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How to Register a Business Name in Nebraska – In-Depth Guide

    How to Register a Business Name in Nebraska
    (Last Updated On: September 18, 2023)

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    Are you ready to discover how to register a business name in Nebraska? Registering a business name is a vital initial step in establishing your presence in the Cornhusker State. We’ll guide you through the entire process, whether you decide on forming an LLC, corporation, or trade name. 

    For added convenience and expert guidance, consider partnering with ZenBusiness, a trusted service that can streamline the registration process. Together, let’s embark on your exciting entrepreneurial journey in Nebraska and lay the foundation for your business success!

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    4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Nebraska

    Registering your business name in Nebraska is a crucial step toward establishing your entrepreneurial presence in the state. To help you through this process, here are four simple steps to get your business name officially registered in Nebraska:

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Nebraska

    Choosing the appropriate business structure is a crucial first step when registering your business name in Nebraska. Your decision should align with the nature of your venture and its growth objectives. In Nebraska, there are different options available for both incorporated and unincorporated businesses. Let’s delve into each option, exploring its operational characteristics in detail.

    Please keep in mind that if you opt for a structure that requires incorporation, you will need to register your business with the Nebraska Secretary of State.

    Sole Proprietorship

    The simplest business structure in Nebraska is the sole proprietorship, where the owner and the business are considered the same legal entity. This means the owner assumes personal responsibility for the business’s debts and liabilities.

    Establishing a sole proprietorship is a straightforward process with minimal legal and administrative requirements. In Nebraska, there is no mandatory state registration for a sole proprietorship, although you may need to obtain local permits or licenses.

    General Partnership

    For businesses owned by two or more individuals sharing both profits and losses, a general partnership is a suitable option. Each partner in a general partnership is personally liable for the business’s debts and legal obligations. While registering a general partnership with the state isn’t obligatory in Nebraska, filing a “Nebraska Assumed Business Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county where your business is located may be necessary.

    Limited Partnership (LP)

    A limited partnership in Nebraska consists of one or more general partners responsible for managing the business with unlimited personal liability. Additionally, there are one or more limited partners who contribute capital but have limited liability. To establish an LP in Nebraska, you must file a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” with the Nebraska Secretary of State.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    An LLC provides a flexible business structure that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the tax benefits and operational simplicity of a partnership. To establish an LLC in Nebraska, you need to file a Certificate of Organization with the Nebraska Secretary of State and create an Operating Agreement outlining the company’s management and ownership structure.


    A corporation is a separate legal entity from its shareholders, offering limited liability protection. In Nebraska, there are two types of corporations:

    1. C-corporations
    2. S-corporations

    To create a corporation in Nebraska, you must file Articles of Incorporation for either a for-profit corporation or a nonprofit corporation with the Nebraska Secretary of State, depending on the nature of your business. Corporations involve additional formalities, such as adopting bylaws, issuing stock, and conducting regular board and shareholder meetings.

    When selecting the business structure in Nebraska, consider factors like liability protection, taxation, and management requirements. For expert guidance in making this critical decision, it’s advisable to consult legal or business professionals.

    By carefully considering these options and choosing the most suitable structure, you can successfully register your business name in Nebraska and embark on a path to entrepreneurial success.

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    Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Nebraska

    In Nebraska, selecting a business name involves three distinct options: registering a legal entity name, obtaining a trademark, or operating under a different name with a legal name registration. Each state has its own unique rules and regulations regarding naming, making it essential to understand the specific requirements applicable in Nebraska.

    The naming approach you choose in Nebraska will depend on your entity’s unique needs and circumstances. You have the flexibility to pursue all three naming methods to ensure exclusivity for your business name or select a single option that aligns best with your entity’s requirements. While not mandatory, maintaining consistency in your chosen name across all registration methods is advisable.

