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How to Register a Business Name: The 2024 Essential Guide

Starting a business involves a series of steps, including registering a business name. In 2023, 5.5 million new business applications were filed across the US.

You can elevate your brand to household status by strategically choosing a business name. To guide you through the process, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to register a business name.

1. Selecting the Ideal Business Name

Your business name should reflect the products or services you offer. It should also be unique, memorable, and easy to spell.

Before you move to the next step, ensure that another person hasn’t registered the same name. You can check your state’s database to confirm the business name availability.

2. Registering the Business

You need to choose a business structure, and then register it with the state. The common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, cooperation, and cooperative.

The structure you choose and the state will determine the required paperwork. However, you’ll apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) so your business can pay federal and state taxes.

You’ll also need to get the relevant permits and licenses. This step is a bit rigorous, but professional agencies like GovDocFiling can assist in getting EIN tax ID for your business.

3. Applying for a DBA (Doing Business As)

Although your business has its legal name, you can apply for a DBA if you want to operate under a trade name. Let’s say your business is registered as Modern Car Garage LLC in Jacksonville. You can apply to do business as Jacksonville Auto Service.

Unlike your legal entity name, there’s less restriction in choosing a trade name. Multiple companies can have the same name in a state.

An advantage of getting a trade name is that you’ll be able to open a bank account. Also, it enables you to alert the public of a new business line that’s not reflected by your entity name.

4. Applying for a Trademark

At the federal level, trademarks prevent other businesses from using the name of your products, services, and business. If your business uses a registered trademark, it’ll be liable for trademark infringement. Hence the need to check the trademark database before settling for a name.

5. Securing a Domain Name

Your business needs an online presence, and it starts with getting a domain name. The name should closely align with your entity name, DBA, or trademark. If the one you prefer isn’t available, you can ask a domain broker to contact the owner to negotiate a purchase.

Final Words

We’ve outlined five easy steps to register a business name. Taking these steps ensures that your business is legally compliant. Remember to choose names that are unique and easy to recall.



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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.