How to Register a Small Home Business Name

You may not be required under your local state law to register your home business name. When you are required to register a business name, you will need to register a fictitious name, also known as "doing business as," or a trade name.

Locate Appropriate Government Agency

Each state differs on which government agency is responsible for processing the registration of a home business name. In some states, it's the Secretary of State. In many other states, it's the County Recorder. A few states require registration with the court system. You can find the appropriate government agency for where you live on the web.

Submit an Application

Each agency requires an application. Many agencies have online applications, and you can search online databases to see whether your name is available. Some states also require a signature by a Notary Public and you are required to obtain a signature and seal before you mail in the application. You will be required to submit a fee with both an online and regular application.

If you're unable, or not ready to register, your home business name, you can often reserve the business name. There are usually restrictions though and the name reservation will expire after a certain amount of time.

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