A Guide to Registering Your Business Name
Once you’ve chosen a name for your business, it is now time to move to perhaps the most essential step of the process: registering the name. Although, it’s not as difficult as the first step, this carries with it its own set of complications. But fret not. We provide you with a step by step guideon how toproceed.
Before we move on,let’s get a few fancy terms out of the way.
Doing Business Asaka DBA
Registering your business requires you to undergo a process that is referred to as ‘Doing Business as’ (DBA). You need to register a DBA name. A DBA is simply a ‘made-up’ name that is different from your own name, your partner’s name or the name of your registered LLC or corporation.
Wondering what thatdoes?
By registering for a DBA you have made the state government aware of the fact that you are doing business and using a name other than your own name or the legal name of your partner.This means that whenever you start a business that has anew company name other than your own, you will need to register a DBA, unless you are operating under a name used by your existing LLC or corporation.
Another key aspect that you should keep in mind:when a business is set up, it defaults to the name of the person who owns it, but only the name itself. If you attach a word to it then you will need to get it registered. For instance, if you start an ice cream business and your name is Smith then as long as you operate with the name you’ll be fine. But, if you add even the most generic of terms to it like ‘Alan Smith Ice Cream’, you will need to get the name registered with the relevant local government agency.
Registration is important because this name will appear on all official documents like licenses, permits and tax documents.
You can get your business registered at the state government or the county office, depending on the location of the business itself. Make sure to check out the state policies beforehand because some states don’t require registration of DBA’s.
Once you have taken care of the DBA you should also get your trademark protected. This will protect vectors, names, logos and words of your brand. It can be done for a nominal fee (less than $300). Remember that your brand elements are an asset and their protection is important, so make sure you don’t skip this step.
Registering the Domain Name
Many companies begin their business naming process by finding the right domain name first. This is because legitimate companies are expected by customers to own the ‘.com’ domain name matching their legal business name. While not strictly required, it is therefore recommended to do so.
In order to own the rights to use a domain name, you are required to open an account with a domain registrar. Examples of registrars include Godaddy.com, Name.comand Namesilo.com. These companies are governed by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and have licenses to sell you the exclusive rights to a domain name for the duration you are willing to pay for, typically a number of years. They handle all the technical aspects of a domain name, including pointing it to your company website, hosted on a web server. You can either buy the rights to a freely available domain name (i.e. one not owned by anyone else), or buy the particular domain name you want from a reputable 3rd party and have it transferred to your registrar account.