A trade name, also known as DBA, is the name that a business trades under for commercial purposes. In most cases, a business name differs from the trade name.
In this article, we’ll take you through the process of registering a trade name for business.
Before we go on to state how to register a ‘trade name’, let’s go on to define a trade name.
What is a Trade Name For Business?
A trade name otherwise known as a trading name or business name is an alias used by companies that do not want to operate under their registered company name.
According to thebalancesmb, a trade name is a name a business uses to identify itself to the public. It is also known as “fictitious name”, “DBA” or “D/B/A.”(Doing Business As)
A trade name is usually registered with the county where the business is located, as a trade name.
Why Do Companies Need Trade Names?
Ideally, most companies choose to have both a legal name and a trade name. Their legal name is the one that appears on government and legal forms, while the trade name is mostly used for advertising and trade purposes with clients, vendors, customers, and the public. It is what the public sees on adverts, websites, and even their products.
For example, if a company is organized as an LLC with the name “RAGS Collection,” and the company runs a footwear store called chuchu.exq, the footwear store is run under a trade name while RAGS Collection remains the business name.
How To Register A Trade Name
Once you’ve set up a company and decided to adopt a business name for either the company or any of the subsidiaries, you must file a trade name.
To register a DBA, all you need to do is go to the county recorder of the state or country where your business is located and ask for a trade name or fictitious name filing form.
This process is usually a simple one, and in most cases, you can do it without the services of an attorney.
The process of registering a trade name is quite different from registering a business name where you need to tender all forms of legal documents. Registering a trade name might just require where you live, but it doesn’t offer any legal protection, unlike the business name.
Don’t forget to add some extra bucks because this goes for a fee.
It will also be a great idea to include your trade name on legal documents while registering your company’s business name. This makes your business completely identifiable.
Step to follow in order to register your trade name
Each state has its own requirements for registering a trade name, here is an outline of the steps to be followed:
#1 Check if your desired trade name is available
This is the first step to take if you wish to register a trade name. This stage enables you to run a search through the state business name website to see whether your intended trade name is available or already in use. If it is already in use, you’ll have to choose another name else your application won’t be processed.
#2 Find out your state agency that registers businesses
Ideally, every business operating in each state registers each business under that state agency that has jurisdiction over businesses. You can do a google search to find the agency in your state.
#3 Fill the required forms
Most states demand that business owners who wish to register a trade name should fill a form or certificate that requires them to provide information like; the legal name of the business, its location, and phone number. Some states might also ask you to indicate your business status in the form.
#4 Submit the forms
After filling the form, the next and final step to take is to submit the forms electronically or by mail depending on your state’s rule.
It is very important you adhere to the state rule while filling the form. If filled improperly, the state might reject your application, and this means you have to start your application all over again.
Must I Have a Trade Name?
You don’t always need a trade name. However, if you desire to be known with a name quite different from your business name, that’s highly accepted.
Additionally, having a DBA makes sense for some business situations like when you are running a Limited Liability Company or when you are running a sole proprietorship or partnership with a name other than your name, you can decide to register a trade name.
How To Choose A Trade Name
The first thing to do before registering a trade name is to ensure that the bane is actually available. You can do this by searching through the state business name website to ensure that your desired name is available.
Secondly, ensure that your intended trade name is clear, catchy, easy to pronounce and leaves the right impression to the potential customers.
Having a trading name does not take the place of your business name, it only serves as the name you shoot out to the public. So, while choosing a trade name make sure you choose one that conveys the right message and sticks to the mind.