Small LLC owners sometimes believe they must register their business name separately from registering their LLC. This assumption is a carryover from sole proprietorships, for which a “Doing Business As” or DBA name is necessary before you may begin operating your business using a moniker other than your real name.
This is, however, not a requirement for LLCs in any state in the US. Though you may register your business name before you are prepared to submit your LLC paperwork in order to reserve it, this is never necessary. In fact, LLC filings are simple enough that taking time to reserve the business name will only delay your eventual filing.
Filing your completed LLC paperwork — including your Articles of Organization and any other related paperwork required by your state — is enough to register your business name automatically; there is no separate filing to submit. If your Articles of Organization have been accepted by the Secretary of State, your business name is already registered.
You can form an LLC yourself even if you have no formal legal or business training. A limited liability company is the easiest type of business entity to create and requires only five steps:
- Choose a business name that complies with state law
- File your Articles of Organization and pay the applicable filing fee
- Draft an operating agreement
- Publish notice of your intent to form a limited liability company
- Gather any required licenses or permits needed by your business area
Try to think of between five and ten names for your business before beginning your search. After you have compiled your list, conduct a business name search to ensure that your chosen business name is not already in use.
Though this may sound simple, there is no single central database of registered business names. Instead, you will have to conduct your business name search in phases. If you are not comfortable performing the search yourself, hire a business law attorney who will know how to search for business names for you.
Setting up a limited liability company is similar to incorporating a business. Both business structures offer you limited liability, but the LLC is much simpler to form. Because the method of company formation you select has a large impact on the function and growth of your business, ensure that the LLC is the appropriate entity before beginning the process.
The basics of how to start an LLC can be summarized in five steps:
Choosing your business’s name is one of the more important decisions you must make when starting a home business. This name will be at the core of your company’s branding and will generally be the first thing potential customers see when evaluating your company. Selecting the correct name for your home business is about more than just finding a clever or catchy title; you must also ensure that your chosen name does not infringe on any other business’s trademarks.