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Business Name Registration

Learn about the simple process of business name registration, and discover the huge benefits of registering your company name.

Learn about the simple process of business name registration, and discover the huge benefits of registering your company name.

Before I went through the company name registration process, I was convinced it would be a long, drawn-out, expensive and difficult process. It ended being incredibly easy and inexpensive.

It took me less than an hour, and cost less than $100 (in Canada) to register my name. I had almost all of my paperwork in my hands that day, and the rest came in less than one month.

Procedures for business name registration vary from location to location, so it's important to check with your local business or economic development office or Chamber of Commerce to determine which regulations apply to you.

The people there will refer you to the correct resources you need to register a new company name in your area.

The Process You'll Go Through Depends On The Form of Business You've Chosen

In general, the process is more straightforward for a a sole proprietorship. Business name registration for corporations is typically a little more involved.

Business name registration and doing a business name check is normally quite simple. I had to go through a very simple, step by step computerized process to do the check and complete the documentation for registering the company name. I didn't have any difficulties, but there were staff available to help me if I had any questions.

Although registering your company name involves paying a (usually small) fee and completing some paperwork, there are several benefits when you register a new company name.

Benefits

You'll avoid losing time and money creating marketing materials that you may later discover is not appropriate

When you do a formal business name check, you will discover whether anyone is operating a company under the name you have chosen. Depending upon the location of your company and the type of business you are running, you may not be able to use a name if another company is already using it (I'm not a lawyer, so please do check with one if you have any questions about the legalities around choosing a specific company name).

If you fail to do a business name check and you later discover you are operating under a name that you were not entitled to use, you may have wasted a huge amount of time and money in creating promotional materials and developing name recognition for your company.

It is very easy to avoid this type of mistake by simply doing a business name check and registering your company.

In most locations, banks will not open a merchant account or business account for you without proper documentation that your company is registered.

If you want the professionalism and convenience of a merchant account to accept credit cards and/or a business bank account, you'll need to register your business.

In most locations, when you register your company you will be issued a business number.

This number is required by many wholesalers. If you intend to open accounts with craft supply wholesalers, registering your company will provide you with the paperwork you need to demonstrate to wholesalers that your business is, in fact, legitimate.

Depending upon where you live, you may also be issued a reseller's permit or tax ID number (the name of the actual document varies from location to location).

This number and/or document is important for a couple of reasons.

Business name registration tips

Obtaining the number is often the first step in the process of collecting and remitting to the government sales tax (which is required in many locations) on items that you sell (Again, I am not a tax law expert, so do consult an expert if you require specific advice. Your local business development office can direct you to the expert(s) you need to meet with).

A valid reseller's permit is required at many art and craft shows. If you carefully read the terms for participating in many art and craft shows, they will note that you must display a valid reseller's permit in your booth.

It is really not difficult or expensive to register your company and do a business name check. Registering your business name will probably be a lot easier than you would expect, it can save you from a lot of potential hassles, provide a sense of professionalism and open up plenty of great new opportunities.

For more information on business name registration in specific countries please sees the following resources: 
Register a new business name in the United States 
Details on registering a company name in Canada and a link to register online in Canada 
Register your company in Australia 
For other countries, start at the Economic Development Directory, a directory of 81 economic development agencies worldwide.


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