How to Register a Business Name: A Step-By-Step Guide

women standing by the registration booth at a business conference

Want to learn how to register a business name but are confused about where to begin?
We understand.

The process of registering a business in the US may be challenging especially if you’re doing it for the first time. In fact, things can get complicated when it comes to filling out the paperwork.

Knowing what steps to follow can go a long way in reducing your stress and getting your business name registration right the first time.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to registering a business name.

1. Ensure The Business Name Is Unique

As of January 2023, 420,987 business applications were made in the US.

If you don’t find out whether your business name is already taken, you could end up filing for a name that’s someone else’s.

Start with a business name search with your State Secretary’s website, then Google it and finally conduct a domain name search.

This is the most straightforward way for registering your business name at the state level.


Because once you choose your business structure, you will be required to choose a legal business name that you can use to conduct business operations.

Here, you can choose to register an LLC, Partnership, or Corporation.

A business formation service like Incfile can help when registering your legal business structure. This GovDocFiling detail Incfile review help entrepreneurs to know how they can register their business in different forms such as LLC, C Corp, S Corp or nonprofit.

3. File a ‘Doing Business As’ Name

A ‘Doing Business As’ otherwise known as a ‘fictitious name’ or an assumed name allows you to conduct business operations without using your state-registered business name.

Filing an assumed name is a great idea for sole proprietors who’d wish to use a separate name from their official name.

You can apply for a DBA through your Secretary of State’s office website or the local county clerk’s office.

4. Trademark Your Business Name

Another alternative to registering your business name is trademarking your business.

When you trademark your business name, you prevent anyone else from using the color, logos, slogans, or symbols associated with your business.

In this case, consider registering for a state and national trademark. For national trademarking, use the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Finally, register a domain name to build a website that you can use to avail your products and services to your customers online.


Do you have any questions regarding how to register a business name? We’d love to hear from you.

Get more details on how to register a business name in the US from below infographic by GovDocFiling.

Infographic via:


Author Bio:

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.