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Q.How do I choose a corporate name?

A.After deciding to incorporate, and selecting where to incorporate, you will need to choose a corporate name. You must choose the name of your corporation carefully. The corporate name you select should reflect the image you seek to portray to your intended customers, but must also be legal.

From the legal standpoint most states require your corporate name to end in either Corporation, Incorporation, Inc. or Corp. Some states also permit Limited, Ltd., and Company. Additionally, you must ensure that your corporate name is not identical to, or deceptively similar to, another corporation registered in your state. Finally, you should ensure that the corporate name you choose is available for use as a trademark or service mark, within your state of incorporation if that is the only intended market, and federally if you plan to offer your products or services across state lines. You do not want to select and register a corporate name that you will later be asked to change because it is infringing a registered trademark belonging to a third party.

We strongly suggest that before incorporating your business you consult a competent corporate and trademark attorney to have both a corporate name and trademark search performed on the corporate name you intend to use. The corporate search will reveal if there are any conflicting corporate names within the state, and the trademark search should reveal whether there are any "confusingly similar" trademarked names.

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Copyright 1999-2018 Melissa C. Marsh. All Rights Reserved. All Information on this website is subject to a Disclaimer and Use Agreement. This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. We advise you to seek the advice of competent legal counsel to address your own specific questions, facts and circumstances.