Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Can I Have A Business Name As A Sole Proprietor

Searching The County Database

How to Start Your First Business As a Sole Proprietor

In many areas, you’ll be instructed to search the county or state database of registered fictitious business names before submitting your statement to make sure no one else has already registered the name you want to use. Typically, you can search a county’s database for free if you go to the office in person. Sometimes you can pay a fee for a staff person to do the search for you. If you want the clerk’s office to do the search, you must usually submit the request and fee by mail.

Remember, searching your county database won’t tell you if a name is trademarked. Someone in a different county, state, or even country might own trademark rights to that name. If so, and you go ahead and use that name for your business, you may well run into legal trouble, depending on your geographical scope and the products or services you sell. To avoid being accused of unfair competition or trademark infringement, it is wise to check neighboring counties’ FBN databases, look into state registries of corporate and LLC names, or even do a full international trademark search. Failing to do an appropriate search puts you at risk not only of lawsuits, but also of having to change your name down the line when you already have stationery, business signs, and invoices printed.

Can You Have Multiple Dbas Under One Sole

Your business can only have one legal name attached to the EIN number you have been assigned by the IRS. For this reason, many people file for a DBA. What is a DBA? A DBA is also referred to as Assumed Name, Fictitious Business Names, or Trade Name. This is a name that is separate from the legal business name assigned by the IRS but is still attached to the legal business name as issued by the state, county or city.

As a sole proprietor, your legal name is the legal name of your business. Therefore, to do business by any other name, you would need to have a DBA under a sole proprietorship. For example, your legal name is John David Smith, and that is the legal business name assigned to the EIN. Your DBA on the other hand, registered with your state, can be Beachside Cafe.

Multiple DBAs

Having multiple DBAs can be an advantage for businesses that are structured as an LLC. The main reason being that the LLC can segment different business markets operating each segment with a different DBA.

When it comes to a sole proprietorship, it is required to only need one DBA. Being able to apply for multiple DBAs under a sole proprietorship depends on how many your local/state government will allow. Each filing of a DBA costs money, so registering multiple DBAs may be unnecessary for what you need.

Structure Matters

  • Sole Proprietor / Individual
  • Church Controlled Organization
  • Estate of Deceased Individual

Entity Selector

Start Your Filing

When Are Payments Due

Taxes for self-employed individuals is based on the calendar tax year. As discussed earlier a new, first-year business can pay federal taxes at the end of the first year and then may have to pay taxes quarterly . Quarterly payments are due based on the 15th the month after a calendar quarter. For instance, the first quarter is January, February and March. Those taxes would be due on April 15th. The remaining quarters are due June 15, September 15 and January 15.

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Liability And You As A Business Owner

When registered, the Ontario Sole Proprietorship combines the individual who operates the business to the risks and liabilities of the business operation. The liability concerns some individuals running a business with higher risks, such as construction or landscaping companies. The higher the liability risk is to the businesss operation, the higher risk to the individual. Ultimately, the individual owner has personal responsibility for the business risk, damage and default. You may wish to speak to an insurance professional regarding gaining business insurance as part of your due diligence with registering your Master Business Licence.

Check That Your Sole Trader Business Name Is Available And Isnt A Registered Trademark

How to Set up a Sole Proprietorship in Georgia: 14 Steps

Before you start branding, getting merch or building your website, you must check that your chosen name is not already being used by someone else, and does not infringe any registered trademarks.

Take a look at our recent interview startup business owner, Aneisha, to hear all about how Scrumbles was threatened with legal action over its original business name.

Read all about how Aneisha overcame this challenge in Scrumbles Just Started feature, or, read our guide on how to check if your company name is original to avoid trademark infringement in the first place.

Read our guides: what not to name your business and what to do if your chosen business name is taken for help on what to do if you get a bit stuck.

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How Do You Form A Sole Proprietorship

Unlike a Limited Liability Company or C Corporation, a Sole Proprietorship is not a formal business entity. Sole Proprietors do not have to file business registration paperwork with the state. As soon as the owner begins to conduct business with the intent to make a profit, the Sole Proprietorship is established.

Sole proprietors may have to obtain certain types of business or professional licenses and permits to operate legally in their industry or location.

When sole proprietors do not want to include their first and last name in their business name, they must request to use a trade name by filing a DBA . Some states call it a fictitious name filing. Depending on the businesss location, the fictitious name must be filed with the state or the county clerk.

