Using A Personal Name For An LLC
When a person starts a limited liability company LLC, they may use their name as a part of the company name. There are various reasons someone may use their name in some capacity when naming their business. An individual may use their first and last name, initials, or include their name in how they name their LLC. For example, Mary Smith may name her business Mary Smith Bakes Cakes LLC. Another approach an entrepreneur may use is to do business as their own individual name rather than naming their company another LLC name. Mary Smith may name her business Mary Smith LLC.
In the United States, an individual must register their business name with the agency in their state based on their requirements for the state in which they will operate the business. Some people may use their name as their business name. If someone has a common name it is necessary to perform a name search to determine if a business uses the name in the state. If a person is starting an LLC, the name of the business in any state must include initials that identify the business as an LLC. A business name may contain the initials LLC or LC for some states. A business owner cannot name an LLC as a corporation because these are two different businesses and that is misleading.
One reason a business owner may use their name when naming their business is that their name is available to register and their own personal brand in a state. An individual who is well-known may use their name because they already have name recognition and it would be a good marketing component for the business for them to name the business after themselves. An additional marketing reason for using a name could be that their name is easy for customers and potential customers to remember, and it’s easy to spell so someone may decide to use their name as a part of their business name. When a person has a name that is hard for potential customers to remember, then they may have a good reason to use choose another name for their business.
If someone is a celebrity or popular athlete, then it may be a good thing for them to use their personal name because their fans are already looking for them online. It will be easy for fans to identify the business and website named after a celebrity to search for products and services. By forming an LLC in their name, a celebrity can create additional streams of income.
Registering a DBA
Should a business owner decide that it would be a good idea for them to do business in another name, they may complete doing business as paperwork to perform business as another entity that is still a part of the LLC. The business owner may do this for an additional revenue stream that they launch to see how successful the new brand will be in the marketplace. The DBA name may be easy for people to recognize that does not match the name of the company. This strategy may create an additional product line that allows customers to become familiar with the new name. By operating a DBA, a business owner or members of a multi-member LLC can operate their LLC in an efficient manner by not having to create an additional LLC for this separate line of business that they run within their existing LLC.
A business may use a DBA during times of transition in the business name. The LLC may change names using a DBA to allow its clients and customers to become familiar with the new name. of an organization during a time of transition for the business. This allows the LLC to remain in business under the current registration without forming a new LLC.
A business may change the name of the company for different reasons to the DBA name. by running an existing LLC, the business can take advantage of its credit lines and credit cards. Some lenders may not see a business as creditworthy if an entrepreneur does not establish it as an LLC. Business owners may continue to expand their credit lines that help with daily business operations by not starting a new LLC. If businesses have good credit ratings, they may not want to start a new company and risk losing the rating they worked for which they may need to conduct business. By starting a new business, the LLC may not have the credit necessary to operate. This may cause a delay in payments or make the new business take on too much credit and have a lower credit rating if they dissolve the old business.
Working with a DBA allows a business to function at its current level while implementing changes. If a business changes its name to a DBA, the organization can wait until the annual report filing to change the name of the company. This allows the business to save money on LLC filing expenses. The business gives itself time to make a smooth transition to the new name as everyone they work with knows the business name changed. A business can plan for growth throughout the name change by adding new clients and services without losing its existing contracts or customers.
Business Name Restrictions
Individuals should consult their states to identify restricted or prohibited words used to name businesses to comply with the guidelines for their state for naming their businesses. The LLCs around the United States cannot have names that imply that they can provide services they are not authorized to perform. It’s required that businesses comply with the boundaries of their credentialing requirements. Some businesses require licenses to operate. An LLC cannot have a name that implies that it provides medical service, is in the financial services industry, performs legal services without the appropriate training.
Businesses in certain industries need to complete professional LLC documentation. Professionals should consult the guidelines for their state for PLLC requirements. States require that individuals forming professional businesses have the proper credentials to use a certain name within the context of the name of their business. For example, the state of Pennsylvania limits the use of terms that imply that an individual is an engineer and requires proof of credentials that document the business meets the qualifications.
Application Address Considerations
An entrepreneur must include their address on the LLC application. The entrepreneur must consider if they can identify the business address as their address because this documentation may remain on the business file online for people to view if they access the company’s file for the life of the business. Some business owners may not wish to disclose their personal addresses for the public to see.
If privacy is a concern, the owner may list the business address rather than their home address on the file in some states. Individuals who are not aware of the record maintenance policies of their states may look back in hindsight and regret providing their home address to individuals because they may not feel comfortable with people having access to their home because of technology which makes it easy for unhappy customers to find where they live using maps on their cell phone. Today, businesses that provide products and services using online platforms may provide personal information to individuals who are not fans of the business. It is important to recognize that competitors can access their business and home addresses through the information registered with their state.
The marketing strategies entrepreneurs use may require that they consider themselves as local celebrities because of the access the public has to their companies. These strategies may require that entrepreneurs consider how much access the public has to them and their personal lives as they develop their businesses. By using a personal name as a part of the LLC, people in the community may have access to entrepreneurs who know already know where they live. This may be something they can control by listing the business address on their LLC application to avoid creating personal issues from people who know how to find their business in the state database. This allows entrepreneurs to limit and control their interactions with the public as they build their businesses.
LLC Registration Process and Fees
Individuals should consult their state to determine what is required when they register their business. There are steps a business must take to register the LLC with its state. Review the information provided by the Department of State in their area to determine the filing options available and the payment methods accepted by the agency. It is necessary to choose a registering agent when filing the articles of the organization for the new LLC.
There are fees that a new LLC must pay when completing the articles of the organization and designated a registering agent. States may require separate fees for completing the articles of the organization and listing the registering agent. Some additional fees may include receiving a certified copy of the documentation they filed and the certificate of the status of the LLC. It is necessary to check to see what the fees associated with registering are to know which items mandatory and which items are optional when registering the LLC.
When paying for the LLC online, states may request that a business make payments from a credit card, a debit card, or an additional online payment method. Some states may have a prepaid account that business owners can use to file their LLC documents online. States may require an entrepreneur to use a credit card if they are filing their articles of organization online. After applying online, a state may send a confirmation email to the email address used in the registration process. They will receive a confirmation email after their state has approved their application.
States may take LLC applications by mail. Consult the state to determine if they accept checks, money orders, or credit cards with paper applications based on the policies for each individual state. If someone filed their information by mail, then the state may send the confirmation by mail to the address identified on the application.
If the Department of State does not approve an application, entrepreneurs should find out why the application did not meet the requirements of their state. Find out the steps that are necessary to reapply for the LLC and submit the information for approval.
Business Bank Account
After an LLC is established in a state, the business should open a bank account to do business transactions in the name of the LLC. Entrepreneurs should consult with the IRS and receive a federal tax ID number in the business’s name to open a bank account. Consult the bank to determine what information they need to open a bank account in the business’s name. This may be important for an individual if their business and personal accounts are at the same bank because it will be necessary to distinguish the LLC bank account from the personal account of the business owner. It’s necessary to make sure that all the documentation for the business has LLC on it to distinguish it from a personal account. The bank may require documentation such as the articles of the organization to open the business account and a deposit.
States require LLCs to file annual reports. The annual report is a document that updates the registering agent. This report has the latest information about the company. States require this report even if no changes occurred in the business. States charge late fees when an annual report is late. The administrative dissolution of the business may occur if an LLC does not send a report by the late filing deadline. An entrepreneur can pay all fees required to reinstate the LLC by the reinstatement deadline. If a business closes, then the business can submit documentation to dissolve the business with its state.