Differences Of Business Name And Brand Name

Did you know that a brand and business are not the same thing, even when the business name and the brand name could match?

Yes, although people often use these terms interchangeably, especially when they have the same name, they're still not the same thing in legal terms. If you’re starting your new business, you need to know some key technical differences between these two entities.

Let’s take a look.

What is a Brand Name?

Brand name is an arbitrarily adopted name, which is given by a manufacturer or merchant to a product line or service to distinguish it as produced or sold by that manufacturer or merchant. A brand name may be used and protected as a trademark.

Simpler, a brand name is the name that you use to identify the family or a single line of products or services that you offer. For instance, the brand name “Nike” is used on most products manufactured by Nike, Inc. In this case, the business name and brand name are the same.

The products or services you offer can also have their own brand names. For example, we all know iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Mac are different brands but all of them are owned by Apple.

You can consider your brand name as who you are to your client. It is the pillar upon which your company's public image will be established. If you build your brand name in the right way, it'll serve as a stand-in for your core business product and service.

What is a Business Name?

Business name is the name that is legally registered to your business. You'll use it for your company in contracts, opening bank accounts, taxes-related works, as well as any other administrative works.

Despite most business names being their brand name, they don't necessarily have to be the same. In some cases, the company name and the brand name can be entirely different. This is very common in large corporations with several labels that are all owned by the same parent company.

So if your brand name is who you are to clients, then your business name is who you are in legal activities. For example, we all know what “Google” is, but it’s just a brand name, the company’s business name is actually “Alphabet Inc.”

How To Get A Business Name

We have discussed how to choose a great brand name, so in this section, we will talk about how to get a business name. Each country has its own law, so let’s take the case if your business is located in the US.

When you want to register a business name, you must first check to see if it is available or not. If a company is located in the same state as another company, they cannot have the same legal name. A review of the government website of the state in which your company is located may also be used to verify a business name.

You do not need to register your business in every state; only the ones where you have a physical presence are needed. For example, if you run an e-commerce company with customers all over the country, you just need to register in the state where you do business.

The simplest way to register a business name is by filing a DBA, (doing business as) also known as a fictitious business name. A DBA is a very basic type of business registration. It helps you to advertise, promote, and conduct business under the name of your choice. Even though it is not officially incorporated, you can conduct business under this name. You can fill a DBA at your local county clerk's office.

Another option for registering a company is to go to the Secretary of State and apply for an LLC or Corporation. An LLC, unlike a DBA, is a legal entity that exists independently of you. This offers a higher level of defense in terms of liability and legal issues.