Table of Contents
Write a comment
coming up with a business name is one of the most important steps in forming a business your name affects your branding and your image as a company let's get you started on the right path to picking a solid business name in Alabama Alabama is an excellent place to form a new business with the third lowest tax burden in the country Alabama boasts inexpensive labor and a great cost of living every state has slightly different requirements for naming a business follow along closely to learn the required steps for naming your business in the state of Alabama in this video we will go over how to name your business based on your business structure branding and brainstorming business names and how to check your names availability be sure to ask yourself the seven essential questions we provide before you make this critical business decision 1 choose a business structure you'll need to determine your company's business structure before deciding a name as different business structures have different naming requirements there are formal business structures like LLC's and corporations and informal business structures like sole proprietorships and general partnerships in this first section we'll talk about the naming requirements of each informal business structures if you are operating under a sole proprietorship your company must operate under the surname of the owner in order to use a different name the owner must file a DBA or doing business as also known as an assumed name fictitious name or trade name general partnerships are similar to sole proprietorships with the difference being that partnerships consist of two or more people a general partnerships name must consist of the surnames of all the partners and must include the words general partnership GP or GP with the period after each letter like a sole proprietorship if you want to operate under a different name you need to file for a DBA LLC or limited liability companies if your company is an LLC your name must include the phrase limited liability company or one of its abbreviations LLC or L LLC with a period in between each letter restricted words such as attorney law office etc may require additional paperwork and may also need a licensed professional to be part of the LLC your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with the governor agencies such as FBI Treasury or State Department here are some state specific requirements for Alabama LLC's in Alabama you must reserve your LLC's name online or by mail before registering it any banking related name needs a letter from the Alabama banking commissioner's office and any insurance related name needs a letter from the Alabama Insurance Commissioner's Office your name cannot include any words that indicate or imply that the LLC is engaged in a business that is not authorized by law to pursue corporations if your business is a corporation or a c-corp your name must include the words corporation company incorporated limited or an abbreviation of any of these here are some state specific requirements for Alabama corporations you must reserve your corporation's name online or by mail before registering it restricted words such as attorney law office etc may require additional paperwork and may also need a licensed professional to be a part of the corporation your name cannot include words that could confuse your corporation with a government agency such as FBI Treasury or State Department any banking related name needs a letter from the Alabama banking commissioner's office and any insurance related name needs a letter from the Alabama Insurance Commissioner's Office your name cannot include any words to indicate or imply that the corporation is engaged in a business that is not authorized by law to pursue when choosing your business structure you may hear the term S corp which isn't actually a business structure but a type of tax structure used by an LLC or corporation if your business is taxed as an S corp follow Alabama's naming requirements for the business structure you chose for all business structures your name must be distinguishable from other existing businesses in Alabama a couple examples of names not being distinguishable would be Auto Store Inc versus auto store LLC the only difference in the name is the business structure changing the words the and or a in front of your business name does not make it distinguishable for example the auto store Inc auto store Inc and an auto store Inc are not distinguishable from each other using an ampersand instead of and or vice versa such as Smith and Smith is not different enough from Smith and myth using an ampersand your business name can't have words that sound identical to another business with a different spelling boys Inc with an S and boys Inc with a Z are not distinguishable to branding and brainstorming when picking your business name you'll also want to consider whether your legal business name will be your brand name or if you will have a separate brand name your legal name is what is listed on your formation documents this includes words required based on your business structure such as LLC Corp or company your brand name is the name you use to market your company and the name that clients and customers see and use when deciding what to name your business decide on your branding strategy using these three options do you want your business's legal name to also be your brand name such as Tiffany and Co do you want your legal business name to be different from your brand name hewlett-packard is HP do you want to have a legal business name and several different brand names Gap Inc is their legal business name but their brand names are GAAP Old Navy and Banana Republic while you're thinking about how to brand your business start brainstorming some business names you should start by brainstorming at least four to five potential names the goal is to come up with a few catchy and creative names then check to see if they are available a good brainstorming session should last 15 to 45 minutes and it's important that you're comfortable think snacks water a comfy place to sit and your favorite pen use a timer and don't stop till it goes off if you need more time take a 15-minute break walk around a bit grab some more water and start again after doing some brainstorming and coming up with a list of a few business names to choose from ask yourself these questions to help pick a name or refine some of the names you have is my name simple and shorter rather than longer a simple name will be easier to remember easier to talk about and easier to write you can avoid some hassle by having a simple and short name shorter business names are easier to remember and generally simpler than long business names if your business name is too long there's a possibility that your clients call you by a nickname that you have no control over and doesn't do your business any favors how does the name sound when I say it out loud don't just read the name actually say it out loud say your name slow and with a different emphasis to make sure it doesn't end up sounding like something else is it easy to
Thanks for your comment Rocky Nishina, have a nice day.
