Why You Should Register a Business Name
Even though you work out of your home, you may legally be required to register a business name. The name of your business is what people will remember. It also gives potential clients an idea of what product or service you have to offer. This is most true if you have given your home business a name you have made up. If, for example, you tutor children at home and you refer to your business as Tutor Hour, you should register that business name. If you’re simply known by your first and last name only, the registering of your name is not as imperative.
The reason why you would register your business name is first and foremost for protection of that name. When your business name is not yet registered, anyone else can do a search and see that the title of your business is not official. That leaves him free to use that name for himself. That’s direct competition for you; confusing and possibly taking away the clients you have already built up. If there were two other Tutor Hour businesses in the area, how would you stand out? You came up with your business name, and you need to protect it from being used elsewhere.
Often a small business owner, like yourself, would need to have a separate business checking or savings account. In order to use your business name on the checks, you need to have registered your title and shown proof to the bank. You would also want to have a registered business name when you write up contracts with clients. It is clear and legal that the contract is between if the name is registered: your business and the client. It also protects you when you sign a contract under a business name that is legally registered.
Register a business name with the office of the county clerk or, in some cases, the state office in which you do business. It is usually a legal requirement that you register your business if it’s a name that you have invented. The legal reasons for having to register the business title is to make it easy for customers to find out who the owner is of any particular business.
When you register your business’s name (that is fictitious and not merely your given name), you can set it up as “your name DBA Tutor Hour.” The DBA stands for “doing business as.” Look up the DBA requirements on how to register a business name in your state and county.
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