1. Ensure the Business Name is Unique
Before you register a business name, you need to ensure it’s not already registered by anyone else in your state.
Here are simple steps to determine the availability and uniqueness of your business name:
- Perform a business name availability search
- Conduct a domain name search
- Look through federal trademark records
- Conduct a quick web search
2. Determine Your Business Structure/Entity
Once you have ascertained that your business name is unique, the next step is to determine its structure.
Choosing a business structure is important because different entities have different benefits and name registration guidelines.
Here, you will need to choose from the following business entities:
- Limited Liability Company(LLC)
- Sole Proprietorship
You can read our comprehensive Inc. Authority review to understand how to form each of these business entities with a business formation service.
3. File a DBA or Assumed Business Name
Also known as a “fictitious name”, a “doing business as” or assumed name gives you more freedom over what you can call your business.
This means that you can do business with a name that’s not your legal business name.
It’s a great idea if you intend to change your business name, as you won’t have to file an amendment to an already registered business name.
You can file a DBA with your secretary of state’s office or through your local county clerk’s office.
4. Trademark Your Business Name
You also need to trademark your business name to ensure it remains yours. Here, you can register for a state trademark and a national trademark.
This is especially important if you plan to conduct business nationwide and you wish to prevent anyone from using your business name, logo, and other collateral associated with it.
If you wish to register for a national trademark, you can do it via the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Once you trademark your business, you can also register a domain name so that you can create a website to take your business online.
But there’s a lot more that goes into registering your business name. To learn all about it, check out this infographic by GovDocFiling below.
Brett Shapiro is a co-owner of GovDocFiling. He had an entrepreneurial spirit since he was young. He started GovDocFiling, a simple resource center that takes care of the mundane, yet critical, formation documentation for any new business entity.