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Are you thinking of launching your business in Nevada, the Silver State? Register a business name in Nevada is an important step to ensure legal compliance and establish your brand identity. Whether you opt for an LLC, corporation, or a “doing business as” (DBA) name, we’ll be with you every step of the way, guiding you through the entire registration process.
For a seamless and efficient experience, consider enlisting the support of ZenBusiness. Together, let’s navigate the dynamic business landscape of Nevada and turn your vision into a reality!
4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Nevada
Establishing your business name in Nevada is a vital step toward building your entrepreneurial presence in the state. To assist you with this process, here are four simple steps to officially register your business name in Nevada:
Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Nevada
When setting up a business in Nevada, one of the crucial steps is choosing the appropriate business structure that suits your enterprise’s nature and growth objectives. The state offers various options for both incorporated and unincorporated businesses, each with distinct functionalities. Let’s delve into each of these alternatives to gain a better understanding.
If you decide on a structure that requires incorporation, such as the ones listed below, you’ll need to register your business with the Nevada Secretary of State.
A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure, where the owner and the business are considered one legal entity. However, this means the owner assumes personal liability for the business’s debts and obligations. While registration with the state isn’t mandatory for a sole proprietorship in Nevada, you might still need to obtain local permits or licenses.
A general partnership involves two or more individuals who jointly own the business, sharing both profits and losses. Each partner bears personal responsibility for the business’s debts and legal commitments. Although registration of a general partnership with the state isn’t obligatory, filing a “Nevada Assumed Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county of operation might be necessary.
Limited Partnership (LP)
A limited partnership in Nevada consists of general partners with unlimited personal liability for managing the business and one or more limited partners who contribute capital but have limited liability. Establishing an LP requires submitting a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” to the Nevada Secretary of State.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
The LLC is a flexible business structure that combines liability protection similar to a corporation with the tax advantages and simplicity of a partnership. To form an LLC in Nevada, you’ll need to file “Articles of Organization Limited Liability Company” with the Nevada Secretary of State and draft an Operating Agreement to define the company’s management and ownership structure.
A corporation is a separate legal entity from its shareholders, offering limited liability protection. In Nevada, there are two types of corporations: C-corporations and S-corporations. To establish a corporation, you’ll need to file either “Articles of Incorporation For-Profit Corporation” or “Articles of Incorporation Nonprofit Corporation” with the Nevada Secretary of State, depending on the nature of your business. Corporations involve additional formalities, such as creating bylaws, issuing stock, and holding regular board and shareholder meetings.
To make the right decision, consider factors like liability protection, taxation, and management demands when selecting the business structure that aligns best with your requirements in Nevada. Seeking advice from legal or business professionals can be beneficial in making an informed choice. Remember that taking the time to register your business correctly will set a solid foundation for your entrepreneurial journey in the Silver State.
Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Nevada
Once you’ve determined the suitable business structure for your venture in Nevada, the next critical step is selecting a unique business name. The state offers several options to ensure your business name stands out and is well-protected. Understanding the various naming methods specific to Nevada is essential to make an informed decision.
Legal Entity Name
In Nevada, it’s mandatory to register a legal entity name, which serves as the official identifier for your company recognized by the state. This ensures that your business name remains distinct and reduces the risk of another enterprise using the same name. The state has guidelines regarding company suffixes (e.g., LLC, LP, or Corp) and requires the name to accurately reflect the nature of your registered business. You can verify name availability through the Nevada Secretary of State’s database.
Obtaining a trademark protects your business name or logo as intellectual property at a national level. It’s essential to conduct a thorough trademark search within the USPTO database to ensure your intended name or logo isn’t already registered. A successfully registered trademark provides nationwide coverage, preventing others from using an identical or similar name or logo for similar goods or services. However, it’s important to note that a trademark doesn’t grant unrestricted usage of the name or logo in all circumstances.
Assumed Name (DBA)
Nevada allows businesses to operate under a different name than their official legal entity name. This is known as an Assumed Name or Doing Business As (DBA). To establish a DBA, you’ll need to file an Assumed Name Certificate with the county clerk’s office where your business is located. While federal trademark laws apply to these names, there is no requirement for a DBA to be unique at the state level.
To safeguard your business name effectively and prevent potential conflicts, you may consider pursuing all three naming options. Alternatively, choosing one method that best suits your needs is also a viable approach. Maintaining consistency across all registration methods by using the same business name is often advisable.
By understanding and carefully considering these naming options, you can confidently register your business name in Nevada and protect your brand identity. Having a unique and legally compliant business name sets a strong foundation for your business’s success and recognition in the market.
Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Nevada
Before proceeding to register your business, it’s crucial to check if the desired name is available and not already in use by another entity. To conduct a comprehensive business name availability search, follow these three steps:
The first step is to conduct a federal trademark search to ensure that your chosen business name isn’t already trademarked. Trademarks registered at the federal level take precedence over state-level registrations. If your desired name is already trademarked, you will need to select a new name.
To perform a federal trademark search, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and use the TESS Search tool.
