How to Register Your Company Name

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The first thing you need to know about registering your company name, is that your company name must be unique compared to other companies in your state or province. It is usually not permissible to register a company name that has a similar name to another company in your area.

How do you know which company names are taken?

Well, there is both an informal and a formal process to do this. The first simple and informal process is to simply go to Google and type in the company name you have chosen and do a search to see if there are any other companies with that name. If there already exists another company with the same name, but they are not in your local area, you may still be able to register that name locally, however that is not advisable. It is better to pick a name that is not only unique to your local area, but also worldwide.

If you pick a company name that does not exist through a Google search, you’re on the right track. A common way to do this is to use three or four word company names as opposed to one to two-word company names, which in most cases are already taken.

One simple way to do this is to combine two unique words with two additional words that describe the type of company you are. For example, if you are a delivery company the company name you may try could be Red Apple Delivery Services or Green Orange Delivery Services. By combining two unique words with two words that describe the type of company you are, you have a much higher chance of picking a company name that is unique.

Once you’ve picked a company name that does not appear on Google, the next step is to do a formal name search with your local state or province, which usually costs under $50. If you are incorporating a company, the lawyer who incorporates your company will be able to help you to run a formal name search on the name you have chosen. The process usually requires you to give them three different names for them to search in order of preference and they will perform a formal search to determine which one of those three is available for registration.

If you’re a sole proprietor, please visit your local state or provincial government website for name search forms to do the search yourself.

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