Your business's name is intimately tied to its successful branding and impacts whether it succeeds financially. If you want to name your Connecticut business anything other than your own name, you must file a trade name certificate, also known as a doing business as certificate, with the Connecticut town clerk in the location where your business will operate. The name of a limited liability company or limited liability partnership is filed with the Connecticut Secretary of State when the business is formed.
Determine where within the state of Connecticut your business will operate. If the area spans more than one town, identify all towns where your business will have a presence.
Search business trade names already registered in each town in which your business will operate to ensure your chosen name is not already in use. Some Connecticut towns, such as Stamford and Norwalk, have online databases that facilitate this research. Others, such as Bridgeport and Fairfield, require manual searches.
Execute the trade name registration forms according to their individual instructions. Each town has its own forms and instructions may differ, however all trade name certificates require the full names and addresses of the business owners. They also need the signatures of all business owners -- or, in the case of a limited liability company or limited liability partnership, the signature of an authorized officer. All trade name certificates must be notarized.
File your certificates with the appropriate town clerk's office, according to its individual requirements, and pay the required filing fees. Town filing requirements differ. For example, Bridgeport requires three original forms filed in person at the clerks' office while Stamford requires only one original and allows filing either in person or by mail. Each clerk's office sets its own filing fee, so these will differ as well.
If you intend to form your Connecticut business as a limited liability company, limited liability partnership or limited partnership, you must register the business as such with the Connecticut Secretary of State before filing a trade name certificate.
An attorney for more than 18 years, Jennifer Williams has served the Florida Judiciary as supervising attorney for research and drafting, and as appointed special master. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Jacksonville University, law degree from NSU's Shepard-Broad Law Center and certificates in environmental law and Native American rights from Tulsa University Law.