Texas is a great state in which to start a business. The state boasts one of the highest rates of new LLCs being formed in the country.
As it is elsewhere, one of the most important steps involved in forming a business in Texas is choosing a business name. This is because your business's name will affect its branding and how the public views it.
This article explores the steps you need to take to choose a good business name in Texas and how to perform a business search to see if your chosen business name is available for use.
Texas, like every other state, has certain requirements that a business name must comply with. It's important to know what these requirements are before you decide upon a business name.
First of all, before you choose a name for a business in Texas, you need to know what business structure it will operate under. This is because your business structure will, to a large degree, dictate what naming requirements your business name must comply with.
Sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and other informal business structures must operate under the surname or surnames of their owners. Otherwise, their owner or owners must register an Assumed Name, also referred to as a DBA (Doing Business As) with the Texas Secretary of State or the counties in which they will operate.
LLCs, corporations, and other formal business structures have different naming requirements. If your business is structured as an LLC, you must have "Limited Liability Company," “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” in its business name. Similarly, if your business is structured as a corporation, its name must contain the words, “Corporation,” “Company,” “Incorporated,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation of any of these.
What's more, the name of your LLC or Corporation cannot:
Regardless of how your business is structured, its name must be able to be distinguished from the names of other existing businesses in Texas. Examples of names that would not be distinguishable include:
Indicating a different business structure, adding a different article in front, using “&” instead of “and,” or using a name that is spelled differently, but sounds the same as the name of another business is not enough to render a name distinguishable.
Once you have come up with a few alternative business names, you will have to perform a Texas business entity search to determine if the names are available to be used in Texas. Here a few recommended searches you should perform:
Naming your business is one of the most important steps when forming a business in Texas, for guidance on choosing a suitable name for your business and checking its availability, contact an experienced Texas business attorney.
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