Register your business name
Naming your business is an important brand exercise, but if you choose to name your business as something other than your personal name, you must register it with the appropriate authorities.
This process is known as the registration of your name "Doing Business As" (DBA).
What is a name of "Doing business as"?
A fictitious name (or assumed name, trade name or DBA name) is a business name that is different from your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation.
It is important to keep in mind that when a business is formed, the legal name of the business becomes the name of the person or entity that owns the business, unless you decide to change the name and register it as a DBA name.
For example, consider this scenario: John Smith establishes a paint business. Instead of operating under his own name, John prefers to name his business: "John Smith Painting." This name is considered a false name and John must register it in the corresponding local government agency.
The legal name of your company is required on all government forms and applications, including your application for tax identification, licenses and employer permits.
Do I need a name of "Doing business like"?
A DBA is needed in the following scenarios:
Unique owners or associations: if you want to start a business with a name that is not your real name, you must register a DBA so you can do business as another name.
Existing limited liability companies or partnerships: if your company is already set up and you want to do business with a name other than your corporation or LLC name, you must register a DBA.
Note: Not all states require the registration of fictitious trade names or DBAs.
How to register your name of "Doing business as"
The registration of your DBA is done with the county clerk's office or with the government of your state, depending on where your business is located. There are some states that do not require the registration of fictitious business names.
Video credits to Lisa Wadlington YouTube channel