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Business Name vs. Trade Name

A business name is the official, legal name of the business entity, be it a partnership, LLC, or Corporation. You use your business name on government forms and applications. Limited partnerships, LLCs, and corporations establish their legal names when registering the business structure. The legal name is part of your articles of incorporation.

Sometimes, a business owner wants to operate under a name other than the company’s legal name for advertising and sale purposes. The trade name is the name the public sees on places like signs and the internet. For example, “McDonalds” is the name on the sign but the company’s full legal business name is “McDonald’s Corporation”. Your business name and trading name can be different. A trade name does not need to include LLC, Corp, or other legal endings.

If you want to operate under a different name than your business name, you need to register a trade name. In Maryland, you can file a Trade Name Application with the Department of Assessments and Taxation for a fee.

For a free, confidential conversation to discuss trade names and other business law matters, including business formation legal services, contact Maryland business attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959, or by clicking here.

Day, evening and weekend appointments are available in office or at your residence. Mr. Reichert personally serves business law clients throughout the entire state of Maryland.

Stephen looks forward to assisting you with your Maryland business law needs.

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