How to Register a Business Name: A Simple Guide For Everyone

May 4, 2023

How to Register a Business Name: A Simple Guide For Everyone

One of the struggles aspiring entrepreneurs, retailers, and other individuals interested in starting a small business face is learning how to register a business name.

Yet, this is one of the most important steps that you must never skip.

Here is why.

According to statistics by the United Census Bureau, over 5 million new business applications were filed in 2022 alone.

What does this mean?

Your business name risks being used by other aspiring entrepreneurs if you don’t register it now.

Here is a simple step-by-step process on how to accomplish this.

Key Takeaways on Registering a Suitable Name for Your Business:

  1. Decide Your Business Structure: Determine the type of business structure you want to form, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship. This will determine the paperwork, fees, and licenses you need.
  2. File a "Doing Business As" (DBA): Register a fictitious name at the state level to avoid legal issues. A DBA is separate from your legal business name and is commonly used for Sole Proprietorship businesses or if you plan to change your name in the future.
  3. Trademark Your Business Name: Protect your business name, logos, symbols, colors, slogans, etc., by registering a trademark at the state or federal level. This prevents others from using your business name without your permission.
  4. Register a Domain Name and Claim Social Media Accounts: To establish an online presence, register a domain name and create social media accounts in your business name. This makes it easier for customers to find your business online.
  5. Choose a Unique and Relevant Name: Ensure that your business name is distinctive and appropriate. Refer to resources such as GovDocFiling's infographic for more details on registering a business name.

By following this simple guide, aspiring entrepreneurs can learn how to register their business names and protect their brand identity.

Want to Close Bigger Deals?

1. Decide Your Business Structure

The first step to learning how to register a business is to decide whether you want to form a Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Partnership, or Sole Proprietorship.

Regardless of the business structure you choose, you will be required to file paperwork, pay the required fees, and obtain a business license.

If you plan to form a Limited Liability Company—which is the most popular type of business in the US—an LLC formation service can help you complete the whole process. This guide from GovDocFiling can be of great help.

2. File a “Doing Business As” (DBA)

A “Doing Business As” or assumed name is a fictitious name you register at the state level to avoid legal troubles.

Basically, this is a common name, separate from your legal business name, that people use to refer to your business.This tactic works especially well for Sole Proprietorship businesses.

You can also register a “Doing Business As” if you want to change your name in the future. 

3. Trademark Your Business Name

In a world where competition is high, you must ensure no one is using your business name to undertake business operations out there without your knowledge.

When you trademark your business name, you prevent anyone from using your business name including all entities tied to it such as logos, symbols, colors, slogans, etc.

You can register for a trademark at the state or federal level.

4. Register a Domain Name and Claim Social Media Accounts

In today’s digital world where almost everything is done via the internet, you must ensure your customers can find your business when they search online.

This is why you need to design a website and have a social media presence.

It’s important to register a domain name and create social media accounts in your name early enough.

Winding Up

Hopefully, this simple guide has taught you how to register a business name.

As a rule, you should always ensure your business name is unique and relevant. Get more details on how to properly register a business name from this infographic by GovDocFiling.

Starting a Retail Business - Infographic by GovDocFiling.com
Infographic via: GovDocFiling.com

Author Bio:

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. 

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