. 

Final Thoughts

Well, you are at the finish line of the blog. If you follow the instructions, your business name will be a star in the business galaxy. But remember, stars need to shine consistently. Keep an eye on renewals and any updates your state or trademark might need. After all, your business name isn’t just a name; it’s your brand’s identity and your golden ticket to making waves!
Now, go! Register a business name and conquer the business world, superstar!

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