Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Choosing the name of your business is one of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner. The decision requires some critical thought, research and additional steps to ensure that once you choose your business’s name, that name is yours and protected throughout the life of your business. The following are a few considerations when choosing your business’s name:
1. Do Your Research:
Before choosing and registering your business’s name, you should ensure that your name is unique to your business and not being used by others. This will help you avoid confusion when consumers, for example, search for your business’s name online.
A great place to begin is always a quick Google search of the name. Beyond that initial search, the Illinois Secretary of State’s website allows you to search for incorporated (registered corporations and limited liability companies) business names.
What the Illinois Secretary of State may not capture are assumed names (or“DBAs”) of Illinois sole proprietors. To search for a DBA, you should run an online search through the county clerk’s website in the county where your business will operate.
Finally, it is always helpful to also run a search through the US Patent and Trademark Office’s database to confirm whether your proposed business’s name is registered as a trademark by another individual.
2. Register the Name with the State and/or County:
If you choose to remain a sole proprietorship or general partnership (rather than incorporate), you may choose to file a DBA with the County Clerk’s office in the county where your business will operate.
If your business is incorporated as a legal entity, you may not need to register your business’s name separately unless you want to operate your business using a different name than the legal entity’s name. If that is the case, you should register the DBA with the Illinois Secretary of State.
3. Trademark the Name: Your business name holds immense value, and trademarking your business’s name is an additional and important step to protect your business name from misappropriation and confusion in the consumer market. Please contact Serna Legal Services at (312) 601-9859 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about choosing and registering your business’s name. Remember that with Serna Legal Services, your business will ¡Celebra! Legal Services!
This content is published by Serna Legal Services, LLC and is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing this content, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the publisher. The content should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.