Primary business name

Choosing a business name is important. In fact, it’s a legal requirement for both state and federal governments. And you must choose a business name that doesn’t mimic another business’. It should not also be already registered by another business person as their domain name. The answers to the frequently asked questions about choosing a business name below will give you more insights:

What key factor should I put into perspective before I choose a business name?

Choose a business name that reflects what your business is all about, and ensure to keep it unique. The idea is to choose a business name that is both original and has a high-recall value. With regards to originality, choose a name that is distinguishable from the competition. Regarding recall value, choose a business name that your customers will find no problems recalling. An original name will help you dodge problems related to trademark.

An original name

Are there any practical and legal issues to know before I chose a business name?

Yes, there are many legal and practical issues that you need to acquaint yourself with before choosing a business name.

Firstly, the name should be unique, which means no other business should be using it.

Secondly, you should know about trademark. An unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark of any other business is considered trademark infringement and could lead to punitive actions when found out.

Thirdly, if you’re thinking of creating a business website, you should ascertain that the domain name is available.

Fourth, you have to abide by the state’s naming requirements if you plan to start a company, corporation or partnership.

What method can I use to ascertain whether the business name I’ve chosen is available or not?

Pick the best name from your shortlisted business names and conduct a search on the U.S. Patent and Trade Office’s (USPTO) database of registered trademarks. You’ll then need to search business name registers. You can achieve this by typing out the words ‘’business name registers’’ in the Google search bar. You can also use other search engines. If you find that there are no conflicting names, use it. We recommend you to check Shopify’s business name generator, it will help you come up with a creative name and at the same time to check it’s availability.

Business name registration After I choose a business name, must I register it?

Business name registration is a must, especially if you intend to create a corporation, a limited partnership or liability company. If you intend to use a fictitious name, most state or local laws require that you register your business name separately.

When looking to choose a business name, can I include the initials Inc., LLP or LLC at the tail end?

The kind of business you intend to run will determine whether to include the Inc., LLP or LLC at the tail end of the name. You can’t just include them in your business name. Those initials indicate the style of ownership for your business. They aren’t part of the business name. Follow the state’s rules and file the required article before you include them in your business name.

Legal business name: What does that mean when I want to choose a business name?

That is the official name of the individual or body that owns the business. For example, if it’s a sole proprietorship, your official name is the legal business name. If it’s a general partnership, the legal name will be what all the parties in the partnership agree upon. If the business is a limited partnership or a corporation, the legal name would be the name you registered with the state.

When scouring the internet to choose a business name, I came across the term fictitious name. What is it?

A fictitious name is a name other than the primary business name. Some states allow people to use fictitious business names. But to use it legally, you’ll have to register it with the state first. It’s typically accompanied by Doing Business As(DBA) or assumed business name.