For example, if Lena Caswell wants to market her new business by the name Immaculate Image Consulting Services, she would need to file a DBA to get permission to use that name with the state or county clerk office. Some states also require businesses to publish a notice about their fictitious name in one or more approved newspapers or other publications in the county where it was filed. In some states and counties, DBAs must be renewed periodically.

The Rationale For Registering Fictitious Names

Why, you may ask, are the rules regarding fictitious business names so peculiar? It is really because the government wants a quick way to find out who owns a business in case there are legal problems. If your business does not take your name, then consumers who have complaints about your company may have a hard time locating you if you have not registered a fictitious business name. Also, it allows other businesses and start-ups to search for business names already in use.

Registering a fictitious business name is not only about helping consumers sue you, however. For example, if your business operates under a non-registered fictitious business name, then you, as the owner, will not be able to sign any contracts or make any enforceable agreements on behalf of your business. So, if you are planning on operating your business under a DBA name, be sure to register it.

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Do You Need A Fictitious Business Name

A sole proprietorship that does not take the legal name of its owner must normally register the name of the business with an agency of the state government, typically the Secretary of State’s office. However, many states differ on what is considered a person’s “legal name.” Under Florida business law, for example, a legal name is defined as “a person’s given name, or an entity that has been properly registered.” This may include trademarks and service marks, in addition to the sole proprietor’s given name.

Corporations, limited liability companies , and partnerships also may register fictitious names, but they generally are exempt from the types of laws that require sole proprietorships to do so . There are certain advantages to doing so. An LLC selling multiple product lines, for example, may opt to register the names used for each product line in order to protect its branding.

How Can I Get The Exclusive Rights To A Name

HOW to START a BUSINESS in CANADA // REGISTER Sole Proprietorship with CRA //Canadian Business Guide

Incorporating a business by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Pennsylvania Department of State provides a business with exclusive use of a corporate name. A corporate name may not be the same as or confusingly similar to the name of any other corporation, limited partnership, limited liability company or limited liability partnership. This article is not meant to go into the various legal and financial considerations that should be reviewed to determine the appropriate business entity.

While registering your business name under the Fictitious Name Act may seem to be just more red tape, compliance with the law helps establish you as a legitimate business entity.

Registration can also establish the date your business first began using the name in the event of a dispute over the right to the name.

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How Do I Look Up A Sole Proprietorship In California

If you are looking for a specific sole proprietorship in California, you can sometimes search by the entity number , the identification number provided by the California Secretary of State. Sole proprietors dont always need to obtain an EIN and often use their private social security numbers instead.

Get Your Employer Identification Number

The EIN is a universal identifier, akin to a business version of a social security number. Although you are not required to apply for this ID, its advisable to have it. If you do not have one, you will need to use your social security number on tax forms and other official documents. Doing so exposes your personal information unnecessarily. You can obtain the EIN for free by filling out the proper IRS online form.

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Do I Get Exclusive Rights To My Business Name If I Register

Registration of a fictitious name does not provide the business entity with exclusive use of the name. There are no ownership rights to a fictitious name and the name is not protected against use by anyone else. The same fictitious name can be used repetitively by different business entities.

It is important not to confuse a fictitious name registration with a trademark or copyright. Registration under the Pennsylvania Fictitious Names Act creates no legal right to the name. If Mr. Smith wants to trade using the name Flowering Giants on Main Street, it does not preclude Mr. Brown from using the same name to conduct business on Elm Street.

However, there are other ways for Mr. Smith to protect the name Flowering Giants. The name of his business may be protected with a trademark. Additionally, and, in many instances, even without formal trademark registration, Mr. Smith may be able to bring a lawsuit to stop any unfair business practice, such as stealing the name Flowering Giants. Indeed, quick action is often essential to preserving the right of a business to use a particular name.

When You Need To Set Up As A Sole Trader

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You need to set up as a sole trader if any of the following apply:

  • you earned more than £1,000 from self-employment between 6 April 2020 and 5 April 2021
  • you need to prove youre self-employed, for example to claim Tax-Free Childcare
  • you want to make voluntary Class 2 National Insurance payments to help you qualify for benefits

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How Long Does It Take To Register And What Are The Costs

To register with Ontario Business Central, the base fee to register a Sole Proprietorship is $143.62. The registration is completed on a same-day basis Monday thru Friday before 3:00 pm EST.

Ontario Business Central has been assisting entrepreneurs to start their businesses since 1992, and we would be honoured to assist you in registering your business.

