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Business name registration

The legal name of a business is the name (or names) of person(s) or entity who owns the business. The name of the business can be your name, you and your partner's names, or a fictitious name (Doing Business As) which is different than your name.

A business name is necessary on all legal applications, on licenses, forms, business permits and for getting tax IDs. Normally, in a Sole Proprietorship, the business name is the name and surname of the individual who owns the business. In a partnership, the business name is the legal name in the partnership agreement or the surnames of the partners. If the business is a corporation or a LLC (Limited Liability Company), the legal name is the name registered at the state government.

Now, you may want to use a business name different than your or your partner's personal name, or you may want to use a business name different than the official name of the corporation or Limited Liability Company. A fictitious name is all you need. Also known as DBA (Doing Business As), trade name or assumed name; a fictitious name is a distinctive name you choose for your business.

An individual, John Doe, may be a sole proprietor of a tax & accounting company. John may choose to have a company name other than his personal name, 'Expertax' for example. John will then need to file this business name at the state government agency or county clerk's office.

Return to article: How to Register a New Business


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