By Any Other Name: Whatchumaycallit, Branding and the DBA

Earlier in the discussion of sole proprietors, or “solopreneurs” of which authors are one kind, I said that should an owner/practitioner not want to user her own given name as the business’ name  then there needs to be a “DBA” or “Doing Business As” name registered. Legal Zoom says this:

“Although the simplest form of business, sole proprietorship are not considered a separate legal entity and do not offer owners limited liability protection. If you intend to do business under a name other than a legal name, you will need to file a DBA.”

Every business needs a name and an identity in the eyes of the state, so if an owner is not using her own taxpayer ID to register the business as a legal entity, then the business needs an EIN, or “Employer Identification Number” There are agencies on-line and off-line that register new businesses. In both places they may be found basically under the office of taxation in the town, city or municipality of residence.

Since a business’ name will be part of its total brand promotion and product marketing strategy, owners must consider giving the business a distinctive name or DBA that will aid marketing. In my travels I have seen business name generators that may help prime the creative pump for brainstorming names. Another thing to consider is whether or not the name you are generating is already in existence, which means the right to use that name would be an infringement upon that business. The same concerns come up when there is the use of an image that represents the business name.