How to Obtain & Secure a Business Name

Registering a business name is a key part of getting a new business started. Without proper registration, you cannot accept checks made in the business's name. Also, if you don’t register your name, someone else might register it and force you to find another name. People will come to identify your business by its name, so the choice is an extremely important one.

Take out a DBA (doing business as) form from your county clerk’s office, or, if available, register your trade name in a statewide registry system. If you are doing business in more than one county, file forms in each county.

Search the Trademark Database located at the US Patent and Trademark Office website to ensure you have a unique name.

File trademark forms with the US Patent and Trademark Office to give you rights to your desired name.

Enter your business name into several search engines to make sure no one else is using it. If someone is using your name without your permission, you can ask them to cease doing so. If they continue, you can sue for trademark infringement.

Change your letterhead, email address and website. A business's name is part of its identity. Make sure that the business website, email address, business cards and products show the new business name.

Tips

  • Failing to properly protect your business name can create major headaches if someone tries to steal your business identity. Name registration is vital to protect your business.

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About the Author

Josh Banyak has been providing content for the Web and for print publications for more than five years. He has written about world travel, entertainment, the green movement, popular and high-brow culture, and sporting events. Banyak studied creative and technical writing at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minn.