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How and Why Should You Register a New Small Business Name?

registering a business nameYou’ve got everything you need to get your new small business off the ground. Except for one. The name. You might think that the name of your business is a small concern, and you may not even have considered registering it. However, it’s very important that you register your new small business name. Here is why and how to do it.

You Need a Small Business Name for Paperwork

To get an Employer Identification Number, a D&B D-U-N-S® number, or apply for any loan, your business must have a name. The forms you will be filling out are incomplete without one. And you can’t just choose any name on the spot; you have to use the one that is registered for your business. If you’re the sole owner, the name of the business is your full name. If it’s a partnership, the name is the last names of the partners or the name given in your partnership agreement. If you have a limited liability corporation, the business’s name is the name you register with the state.

Choosing Your Small Business Name

Unless you’re happy with your business being your and your partners’ names, you will need to register a fictitious or “Doing Business As” name. This name should reflect what the business does, and should represent your company’s mission. You cannot use your company’s fictitious name on official documents unless you have registered it as the name under which your company does business.

Registering Your Small Business Name

The requirements for registering your small business name differ from state to state. has a list of links to the specific requirements for each state, so find your state and follow the link to learn what you need to do. In most cases, it is simply a matter of filling out a Fictitious Name application form, and filing it with the appropriate agency.



Over the last ten years, Craig Berger has written thousands of articles on subjects ranging anywhere from poker to real estate. Concerning finance, Craig has written on subjects such as Credit Monitoring, Credit Scores and Credit Reports for both individuals and businesses, credit cards, mortgage loans, buying gold, debt consolidation and more. Craig has a Masters degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.