If you wish to register your Sole Proprietorship with us, here is the link to do so

Access Your Existing Business Or Not

If your business or not-for-profit corporation was registered or incorporated before the launch of the Ontario Business Registry on October 19th, the information has been migrated from the old system and it has a profile in the new registry.

To access a business or not-for-profit corporation profile, make filing under business statutes you will need its company key. A company key is similar to the Personal Identification Number you use at the bank or to access other online accounts or services.

1. Get a company key

In order to access the Ontario Business Registry, you must get a company key.

Note: make sure your company information is up-to-date.

2. Login into One-Key

Once you have a company key, select the button below and follow the prompts. For security reasons, you will be asked to create a ONe-key ID and a ServiceOntario account.

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Advantages Of A Sole Proprietorship

  • Requires a minimum amount of capital
  • Minimal regulations and compliance requirements from government agencies
  • Easy to register
  • Sole proprietor has complete control of the business
  • Easy to manage, with no necessary formalities or regulations about having a board of directors, committee, or meeting minutes
  • Sole proprietor acquires all assets and profits of the business and can freely mix business and personal assets

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Do You Need A Dba For Sole Proprietorship

Sole proprietor or LLC. Which should I have.


Taylor Swift and Scarlett Johansson are their own brand names, but not everyone’s that successful. You can use your personal name for your sole proprietorship name, but that may not sound professional enough for your business. In that case, you’ll need to pick a company name and file some “doing business as” paperwork.


It’s legal to operate a sole proprietorship under your own name. Whether that’s preferable to using a “doing business as” company name is a personal decision.

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Why Is It Important To Create A Business Plan

It defines a new business, supports a loan application , raises equity funding, pin-points business strategy, tracks responsibility performance and manages money goals for sales, costs, expenses and cash.

Researching your industry, future customers, and competitors , can only help when running your business. A business plan is a plan of action, giving investors confidence that everything has been thought through. A business plan should be a crystal clear plan, mapping future profitability and sustainability.

Choose A Business Name

Although there are few restrictions on a business name, you should choose your name carefully. Business names:

  • dont have to be unique duplicate business names may exist
  • however, if you choose a name that is the same as, or similar to, an existing business name, corporation name, or trademark, the owners could take your business to court you may have to change your name or pay damages to the owners
  • cannot use the words ‘limited’, ‘incorporated’ or ‘corporation’ at the end of the business name, since that would imply you are running a corporation
  • cannot use the abbreviated forms of these words
  • if youre registering a limited liability partnership, will need to include ‘limited liability partnership’ or the abbreviation ‘LLP’ at the end of the name, or the French terms ‘Sociétéà Responsabilité Limitée’ or ‘SRL’
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    The Partnership Form Of Business Ownership

    If you don’t want to go it alone and be the sole owner and operator of your business, you may wish to legally set up your business as a partnership.

    You can create a partnership between two people, or among thirty the law doesn’t set a limit on how many partners may be involved.

    There are three types of partnership in Canada, but whether you can legally set up any kind of partnership other than a general partnership depends on what province or territory your business will operate in and what kind of business you’re in.

    Hiring: Can Sole Proprietors Have Employees


    Yes, sole proprietors can employ people. When doing so, youll have the same responsibilities as any employer would including:

    • Making sure your employee complete Form TD1, Personal Tax Credits Return.
    • Deducting taxes, CPP and EI from employees wages and remitting these amounts to the government
    • Creating a hiring agreement, either verbal or written, for each of your employees
    • Complying with employment laws in your jurisdiction including minimum wage, work hours, sick pay, vacation pay, statutory holidays, parental leave, pension plan enrollment and more.
    • Adhering to workplace health and safety requirements

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    Payment Of Taxes On Business Income

    A sole proprietor pays taxes by reporting income on a T1 income tax and benefit return.

    If you are a sole proprietor, you or your authorized representative have to file a T1 return if you:

    • have to pay tax for the year
    • disposed of a capital property or had a taxable capital gain in the year
    • have to make Canada Pension Plan/Quebec Pension Plan payments on self-employed earnings or pensionable earnings for the year
    • want to access employment insurance special benefits for self-employed persons
    • received a demand from us to file a return

    You also need to file a return if you are claiming an income tax refund, a refundable tax credit, a GST/HST credit, or the Canada Child Benefit. You should also file a return if you are entitled to receive provincial tax credits.

    The list above does not include every situation where you may have to file. If you are not sure whether you have to file, call 1-800-959-5525.

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