Step 6: Name & Register Your Business

You’re starting a business!! Now that you have a great idea, a local mentor, a business plan, and financial education; it is time to officially name your business and get it registered with the State of Georgia. This is one of the easier steps, and there is an online portal for completing the registration. You can even “reserve” your business name for 30 days, just in case you are worried that someone will use your business name. Let’s name your business!

Naming your business is one of the most important parts of the process because the name will be how your customers and clients find your business. Some people use very obvious names, like Check Cashing, while other business owners choose catchy, or symbolic names that convey a specific message about the business. No matter which route you choose it is important that you extensively research your top choices, or face potential legal issues that can force you to change your entire business model. If you need help (you do) then a great way to determine and test names is to use a crowdsourcing company to run a naming contest. Click here for a link to Google Search results for naming contests.

The name of your business entity does not necessarily have to be the same as the name of your storefront, or product. For examples, you might not know the name Yum! Brands, but you know their properties like Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut. Under most circumstances, your business’ legal name will be similar or identical to the name you are “doing business as” in Georgia. Your business name will stick with you for a long time, so pick wisely and do your research. In the digital world we live in, it is very possible someone else thought up the exact same name for a business or product, but don’t let that stop you. Move quickly past names that are not viable, ask opinions of your family and colleagues, and don’t forget to take a break and look out the window for inspiration from time to time. This process can be frustrating at first, but it will ensure that your business stands out from your competition. Settle on AT LEAST three names or variations that are acceptable because you’ll be asked to state these on your application.

Once you are ready, you can begin the paperwork. If you would like to “reserve” your business name for 30 days while you complete your registration, use’s online system HERE . Or if you are ready to begin the paperwork right now, then go directly to Georgia’s Corporate Divisions page HERE and create a new log-in. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to access all the available online services. This includes creating/registering a business, which is your first step.

Once you complete your registration, you can elect to have notifications emailed to you that will update the progress of your application. Don’t worry, this process can take several weeks to complete, and you might be asked for additional documentation. You may also be asked to make changes or updates before your application will be approved.

You made it through another step! We’d like to hear from you! Did you just finish your application? Are you lost, or need help? We are Up with ATL, a group of journalists that are working to make a difference in our community by helping Atlanta citizens. Our mission is to educate the public on the resources available to start a business or buy a home.

Jump back to Step 1 HERE

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