How to Register a Business Name: A Step-by-Step Guide

How You Can Start Your Business Right Away and Begin Your Dream of Entrepreneurship

Starting a business can be an exciting and challenging journey. One of the first things you'll need to do is choose and register a business name. The name you choose for your business can have a significant impact on its success, as it will represent your brand and serve as a marketing tool. In this article, we'll provide a step-by-step guide on how to register a business name.

Step 1: Choose a Business Name

Your business name should be memorable, easy to spell, and accurately reflect the products or services you offer. You can brainstorm ideas with family and friends or conduct research online to find out what names are already taken. You should also check if the domain name you want is available and make sure that your business name doesn't infringe on any trademarks.

Step 2: Check Business Name Availability

Once you have a list of potential names, you'll need to check if they are available. You can do this by conducting a search of your state's business registration database. In some states, you can also check for name availability online. For instance, if you live in Dallas Texas, you can go to the city website and click on the link for business and find all kinds of resources on the page for starting your business.

Step 3: Reserve Your Business Name

If your preferred business name is available, you may want to reserve it. This can be done by filing a name reservation request with your state's business registration office. The fee for this process varies from state to state, but it typically ranges from $10 to $50.

Step 4: Register Your Business Name

After reserving your business name, the next step is to register it. This process typically involves filing articles of incorporation, also known as a certificate of formation, with your state's business registration office. The fee for this process also varies by state, but it's usually between $50 and $200.

Step 5: Trademark Your Business Name

While registering your business name gives you the right to use it in your state, a federal trademark gives you exclusive rights to use your business name nationwide. You can file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The fee for this process ranges from $225 to $400.


Choosing and registering a business name is an important step in starting a business. The process involves several steps, including choosing a name, checking its availability, reserving it, registering it, and trademarking it. By following these steps, you can ensure that your business name is legally protected and uniquely identifies your brand.

For a list of agencies by state, view the article How to File an LLC. You will find a table of links to some of the state websites.