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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.


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