The benefit to your business name is in the marketing. Your business name is the first form of contact that potential clients will have with your business. So naming your business something that identifies with your target market is extremely important.
Your business name also serves as a unique identifier that can differentiate you from other companies on the market. If you think of some of the most popular brands and business names, they often stand out as unique, which plays a huge role in successful marketing.
It’s a state requirement that your business be named by the time you register it. Each state has its own business naming requirements. Before naming your business, you will need to ensure that no one in your state is using the same business name.
If you’re a business owner seeking to register your business as a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation, your state may require you to identify the specific legal entity in your registered name. For example, if you intend to open a bakery called “Sweets Bakery” and that bakery operates as a limited liability company, you would have to name your bakery “Sweets Bakery, LLC” or “Sweets Bakery, Limited Liability Company”. If you open a real estate corporation called “Sky High Realty,” your name would need to be registered as “Sky High Realty, Inc.” or “Sky High Realty, Corp.”
Be aware of your state’s laws and requirements for dealing with the general public. Some business owners drop the required legal entity identifiers when dealing with other companies, which could land you in hot water. You need to be aware that there are laws requiring you to identify your business correctly. If you don’t, you can be subject to liability. Don’t get caught in a situation where someone claims you misrepresented your role or your company to them.
Although similar, your business name is different from your trade name. A business name is solely the name that is used to get your business registered with the state. However, a fictitious business name, trade name, or DBA is entirely different. All three terms are used interchangeably to describe a pseudonym that your business operates under. For example, if you did want your hypothetical bakery to operate under Sweets Bakery, rather than Sweets Bakery, LLC, you would file a DBA to register your trade name. Some businesses don’t obtain a fictitious business name at all, instead choosing to operate under the company’s registered name.
By now you know that the definition of a business name is the name that your company is registered under with the state. Your business name gives you the opportunity to identify with your target market as their first point of contact. Be sure to identify the legal entity that your business will operate as when you register your business and when dealing with potential clients, or you may be subject to liability.
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Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
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