Do I Have to Have a Business Name to Do Business?

Posted on February 6, 2018 in Form a Company

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I had a post from “Explorer,” who is starting a new venture (Congratulations!). Explorer was wondering if it’s OK to do business without a company name at the start, as she hasn’t registered one yet. For anyone else who might have the same question, here’s how I responded:

In the U.S., there’€™s generally no requirement that you register a company name before you start doing business; provided that you are doing business under your own, personal name and not a made-up one, such as Exploring Blogosphere. Just make sure that you’€™re consistent: if you’€™re using a “€œfictitious” name for business, register it and use that name in your RFPs (or contracts). If you’€™re going by your own name, use that.

Whether you want to do business under your own name, and possibly expose yourself to personal liability, is a whole other issue. Check out my article, “The Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Sole Proprietorship” and consult with an attorney in your area to help you decide what’€™s best for you.

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