Do I need to register a tradename if I use my given name?

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Do I need to register a tradename if I use my given name?

Postby dimond_dj » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:50 am

People around here seem to have some good advice, so here goes,,,,,,, I need to have some sort of business name or something for a business checking account. I think I will need an EIN, but that's to make it easier for the business to get paid by the client then each person helping gets their share.

I'm not going to try for a catchy name as we aren't open to the public and don't depend on the name to attract clients. I'll give some examples, recently we needed snow removal and they had us make the check out to "Thomas Contracting". Down the road we have "Ken's Motel" and "Bob's Superstore" We have several Barbershops where the owner just uses their first name "Jim's barbershop" Now I know businesses with names like "River Bend Painting" must register a trade name so nobody else can use it. So for example if my given name is Fred and I call my business "Fred's Auto Repair" would that need to be registered? Would first and last name make a difference? example "Jane Doe Photography".

It was also suggested that we start out with a name like "Bob Smith Enterprises" then as we grow we can register a tradename like "Starfire Karaoke" which we would advertise as but clients would make checks out to "Bob Smith Enterprises".

Again, this is only part-time so we might get an unexpected check. During the off season we might have several months with no income then the phone rings and we get a show that pays $2,000. Of course we might be offered $100 and that's all the client is willing to pay. Our only interest at this time is to open a seperate checking account so we can better track income and expenses at tax time.

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Re: Do I need to register a tradename if I use my given name?

Postby Tubpbs » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:18 pm

I think, not sure, you have two options.

1. You can function as a sole proprietor / DBA ("doing business as") and the way that sort of works is you are operating let's say as "Joe's sneakers" but you're really just Joe Jones and there is no such thing as the legal entity "Joe's sneakers" - I am not 100% on this. You may still need to register with your Secretary of State or equivalent state organization.

2. You create a corporation or LLC, register with the state, file taxes every year, etc etc.

Either way, I believe it's a bit more complicated than you're assuming it is.

It's one thing if it's your only income because when you file your taxes there is no complication. It's also another if it's just you operating this "business". It gets more complicated if you start to add partners and employees etc etc.

Hope that was a helpful step one.
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