Nevada Business Name Search
Once you confirm that your name isn’t trademarked, proceed to check its availability for use within the state of Nevada. Utilize the Secretary of State’s SilverFlume business name search tool to look up registered business names in Nevada.
During your search, ensure that your exact business name is available and that there are no significantly similar names already in use by other businesses.
Website Domain Search
In addition to verifying trademark and state-level availability, consider conducting a search to check if the .com version of your business name is available. While not every business may require a website, securing the .com domain for your business name is advisable whenever possible.
Secure your business name by registering the .com version with ZenBusiness. It’s an affordable way to protect your brand from unauthorized use.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your desired business name is legally available and ready for registration in Nevada.
Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Nevada
After deciding on your business structure and name, the next crucial step is to formally register your business with the State of Nevada.
For a Nevada LLC, you will need to submit the Articles of Organization to the Nevada Secretary of State. This can be done either online or through mail. If you’re forming a Nevada corporation, you should file the Articles of Incorporation with the Nevada Secretary of State.
You May Also Want to Know
Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark
Once you have ensured that your chosen business name is available and secured, you may consider applying for a trademark to protect it. The cost for this process typically ranges from $225 to $400, including attorney fees, along with a renewal fee every 10 years.
While this cost may be a burden for startups or small businesses, it offers the advantage of providing nationwide protection under federal law. This protection allows you to assert your rights in case others attempt to use a similar name for their business. However, for most small businesses that are not planning to expand nationally, obtaining a trademark may not be necessary.
How to File a Nevada Fictitious Name – DBA?
To file a Nevada Fictitious Name (DBA), follow these steps:
- Choose a name: Select a unique and distinguishable name for your business that’s not already in use by another entity in Nevada.
- Check availability: Ensure that the chosen name isn’t already registered or trademarked in the state. You can check the Nevada Secretary of State’s website or contact them to verify the name’s availability.
- File the form: Complete and submit the “Fictitious Firm Name Registration” form to the Nevada Secretary of State. You can file the form online or by mail.
- Pay the fee: Include the required filing fee, which is subject to change, along with your registration form. Check the current fee on the Secretary of State’s website.
- Publication requirement: In some counties, you may need to publish a notice of your Fictitious Name registration in a local newspaper for a specific period. Check with your county clerk’s office to determine if this step is necessary.
- Renewal: Fictitious Name registrations in Nevada are valid for five years. Make sure to renew your registration before it expires to maintain your business name’s protection.
Remember to keep a copy of the registration certificate for your records, as it may be needed for various business transactions and activities.
How to Change the Name of a Nevada Business?
If you need to change the name of your business in Nevada, there are two methods to do so. The first is filing for a fictitious firm name, also known as a DBA (Doing Business As) name. This option allows you to operate your business under a different name without altering its legal name.
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, a DBA name is the only way to have a different business name. For LLCs and corporations, it’s the simplest method, as it allows them to operate with brand names without including the required LLC or Inc. suffix in the legal name.
If you wish to officially change the legal name of your LLC or corporation, filing an amendment to the legal name is the appropriate route. Forms for both options, along with a $175 filing fee, can be submitted by mail or online to the Nevada Secretary of State.
Business Name Registration Laws in Nevada
Here are some key points about business name registration laws in Nevada:
- Business Entity Types: In Nevada, you can register various types of business entities, such as corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), partnerships, and sole proprietorships.
- Name Availability: Before registering your business name in Nevada, you must check its availability to ensure that no other entity is already using the same or a very similar name. You can do a name search on the Nevada Secretary of State’s website or contact their office directly for assistance.
- Name Requirements: The chosen business name must comply with certain requirements. Generally, it should not be misleading, deceptive, or confusing to the public. Additionally, it should include an appropriate business entity designator such as “LLC” for limited liability companies or “Inc.” for corporations.
- Fictitious Firm Name: If your business operates under a name different from the legal name of the business owner(s), you will likely need to file a “Fictitious Firm Name” or “Doing Business As (DBA)” registration with the county or counties in which you will conduct business.
- Registration Process: To register your business name in Nevada, you will typically file the necessary forms with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office. The exact forms and filing requirements will depend on the type of business entity you’re forming.
- Business Name Reservation: If you want to secure a particular business name before officially forming your business entity, you can choose to reserve the name with the Nevada Secretary of State. This reservation is usually valid for a set period, giving you time to complete the business formation process.
It’s essential to consult with a legal professional or visit the Nevada Secretary of State’s website for the most up-to-date information on business name registration laws and requirements in Nevada. Laws and regulations can change over time, so staying informed and following the proper procedures is crucial to starting and operating a business in compliance with state laws.
Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Nevada
To conclude, registering your business name in Nevada opens the door to an exciting entrepreneurial journey. By choosing a distinctive name and the right business structure, fulfilling all necessary registrations, and giving thought to trademark protection or a DBA name, you set the stage for a successful venture.
Rely on the expertise of LLC services like ZenBusiness to navigate the registration process smoothly, enabling your registered business name to lead the way in Nevada’s vibrant business landscape.
How to register a business name in every US state: