How To Register a Business Name: A Quick 5-Step Guide

April 8, 2024


Congratulations on taking the exciting leap into the world of entrepreneurship. However, before your offerings can take the market by storm, one of the first steps is to secure your business name. It's your unique brand identity, what customers remember, and what builds trust and recognition.

But, business name registration can be somewhat challenging. To simplify the process, here’s a simple 5-step guide to help you get it right.

1. Brainstorm Name and Check Availability

The first step is coming up with a unique, memorable name that reflects your brand, values, and offerings. Once you brainstorm a few names, check their availability via:

  • Your state business filing authority
  • A Google search
  • DBA search
  • Trademark search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website

Checking name availability is crucial as it helps avoid potential legal issues down the road. It also gives you peace of mind knowing you’re not using a name that’s already taken.

2. Pick Your Business Structure

This determines the legal framework of your business and also impacts how you register your name. According to a GovDocFiling guide, some of your options include:

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Corporation

Each of these structures has pros and cons, so choose wisely as this affects a host of legal matters including taxes, liability, and operations.

3. File the Necessary Paperwork

Once you have a unique and available name and have chosen an ideal business structure, it's time to file the official paperwork.

This process usually takes place through your state's Secretary of State offices or website. Some states require filing for a Doing Business As (DBA) name if you're operating under a name different from your legal one.

This step gives you exclusive rights to your chosen name and allows you to conduct business legally.

4. Secure a Matching Web Address

With 91% of customers searching for your brand online first, consider claiming your online presence.

It's ideal to have a web domain that matches your business name for brand consistency and easy online searching. It’ll also make it easy to have a professional business email address and website.

5. Protect Your Business Name

Take the necessary steps to protect your business name to prevent others from using it:

  • Trademark your business name with the USPTO
  • Create branded assets like logos, color palettes, and fonts, and apply them consistently across all online and offline brand materials


Registering your business name is a key step towards launching your entrepreneurship dream. Most importantly, it ensures that you remain legally compliant.

By following these simple steps, you're a step closer to building a strong and recognizable brand.


Infographic via:

Brett Shapiro
Brett Shapiro is a co-owner of GovDocFiling. He had an entrepreneurial spirit since he was young. He started GovDocFiling, a simple resource center that takes care of the mundane, yet critical, formation documentation for any new business entity.

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