    Let’s delve into the available naming options in Nebraska:

    In Nebraska, businesses are required to register a legal entity name, which serves as the official identifier used by the state to recognize the company. To avoid potential conflicts with other businesses using the same name, these entity names must be distinctive.

    Nebraska’s naming regulations include specific guidelines regarding company suffixes (e.g., LLC, LP, or Corp) and require that the name accurately reflects the nature of the registered business. Before finalizing your business name, it’s essential to check its availability by utilizing the Nebraska Secretary of State’s online database.


    A trademark in Nebraska provides intellectual property protection for a business name or logo at the national level. To safeguard your name or logo, conducting a thorough trademark search in the USPTO database is crucial to ensure it’s not already registered.

    Once your trademark is successfully registered, it grants you nationwide protection, prohibiting others from using an identical or similar name or logo for similar goods or services. However, it’s important to note that obtaining a trademark does not automatically grant unrestricted rights to use the name or logo in all circumstances.

    Doing Business As (DBA)

    In Nebraska, you have the option to register your business under one official name while operating under a different name, known as a Doing Business As (DBA) name. To establish a DBA, you must file a Trade Name Registration with the Secretary of State. Unlike legal entity names, DBAs are subject to federal trademark laws, but there is no state-level requirement for uniqueness.

    By comprehensively understanding and considering these naming options, you can effectively register your business name in Nebraska while protecting your brand identity. Taking the time to select a distinctive and appropriate name will contribute to your business’s success and recognition in the market.

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    Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Nebraska

    Before proceeding with business registration, it’s essential to ensure that your desired business name is available for use. This involves conducting three types of searches to confirm its availability:

    Begin by conducting a federal trademark search to check if your chosen business name is already trademarked. Trademarks registered at the federal level take precedence over state-level registrations. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your preferred name isn’t already protected under a trademark. If it’s, you will need to select a new business name.

    To perform a federal trademark search, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and use the TESS Search tool.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    After confirming that your name isn’t trademarked, proceed to verify its availability for use within the state of Nebraska. Utilize the Nebraska Corporation and Business Search tool to search for registered business names in the state.

    During this search, ensure not only the availability of your exact business name but also check for any significantly similar business names already in use.

    In addition to trademark and state availability, it’s prudent to check the availability of the .com version of your business name. Even if you do not plan to create a website immediately, securing the .com domain is advisable for future business growth and online presence.

    By registering the .com version of your business name with ZenBusiness, you secure exclusive rights to the website name, preventing others from using it. 

    By completing these three searches diligently, you can confirm that your chosen business name is available for use and not already in use by another entity.

    Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Nebraska

    Once you’ve chosen your business structure and name, the next step is to officially form your business with the State of Nebraska. This process will register your business and make it a legal entity.

    To register your Nebraska LLC, you’ll need to file the Articles of Organization with the Nebraska Secretary of State. You have the option to apply online or through the mail. Similarly, for a Nebraska corporation, you’ll need to file the Articles of Incorporation with the Nebraska Secretary of State.

    You May Also Want to Know

    Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark

    After confirming the availability of your business name and securing it, you may consider applying for a trademark. The trademark application typically costs between $225 to $400, and there may be attorney fees involved. Additionally, you’ll need to pay a renewal fee every 10 years.

    While this option may be more suitable for businesses planning to operate nationwide, it might be unnecessary for smaller enterprises unless they have aspirations of expanding on a national scale. A trademark provides brand protection at a federal level, enabling you to take legal action against others using a similar business name.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    How to File a Nebraska Fictitious Name – DBA?

