Eminent industry titan and entrepreneurial website TRUiC details the most effective tips and tools that can be used in securing your ideal business name
According to this website, you must first determine whether your prospective company name is indeed available.
This can be done via a plethora of ways, including a: business entity name search, a domain name search, and of course, a federal trademark search- depending on the company’s corporate structure and geographical location.
After safely establishing that your desired name is indeed unique, you may either:
· reserve a name,
· create a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or any sort of Business Partnership,
· register an assumed name, or
· submit for an amendment in relation to the registered legal name of your company.
Which option you choose will be highly dependent on your business entity’s commercial structure- a point further explored below.
Step 1: Ensuring Your Desired Business Name is Available
Once you have discovered your ideal business name, you will need to follow a couple of easy steps in order to ensure that you are able to effectively secure that name for yourself and prevent any other corporations in your state from registering it as their own in the future.
Firstly, you should start by performing a business name search; this is typically done on your State’s Secretary of State website and is extremely important as it ensures your filing will not be later denied due to a non-unique name.
Moving on, you should check whether your prospective business name is available as a web domain (URL). As TRUiC brilliantly points out, this is an important step to take regardless of whether you are currently planning on developing your own business website or not. This is because you may simply wish to prevent any other companies from using it for themselves in the future.
Furthermore, you may perform a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search system (USPTO) in order to find out whether your desired name is available for trademarking.
Whether you actually choose to apply for a trademark after that should be determined on a case by case basis. Pragmatically, its relatively high cost will often make it a rather inaccessible option for most small businesses. Regardless, knowing whether you can potentially trademark your prospective business name in the future or not can provide a plethora of benefits and allow you to make transparent, informed decisions with no surprises or bumps down the road later on.
Lastly, try browsing the web. Typing in your name in the most popular search engines will quickly allow you to determine the extent of any sort of name similarity in your market and act accordingly.
Step 2: Determining Your Business Name Needs
Determining what exactly to do with your unique business name will be dependent on your company’s chosen business entity- as different corporate structures provide different naming rules.
For example, a business registered as a Limited Liability Company must incorporate the term ‘Limited Liability Company’ or any of its commonly used abbreviations in its name.
A C Corporation, on the other hand, will need to contain the word ‘corporation’, ‘incorporated’, ‘company’, ‘limited’ or any abbreviations of the aforementioned terms in its business name in order to satisfy its necessary legal formalities.
Lastly, businesses operating under a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership must include the surnames of their respective owners.
Step 3: Actually Registering Your Business Name
Once you have established that your prospective business name is unique and determined your particular business’s needs, you need to actually register your business name.
To summarize the points briefly touched on above, this can include:
a) filing a name reservation- allowing you to find a unique name for your business without necessarily having to immediately create your corporation or LLC,
b) forming a Limited Liability Company- as this will inevitably involve registering your business name in the process,
c) registering a DBA- enabling your existing or brand new business to ‘assume’ and operate under a different name other than its legal one,
d) forming a corporation- as with a LLC, filing your business name is a required part of the corporation registration procedure, and
e) submitting an amendment; this will require you to file your specific state’s Certificate of Amendment in conjunction with the relevant filing fees in accordance with your specific corporate structure.