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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 Wisconsin Wisconsin is an excellent place to form a new business with low sales tax excellent access to funding and the third highest quality of living in the nation every state has slightly different requirements for naming a business follow along closely to learn the required steps for naming a business in the state of Wisconsin 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 7 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 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 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 can not 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 Wisconsin LLC's your name cannot imply that the LLC was organized for any non permitted purpose 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 Wisconsin corporations your name cannot imply that the corporation was organized for any unlawful purpose or one not outlined in its Articles of Incorporation the word insurance is prohibited in a corporate name unless the name makes clear that the corporation is not an insurance company corporations must meet certain requirements to use words that give the impression it is engaged in the business of architecture professional engineering or design the word cooperative may be used only in the name of an approved cooperative association 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 Wisconsin's naming requirements for the business structure you chose for all business structures your name must be distinguishable from other existing businesses in Wisconsin 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 the clients and customers see in 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 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 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 fast and with the 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 t
Thanks for your comment Alvin Grines, have a nice day.
- Daine Honda, Staff Member
welcome back i'm attorney thomas burton in today's video i'm going to show you how to see if your business name is available in wisconsin so today's video is for entrepreneurs and prospective business owners thinking about starting a business maybe you have an idea of a company name maybe you're already operating a business under your own name as a sole proprietorship but you're looking at forming a business entity and you've come up with some names and you're thinking about which one would work for me what should i use for my llc or c corporation well once again we're going to go to the wisconsin department of financial institutions website wdfi.org and then make sure you're on the official state of wisconsin website because you can search this name for yourself for free you don't need to pay a search company to do this in wisconsin and you go to i want to search on the top left and click on corporate records this is the page you want to see search corporate records and this has everything you can search here the legal entity name the date of registration entity type corporation llc registered agent registered office address the entity id which is what wisconsin assigns to it and they're saying this is not the same as a ein federal tax employee identification number this is just what wisconsin uses to identify your llc or corporation charter document filing office address current status the other things over here are on other websites so it also doesn't cover trade names here which is the trade names doing business as or trademarks which is a different topic but this is the actual entity name which is the first step before you would form your llc or your c c corporation with your lawyer you want to see if your names are available and if you're working with your lawyer he can do the search for you as well but if you're thinking about doing this on your own or just researching names this is a good place to start you'll see up here there's this name availability and we can go with our badger painting example which i've used before and you'll see there is already a badger painting llc in the state of wisconsin and it says restored to good standing in 2018 meaning it's it's up to dates it's not a company that used to exist and was dissolved so that name is not going to be available now i think in my other video i talked about what if we do badger best painting and it says here no records appear to conflict with the name you entered although there appears to be no conflict final determination cannot be guaranteed until the document has been received examined and filed by our department so what i'm showing you here today is a way to whatever your name you're thinking about this is a good way to just make sure nobody in wisconsin already has the exact same name now you want to do other research such as google and to see if other businesses are using your brand you don't want to be too likelihood of confusion for example if if you're in the same town as badger painting maybe you don't want to be badger best painting because a painting service is still the type of business that's going to compete generally in a geographic area but if you're farther away from appleton and you really like the name maybe being badger best painting works for you but let's say your name is pete you could just be pete's painting llc and it's always good to search with it with the entity you're thinking about forming and without you know so you can add the llc name in when i'm working with clients i recommend you name your llc exactly what brand name you want to use now there is a way to to name the llc if you're planning to be a business that's open to the public for that type of thing then you can put your llc on all your signs and it's the same as your brand let's do something like kate's cupcakes and this just gives you a general overview so you want to search it different ways you know and make sure you're not missing something if it's really your brand but i'll show you if you just do a simple like badger comes up with the badger company inc so that has been registered and let's see here it's in good standing yes restored to good standing so that's not available and there's an example of an incorporate a c-corp not an llc now you can go to advanced search where you can do the exact phrase all of the words entities registered agents so you might want to do this too if you're thinking about your name to see you know maybe there was an entity a couple years ago and if it had some let's say bad publicity you might not want to be that business even though they went out of business you might inherit some of that bad customer experience from the business so it's good to look around and and uh do your research on this let's just try badger best one more search here maybe someone else has used that there we've got badger best food administratively dissolved in 2009 and badger best pizzas which was dissolved so badger best foods was in green bay and let's see dissolved as of 2009 so that's a while ago in terms of likelihood of confusion when you're thinking about your business and badger best pizzas also 1998. so if you were opening a pizza place maybe you'd think about this but the good news is the 90s have been a while ago it was pre or early internet in terms of let's say someone went there and had a bad experience and left a bad review if you opened badger best pizza shop or restaurant you might not want that showing up on google for your business but this looks more like it was possibly not a restaurant but making pizzas so anyway i'm just trying to give you a lot of tips when you're thinking about your name and i'll just end with showing you once more from the home page you go to i want to search corporate records and here's where you can type in your names and i would do this search in google as well because you could do the google search in wisconsin this is just for wisconsin so if you're a brand that's planning to go online you're gonna even though you could register the name in wisconsin you want to see is someone else using it nearby in another competing state because although you can register as that in wisconsin it could still be an issue for you branding nationwide right but if you're more of a local business like some of my examples the pizza place or the cupcake shop or lawn care where a lot of your customers are in the local area then you want to think more locally right about who's nearby that's going to have the same name that might be confusing and just because you can register a business name doesn't mean it's smart for business branding you want to look at what can i legally operate under and also what's going to make sense for me marketing this business long term so i hope that's helpful to you and again it's wdfi.org search corporate records and you can look at your names uh for both llc or c-corp let's do just one more before we end wisconsin painting there so wisconsin is super popular in the state of wisconsin and you'll see a bunch of people have used it in their painting business and wisconsin painting llc is organized in 2019 and still op
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- Daine Honda
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I've studied surface physics at Saint Joseph's College of Maine in Standish and I am an expert in physical organic chemistry. I usually feel lazy. My previous job was motorboat mechanic I held this position for 7 years, I love talking about massaging and roller derby. Huge fan of Charlie Puth I practice diving and collect match-related items.
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