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How to File an Official Business Name

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    • 1). Receive free business advice from SCORE, a nationwide nonprofit that provides local mentors to help you launch and run your business. These business mentors will know how to file a business name in your local area and can guide you through the best process.

    • 2). Select a business name if you don't have one already. Your business name is your brand, so it should be easy for customers to remember, relevant to your business, and unique from other businesses.

    • 3). Find our your state's Doing Business As (DBA) requirements. The federal government operates a website, Business.gov, that includes a list of all the states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories with links to their state websites for registering your business name.

    • 4). Decide what type of business you will operate. The simplest is a sole proprietorship where it is typically a simple owner-operated situation. Other types include a limited liability company (LLC), limited liability partnership, corporation, service corporation (S-Corp) and others.

    • 5). Consult with an accountant familiar with your type of business to learn the tax advantages of the different business entities.

    • 6). Consult with an attorney familiar with your type of business to determine which method of registering your business name is best in your jurisdiction.

    • 7). Follow the instructions for your state or local jurisdiction to file your official business name.

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