- Fletcher Ehlen, Staff Member
welcome to how to register a business name in Alabama presented by starting your business comm this video is a part of a series of videos on starting a business in Alabama after deciding on the legal entity of your business it's time to decide on a name while it's not required we would first recommend checking to see if there is a trademark protecting the name you want to use here's a quick guide on how to check first go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office at uspto.gov when you get to USPTO click on trademarks you can learn more about trademarks here but to search names that are currently trademarked click on the search trademark database next click on the basic word mark search in the search term field type in the business name you want to use in this example let's enter mr. handyman and click Submit there are a number of listings that come up with a search and sometimes they are similar and sometimes not with this particular name there are a few causes of concern that would likely want you to have a legal professional review before attempting to register your name there are a few names that include mr. handyman along with some additional words that are probably safe to use the names in this column that are dead are likely safe too as the previous registrant did not renew their name now here is a live listing for mr. handyman to be the most concerned about you can click on that listing to see more information in some cases a name that is trademarked can still be used since trademarks are grouped in categories and what the USPTO calls classes and there can typically be a trademark name in unrelated classes in this example mr. handyman is registered under home repair and general maintenance services within the goods and services category you could potentially register mr. handyman if your business operated outside of home repair and general maintenance services if you do a search and the name you want is registered you may want to consider getting professional help if you don't you may invest a lot of time and money establishing a business name that you may have to later abandon once the trademark search is out of the way the process of registering a business name will vary depending on the type of organization chosen first off sole proprietorships and partnerships do not have to register a business name in Alabama they can but are not required to register their name with the Alabama Secretary of State you may want to do so as some banks or vendors will require one to certify their a registered business in Alabama the name has to be unique to other registered business names and the search can be done at the Alabama Secretary of State's office for the exact link visit our site at starting your business comm slash Alabama the cost of file is under $30 note that this does not keep anyone from using the name you choose we have more information at starting your business calm about protecting your business name with a trademark to register a name for a corporation or LLC you must also have a unique name at the time of filing which can be checked by visiting the Alabama Secretary of State's website well nobody else can form a corporation or LLC with your business name in Alabama someone else could still legally use your business name to keep others from using your business name consider getting a trademark for more information about registering your business name in Alabama check out starting your business com if you like this video on how to register a business name in Alabama please click to like it and be sure to watch the others in the starting a business in Alabama series starting a business is hard but you don't have to do it on your own starting your business kaam has lots of information to help get your business started and we have experienced business advisors ready to answer your questions there is no cost or catch to use our service either so visit our site to get started
Thanks praunk0 your participation is very much appreciated
- Fletcher Ehlen
About the author
I've studied american literature at Johnson and Wales University in Providence and I am an expert in physical fitness. I usually feel impressed. My previous job was health case manager I held this position for 22 years, I love talking about thrifting and videophilia. Huge fan of Susan Sarandon I practice bodysurfing and collect military items.
Try Not to laugh !
Joke resides here...