Complying with the few mandatory legal procedures for naming your small business is relatively simple. For some very small, local businesses, meeting these requirements and doing nothing more may be adequate.
In a nutshell, trademark law—which is really a catchall term referring to a large body of statutes, regulations, and court decisions—prevents a business from using a name or logo that is likely to be confused with one that a competing business already uses. This general rule applies both to the name
You don’t want to start work with someone else’s trademark. For this reason, it’s important to conduct a name search before you lock in the name of your business. This is especially true if you choose an unusual or unique business name that will also be used to identify your products—Z Pop, Inc., for example, to sell a new carbonated drink called Z Pop.
Any trade name that doesn’t contain the legal names of the owners (for sole proprietorships or general partnerships) or that doesn’t match the company’s corporate, limited partnership, or LLC name on file with the state, is called a fictitious business name (FBN).
Like many other business owners, you may decide to operate a website. If so, you’ll need to select a domain name—a unique address that computers understand and customers can use to find you. The issues involved in choosing a domain name range from getting your hands on an available one to avoiding