Steps in registering a business name in Texas.

Name Registration

Name registration is done when an individual forms a business entity with the state. In order to approve a name registration, the name must be distinguishable in the records of the secretary of state from the name of an existing filing entity.

A valid name registration precludes another entity from filing under a legal or fictitious name that is not distinguishable in the records of the secretary of state. A name registration is valid for one year and may be renewed.

To do the name registration, you must first choose your business structure, then do a business name search to ensure name availability. Once you have selected your business structure and name, you will need to file your formation documents with the state, which will register your business with the State of Texas.

Contact the office of the Secretary of State for further directions on registering the business and the relevant files you should fill.

Using an assumed name.

You may want to use an assumed and/or fictitious name for your business. Registration of assumed names is provided for under Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 71.151 – 71.158. Individuals and unincorporated entities that do business/ intend to do business using an assumed name (often referred to as a “dba”) must file an assumed name certificate with the county clerk in each county in which business premises are maintained. Therefore, you should contact the applicable county clerks’ offices for information on fees and on filing a certificate.

If a corporation, LLC, or LP does business under a name other than the legal name in its certificate of formation, it must file assumed name certificates with the secretary of state and with the clerk of the appropriate county.

Also note that assumed name certificate provides information about the underlying business’s identity and location. It does not give the registrant any right to use the assumed name in a way that violates the law, infringes on the rightful use of the name by others, and it does not prevent anyone else from filing the same assumed name or using the name to form a new entity with the secretary of state.

A certificate of registration is effective for a term not to exceed 10 years from the date the certificate is filed. See Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 71.151.Also, the county clerk shall collect a fee of $2 for filing your certificate. See Tex. Bus. & Com. Code § 71.155.

Penalty for non-compliance

The Texas Business & Commerce Code sections 71.201, 71.202 provide for civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance with the assumed name provisions of Chapter 71. Therefore, if one uses an assumed name without registering the name, they are liable both criminally and civilly.

Protecting your intellectual property and confidential information.

A Non-Disclosure Agreement is the best way to protect information that belongs to you. Accordingly, I have attached a Non-Disclosure Agreement that you’ll use with the people you hire.


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