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Written by : Robby Thome
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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 Oklahoma Oklahoma is an excellent place to form a new business with low living and business costs in the six lowest tax burden in the country 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 Oklahoma 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 like a sole proprietorship if you want to operate under a different name you need to file for a DBA LLC for 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 LLC with a period in between each letter restricted words such as Bank 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 a government agency such as FBI Treasury or State Department here are some state specific requirements for Oklahoma LLC's you must have approval to include the following words savings and loan building and Loan savings Association and savings bank corporations here are some state specific requirements for Oklahoma corporations if your business is the corporation or C Corp your name must contain one of the following words or an abbreviation Association company Corporation Club Foundation fund incorporated Institute Society union or syndicate it can also include words of the same meaning in a different language you must have approval to include the following words savings and loan building and Loan savings Association and savings bank 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 Oklahoma's naming requirements for the business structure you chose for all business structures your name must be distinguishable from other existing businesses in Oklahoma 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 aunt or vice versa such as Smith and Smith is not different enough from Smith and Smith 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 businesses 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 Gap 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 pin 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 fast and with a different emphasis to make sure it doesn't end up sounding like something else is it easy to pronounce spell and does the acronym look okay along the same lines as having a simple name a business name will be more memorable if it's easy to pronounce and spell another important thing to keep in mind is if the acronym of your business ends up spelling something you don't want to choose a name for your business only to find out the first letter of each word spells out flop did I include a geographical location in my name by including a location in your name you may limit your business and growth potential customers and other states may not consider contacting you if they think you are only trying to do business in a specific patient how does the name compare to other businesses in the industry look at your potential competitors names does there seem to be a format that other businesses in the indus
Thanks for your comment Rickie Ferraro, have a nice day.
- Robby Thome, Staff Member
welcome to how to register a business name in Oklahoma presented by starting your business comm this video is a part of a series of videos on starting a business in Oklahoma after deciding on the legal entity of your business it's time to decide on a name while it's not required we would 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 there are a few causes of concern that would likely want you to have a legal professional review before it 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 now here is a live listing for mr. handyman to be 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 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 searches out of the way the process of registering a business name will vary depending on the type of organization chosen for sole proprietorships or partnerships there are two options one is to operate under the owners full first and last name like John Smith this type of name does not need to be registered most businesses will however want to operate under a trade name like John Smith's handyman service mr. handyman and so on the term trade name is sometimes referred to as fictitious business name doing business as DBA or assumed name applying for this type of name allows your business to legally operate and transact business with the name other than your personal name to register a business name for a sole proprietorship or partnership file a certificate a fictitious name with the County Clerk's office in the county where the business is located the fee varies slightly but is typically around $25 to register a name for a corporation or LLC you must have a unique name at the time of filing to check the availability of names you will visit the Oklahoma Secretary of State's website just like the sole proprietorship and partnership while nobody else can form a corporation or LLC with your business name in Oklahoma someone else could still legally use your business name regardless of which entity you use to register your business name registering does little to stop anyone from using your name to keep others from using it consider getting a trademark for more information about registering your business name in Oklahoma check out starting your business com if you like this video on how to register a business name in Oklahoma be sure to watch the others and the starting a business and Oklahoma series starting a business can be difficult but you don't have to do it on your own the start of your business comm site has lots of information to help get your business started and we have experienced business advisors ready to answer your questions at no cost
Thanks Jeremiah your participation is very much appreciated
- Robby Thome
About the author
I've studied space sex at Hamilton College in Clinton and I am an expert in philosophy of mind. I usually feel naughty. My previous job was patent lawyer I held this position for 16 years, I love talking about microbiology and video games. Huge fan of Chris Watts I practice tumbling and collect artist trading cards.
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