In most states of the U.S., you can have both a legal name and a brand name (DBA) for your LLC. When you are deciding on a name for your business, you need to give it much thought. The brand name and legal name do not have to be different if you don’t want to.
What is the legal name?
The legal name of your business is the one that will be listed on the formation documents of the LLC.
What must you remember when you choose a legal name for your business?
If your business is an LLC, the legal name of your business must always include the phrase ‘limited liability company’ or the abbreviations LLC, or L.L.C.
You are only allowed to use the word ‘company’ after your business’s legal name if your business is a corporation.
There are words and phrases that you are not allowed to include in the name. The name of your business must in no way resemble or confuse people into thinking that they are a government agency.
If you are using any restricted words like bank, attorney, university, doctor, etc., then you need to provide additional paperwork with your application that proves that a licensed individual is part of your business.
Every state has different restrictions and online guidelines are available for all 50 states.
How can you find and reserve the legal name for your business?
After you have decided what business structure you will use for your new business, you can either brainstorm a name or use a business name generator to help find a suitable name. You can then enter the name and the state into the name generator search bar and if it’s not taken you can secure the name and your domain.
What is the brand name?
The brand name of your business is the name that your clients will know your business by. It will also be the name that you will use when you market your business. The brand name or trading name is also called a DBA (doing business as).
You can operate under a different name to the legal name of your business in most states, but you are required to register the DBA, together with the legal name when the business is formed. Like the legal name, the DBA also needs to be a unique name that is not used by any other business in the state.
What are the advantages of having a brand name?
If you want to operate under another name than your legal name, then a DBA also offers you anonymity, especially if you have registered the business’s legal name with your name. If you want to rebrand your business a brand name can be invaluable because it can define what you sell.
Which states don’t allow DBAs?
Kansas, New Mexico, and South Carolina do not offer the option of having a DBA.
What is the purpose of having a brand name?
This allows you to use another name other than your business’s legal name. You will still have to choose a legal name for your business, but that will only be used on state documents.
Is a brand name legally required for every business?
DBA’s are not a legal requirement, but most sole proprietorships, partnerships and are formed using the business owner’s name, or the names of the partner. They then opt to file for a DBA, if they don’t want to trade under that name. Many LLCs also prefer to file for a DBA.
Where does a DBA need to be filed?
Depending on the state where the business is located, you will be required to file for a DBA with either the state or county office. Several states require that a DBA be filed with both the county and state.
Can you change the brand name of your business?
Yes, you can change its brand name. You just have to file an application and pay the relevant fee.
Visit this site to find out how you can create a legal and brand name for your business. Also, from here you can secure these names and your domain.