There are a few things to consider:
- Is anyone else using the name? If so, could there be confusion in the marketplace, or could you be infringing on their legal name, trademark, or service mark?
- Learn the difference between a “Legal Entity Name” (Article 3 RCW 23.95), “trade name,” a name used in the course of business, and a “trademark,” an exclusive right to use a name.
- If your business is a corporation or limited liability entity, the name must indicate the type of entity (such as Corp., Inc., LLC, etc.).
Legal Entity names become record when you file a legal entity such as an LLC or Corporation. You can register a trade name when you complete your Washington Business License Application, at a cost of $5 per name. If you also want to trademark a name, you may want to consult an intellectual property attorney. If your business activities will extend beyond Washington State, file for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. If your business activities will stay within Washington, file for a trademark with the Secretary of State.
Find out if the name is available:
- Our business lookup: General license
- Secretary of State Corporations Registration Data Search: Corporation and limited liability company names.
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Commission: Search for federally registered names.
Register a trade name:
File a Business License Application online with My DOR.
- Learn how to register a trade name.
- Pay the $5 fee for each trade name registered and the $19 Business License Application processing fee (non-refundable).
How to register a trade name:
Complete the following and mail to:
Business Licensing Service
P.O. Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034