There are two ways of registering a business name. The first is to form a business entity such as a corporation or limited liability company. The other method is to register a fictitious business name if you choose to be a sole proprietorship. The name you choose for your company will automatically be registered with your state, and that means that no other business can be formed there with the same name.

In some states, you must also file a DBA registration with the state agency responsible for business filings, usually the secretary of state. In addition, depending on the type of business you have and the place it’s located, you may have to register for licenses or permits from local licensing agencies.