Jump To Navigation

Business Organization and Transaction FAQ

Should a business use a "doing business as" name?

Should a business owner lease or buy equipment for the business?

How do business owners transfer businesses to their children?

Should an entrepreneur use a credit card to finance a start-up?

Who is considered an independent contractor?

How should a business owner use a business plan?

What types of insurance will a business owner need for the business?

What requirements must employers comply with before hiring employees?

What taxes must businesses pay?

What is a Small Business Administration loan?

How will your business be known?

How will your business be known?

When a business is formed, the owner usually comes up with a name for the business as a basic element of marketing strategy. Legally, however, the business may be known by another name — the owner's name if it is a sole proprietorship, for example. The business may have still another name if it incorporates or registers as a limited liability company. Clearly, a business and its products and services may be known by many names. Because of the legal implications, it is important to be consistent and clear when acting in the name of a business or for a personal matter.

What is a business name?

The business name is a term referring to all of a business's names — its legal name, its corporate name, its fictitious business name and the names of its products and services. It is a general term for the business.

What is the legal name of a business?

A legal name is the name of the entity that owns a business as it will appear on documents registered with the state in which it operates. For example, a sole proprietorship's legal name is the owner's full name. The legal name of a general partnership may appear in the written partnership agreement, but if not named in the partnership agreement, then the partnership’s legal name is a combination of the last names of the owners. Limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations register their legal names with the secretary of state or other state agency.

What is the corporate name of a business?

A business run as a partnership or sole proprietorship may reorganize, for instance, through incorporation. When a business incorporates, it must obtain approval and register a corporate name, and other companies that are required to register with a state agency, such as limited liability companies and limited partnerships, must also register their names with the state agency.

What is a trade name?

A trade name is the name by which the business is commonly known to the public, such as Frank Farmer's American Appliances, which may or may not be the same as the legal name of the owner. Trade names, which are frequently fictitious business names, are used when the business holds itself out to the public, such as in business advertisements.

What is a trademark?

A business's products or services may be known by even another name. A trademark or service mark is any word, phrase, design or symbol used to market a product or service. Under certain circumstances, trademark owners have the power under federal and state law to prevent others from using their trademarks to market goods or services.

What is a fictitious business name?

Suppose that the business's legal name is different than the trade name, that is, the name under which it operates and is known by customers. In that case, a fictitious business name is being used. For example, if Frank Farmer called his sole proprietorship American Appliances, then American Appliances would be considered a fictitious business name. Because Frank Farmer runs a sole proprietorship, the business's legal name is his full name, Frank Farmer. A fictitious business name like American Appliances is sometimes referred to as a doing business as (d/b/a) name. Most states require registration of fictitious business names.

Copyright © 2008 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.

View Previous Months' Selections

Introduction To HMH&O
Helpful Legal Resources

Heideman, McKay, Heugly & Olsen, L.L.C.

Is committed to providing our clients with the most up to date legal news, information and resources. Please also find our helpful sections that offer answers to some of the frequent questions our clients have asked us.

Provo Office
2696 N. University Avenue, Suite 180
Provo, Utah 84604
Phone: 801.812.1000

Map and Directions

Spanish Fork Office
397 North Main Street
Spanish Fork, Utah 84660
Phone: 801 798-8000
Fax: 801 798-1670

Map and Directions

Price Office
1375 South 100 East
Price, Utah 84501
Phone: 435.637.3353

Map and Directions

Ephraim Office
90 South Main Street
Ephraim, UT 84627
Phone: 435-283-8000
Fax: 435-835-4000

Map and Directions

St. George Office
134 North 200 East, Suite #302
St. George, Utah 84770
Phone: 435.656.3696

Map and Directions
MasterCard Visa AmEx DiscoverE-Newsletter

Heideman, McKay, Heugly & Olsen, L.L.C., provides legal advice and representation for business owners and corporate clients in communities throughout Provo, Orem, Sandy, Draper, Salt Lake City, St. George, Alpine, Highland, Lehi and Price.

View Our Disclaimer : E-Mail Page : Print Page : Save Page : Maps and Directions