How to Secure a Business Name – Chron

When you are starting a business, one of the first steps you have to take is choosing a name for your business. Picking a business name relates to all of the other steps you have to go through to register your business with the city, state and federal governments. Choosing a name for your business and securing it or registering it as your own to use are two different actions. When you secure a business name, it is official that you have the legal right to use the name. Since states do not allow two or more businesses to operate in the state with the same name, you need to choose a name that is not already in use.
Search the Secretary of State database of your state for the business name, using the business search option. Most state offices have online databases where you can search for the business name you are considering.
Type in the name of the business you want to secure and hit the search button. Review the list that appears from the search to see if the names are identical to the one you want to register.
Register the name with the state. The Secretary of State supplies business owners with the paperwork and list of documents you need to complete and submit to register your business name. If the name is already in use, the state will not allow you to register the business name, so the application asks for second and third business name options in case the first choice is in use.
Contact the business license office for the county or city where your business is. Obtain a DBA, or doing business as, application. This registers the business name with the local city or county, so the local authorities are aware of the business and its legal name.
Contact the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, online or by phone to trademark the business name. You can only trademark a name that is not currently trademarked or in use by another business in the country.
Writer Bio
Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.
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