There are millions of business establishments in the US and new ones are coming up every year. There were 5.4 million new business registration applications in 2021 alone.

How can you make a name for your business and get people to remember it when there are so many other businesses you’re competing with?

Well, choosing a catchy, unique, and memorable name is a good place to start.

A business name is your identity, something people remember your business by. Some business names like Xerox become synonymous with the type of business, while others are lost forever, not remembered by many.

Clearly, a business name has the power to make your brand a household name or have it lost in a sea of businesses. That’s why it is important to choose the right name and register it before someone else snatches it up.

Here’s a guide on how to register a business name to help you out.

1. Choose the Right Business Name

The first step in this guide on how to register a business name is of course choosing a unique name for your business.

Ideally, your business name should represent your business and be relevant. It should also be short, easy to spell, and easy to remember if you want it to become a household name.

You can’t use a name that is being used by any other business in your state, so you need to check your state’s database to check for the availability of your chosen name.

2. Register Your Business

Once you’ve found the perfect name for your business, you need to choose a business entity and register it with your state. The most popular business entities are—Sole Proprietorship, LLC, Partnership, and Corporation.

You will need to check the specific requirements of your state and file the paperwork with a complete application. You also need to obtain an EIN and get the required licenses and permits before starting your business.

When you register your business, you will also need to provide your business name. As such, your business name automatically gets registered when you register your business.

There are, however, other ways of registering your business name, which we’ll discuss below.

3. File for Doing Business As (DBA)

If you want to use a different name than your legal business name for running your day-to-day business operations, you can file a DBA.

This allows you to use an assumed name (aka trade name) that you can use to run your business.

The reason many business owners opt for this method of registering a business name is that this allows them to use a short and simple name. The legal business names can be long and might indicate the type of business using words like LLC or incorporated.

Sole proprietors may especially prefer this as in some states they are required to use their personal name for their business. To maintain their privacy, they may choose to run their business under an assumed name.

4. Apply for a Trademark

Trademarking is not just a way to register a business name, but to protect your name and business identity from being copied by others.

You can trademark your business name, logo, slogan, colors, and other brand identity elements to protect your business. You may apply for a federal or state trademark, as needed.

5. Secure a Domain Name

Every business needs a well-designed website with a domain name that matches its business name. When you register your business name, you should also secure a domain name that you can use for your website.

A domain name is the identifying address of your website on the internet and should ideally be as similar to your business name as possible.

Ready to Register a Business Name?

Hopefully, by now, you have all the information you need on how to register a business name. Check out this infographic below if you need further guidance.