Should You Use A Fictitious Business Name

When forming a business, it is often difficult to come up with a name. Many people just use their personal name, but a fictitious business name filing provides other opportunities.

When naming your business, it is often smart to assign your own name to it. This is particularly true if you are offering services. Mark Johnson Plumbing adds a certain personal touch that gives a feeling of credibility. “You Plug It, We Drain It” works well also, but doesn’t have quite the same personal feel. With your name on the business, people know who is ultimately responsible. If you deliver quality services, this is a positive development. If you get angry customers, it can be a regrettable decision.

So, what if you do not want to use your own name for the business? Well, you can form a business entity with a different name. In this case, we are talking about a corporation, LLC or other form. In such situations, you simply select an alternative name for the entity and submit it with your organization papers to the Secretary of State for your state. A well known example is Nike, a play on the original owner’s name – Phil Knight.

Many people don’t want to go with the formality of a corporation or LLC. So, what can they do? Well, you can still use a catchy name. The way to do it is to file a fictitious business name statement. The statement usually asks you to provide a business name and the person or company behind it. You usually file it with your country of state. Once filed, you then must publish it in a local newspaper for 30 days or so depending upon the requirements in your area. Once this is completed, you can use the business name, open a bank account and so on.

Fictitious business names are a very common practice in the business world. Mom and pop businesses use them as do larger publicly traded companies. The total cost of getting a fictitious business name should cost you no more than a hundred bucks or so.