    To file a Nebraska Fictitious Name (Doing Business As or DBA), follow these steps:

    1. Choose a Fictitious Name: Select a unique name that represents your business and isn’t already in use by another entity in Nebraska
    1. Search for Name Availability: Check the Nebraska Secretary of State’s business name database to ensure your chosen name is available for use
    1. Complete the Application: Obtain the “Application for Registration of Trade Name” form from the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website or office
    1. Provide Business Information: Fill out the form with your business details, including the legal name, address, and type of business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership)
    1. Sign the Form: The form must be signed by the business owner or an authorized representative
    1. Notarize the Form: Get the form notarized by a notary public to validate the authenticity of the application
    1. File the Application: Submit the completed and notarized form, along with the required filing fee, to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office by mail or in person
    1. Wait for Approval: Once your application is processed and approved, your Fictitious Name will be officially registered, allowing you to conduct business under that name in Nebraska
    1. Renew as Required: Be aware of the renewal requirements for your Fictitious Name registration, as it may need to be renewed periodically, depending on state regulations
    1. Start Doing Business: After successfully registering your Fictitious Name, you can begin operating your business using the chosen name within the state of Nebraska

    Recheck with your local county office or the Nebraska Department of State for specific requirements in your area.

    How to Change the Name of a Nebraska Business?

    If you ever need to change your business name in Nebraska, there are two primary methods to consider. The first option is filing for a trade name, also known as a DBA (Doing Business As) name. This straightforward approach allows you to operate your business under an alternative name without altering its legal name.

    A trade name is suitable for sole proprietorships, general partnerships, as well as LLCs, and corporations. It allows businesses to use brand names without including the required “LLC” or “Inc.” suffix in their legal name.

    However, if you wish to officially change the legal name of your LLC or corporation, you must file an amendment to the legal name of your existing business. For this purpose, you can find the necessary forms named as:

    1. Amended Certificate of Organization for LLCs
    2. Articles of Amendment for Corporations

    Keep in mind that Nebraska doesn’t provide a specific amendment form for corporations. Therefore, you have the option to either file online or draft your own form, subject to the payment of a $25 filing fee (plus $5 for each additional page).

    For LLCs, you can conveniently submit your amended Certificate of Organization online or through the mail (in duplicate) to the Nebraska Secretary of State, along with a $15 filing fee (plus $5 for each additional page).

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    Business Name Registration Laws in Nebraska

    Here are some general guidelines regarding business name registration laws in Nebraska:

    • Business Name Availability Search: Before registering a business name in Nebraska, it’s recommended to conduct a name availability search to ensure that the desired name isn’t already in use by another business. You can perform this search through the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website or by contacting their office directly.
    • Business Entities: Nebraska allows various types of business entities, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and more. Each entity type may have different requirements and considerations for name registration.
    • Fictitious Business Name: If you’re operating a business under a name that does not include the legal names of the owners (for sole proprietorships and partnerships) or the entity’s name (for corporations and LLCs), you may need to file a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or “Fictitious Business Name” registration with the Nebraska Secretary of State or the county clerk’s office, depending on the location of your business.
    • State-Level Registration: For certain business entities like corporations and LLCs, you will need to register your business name with the Nebraska Secretary of State. This registration typically requires submitting the appropriate forms and paying the necessary filing fees.
    • County-Level Registration: Some businesses may be required to register their business name at the county level as well. This applies mainly to sole proprietorships, partnerships, or businesses using a fictitious name. Requirements may vary by county, so it’s essential to check with the local county clerk’s office.
    • Trade Name Registration: In some cases, businesses engaged in specific trades or professions may need to register their trade name with the appropriate state agencies or licensing boards.

    Remember that business name registration laws and requirements can be subject to change, so it’s always best to verify the current regulations with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office or consult with a legal professional before proceeding with the registration process.

    Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Nebraska

    In conclusion, registering your business name in Nebraska is the key to unlocking a rewarding entrepreneurial path. By selecting a unique name and suitable business structure, completing all essential registrations, and considering trademark protection or a DBA name, you establish a strong foundation for your business. With the guidance of LLC services like ZenBusiness, the registration process becomes more efficient, empowering your registered business name to shine in Nebraska’s bustling business environment.

    >> Use ZenBusiness To Register a Business Name in Nebraska >>

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