How To Register Your Business Name
When naming your business, you probably spent sleepless nights, stirring your creative energy to come up with a name that would eventually become the buzzword in the town. Once you have shortened your name list from 100 to 1, and you have rattled the creative sections of your brain enough to come up with a gem of a word, you are left with an unanswered question, “what to do with this name?” How can you make this name legally belong to your business and safeguard your startup?
Register Your Business Name
Some entrepreneurs launch their business without a though about registering their name. This is a business sin. Registering the name of your business is of the utmost importance. Why is it that important? Well, t’s the law. Simple enough right?
When registering the name, there are 3 options, and depending on the individual nature of these routes, you can decide which method of registration suits your business the best.
1) Doing Business As (DBA)
This is the easiest and most simple way of having your business name registered. DBA is appropriate for sole proprietorships who don’t want to get a formal corporation. For example, if your name is Matthew Johnson, and you want to run a dessert shop business by the name of “Johnson Delights”, then you would have to file a DBA under that name. Another situation that demands for a DBA is when you have a LLC. Take for example the LLC that is named “Matthew Johnson, LLC”, but you want to use the name, “J’s Delights”, then you would be required to get a DBA for that name as well.
2) Official State Registry
Now if you want to get serious and form a LLC or Corporation for your business, your business name is registered with a single State. This name cannot be identical or similar to any businesses in the state you’re operating in. This should not be a problem for you if you are running a local business such as a restaurant. However, in the case that you are aiming to expand your business to new territories, or doing business online, then attaining brand protection in all states is necessary to protect you.
3) Trademark Name With The Federal Government
As mentioned before, if you want your business to spread out into the different corners of the country, then you need to take extra measures to ensure that your business name is safeguarded. This can be achieved in the form of a trademark. Check out the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to get started and you should do a little bit of research on your name before applying for a trademark. If you find that your business name is already in existence, then your application will be rejected immediately.
People don’t pay enough attention to securing the names of their business. New entrepreneurs need to focus on taking the right legal steps to use their business names. This will help your business to get off to a flying start, and eliminate legal complications in the future.