You need to form your business with an official business name, so start by choosing a name for your business. This can be a brand name that you want to use publicly or simply a name that you will officially use for the business entity.
You can choose almost any name you want for your business, as long as it:
- Not used by another business entity registered in Alabama. You can use the state business entity search to see if your name is available in Alabama.
- It does not include words or abbreviations that imply it is a different type of business entity than it is. For example, an LLC cannot include “Corp.” or “Inc.” in the name.
- It does not mean that it is a bank, trust, insurance or utility company or a profession that requires a license, such as an architect, a doctor or an engineer.
Your registered business name is required to include words or abbreviations that indicate the structure of the business, including:
- Corporation: Corporation, incorporated, Corp. or Inc.
- Limited liability company: Limited liability company, LLC or LLC
- Limited partnership: Limited Partnership, LP or LP
- Limited liability partnership: Limited Liability Partnership, LLP or LLP
- Limited liability company: Limited Liability Company, LLLP or LLLP
Beyond these requirements, consider the following when choosing a business name:
- Do you want it to include your personal name or be open to growing beyond you?
- Do you want it to reflect the current products or services you offer or to be flexible to roll out in the future?
- Will you be using this name as a business trade name (public brand), or are you creating a business entity that can carry any or many of the brands you create?
If you want to create a business entity that may include other brands, you can use a DBA (called a trade name in Alabama) for those other brands that is consistent with how you present them publicly and makes easily treating each as their own. assets within your company.
If you know the name you want to use for your business but are not yet ready to register the business, you can apply to reserve a business name for up to 120 days for a fee of $25.
Once you have chosen your business name, you must obtain a Name Reservation Certificate for a fee of $30, which you will submit with your business formation documents.
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