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August 18, 2014

Grow your business first, and THEN do the official stuff?

This was a reply to my post about getting a business license. It is illegal to operate a business without a business license. If you claim a business name without having it registered, you could get into legal trouble (gulp.)

But, should you see if your business “takes” before investing in formalities? That is what many of us small potatoes do. I started several businesses without registering them. I started in business when I was a 14 year old kid doing landscaping for my neighbors.

If you are committed to doing business, invest in supplies, commissions, etc., then you are committed enough to obey the law and get a business license. The total costs are less than $100 including the newspaper fees for publishing your business name officially.

As they say in the sneaker industry — just do it!

Tweets:
(1) should you see if your business “takes” before investing in formalities like getting a biz license?

You might also like:

Choosing a name for your business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7103

Registering your business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=742

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March 1, 2014

Choosing a name for your business license

Many Notaries get business licenses. They choose names for their companies. Often they want to use their property management company’s name on their notary advertisement. I think it is a bad idea. A good Notary business name should have the word “notary” or “signings” in it or at least sound attractive to somebody searching for a Notary Public.

Types of Notary business names to think about

“Polly The Notary”, would be a good business name. It makes it clear who you are and what you do. We have a handful of Notaries on our site who use similar sounding business names such as Ellen The Notary.

“Joseph’s Notary & Apostille”, is good because it lists two of your services and who you are. Apostille service is less common, so it makes it easier to identify that you provide this rare service.

“Sepulveda Signings”, let’s people know that you do notarizations or loan signings (probably) and ties you into a particular geographical location that makes you unique.

“Cranston & Cranston”, is not as good because you sound like an Attorney’s office, and NOT a notary service.

“JP Management”, might be good if you are in the Real Estate business, but not an effective name for a notary service.

“Accurate Signings” is attractive, but other companies already took this name. Some people feel it is good to use an attribute in the name of your company, while others feel that companies that use attributes in their name don’t always deliver the highest quality of service. This is a judgement call on your part!

Think from the perspective of your clients
The name you put on your business license that you get at your county clerk’s office is up to you, but think from the perspective of prospective clients! Choose a name that is pleasant and easy for them to keep in their busy and distracted heads! Registering a business name only takes a few hours, and costs less than $200 in most cases. It involves standing in line in the county clerk’s office, filling out a few forms, paying for a newspaper advertisement to display your new business name. It is not hard. You only have to register your notary service once. Good luck!

Is your name unique enough?
Another factor in choosing your business name is sounding unique and not being confused with one of those other Notary companies that is behind due paying their bills. The fastest way to ruin your reputation is to pick a business name that sounds similar to someone else’s. So, do lots of queries on Google to see what other people are doing before you pick your name.

They change their business name every month!
Ironically, we have a handful of Notaries on 123notary who change their business name on our site every month. One month it is JC Notary, the next it is JC Notary & Apostille, then the “&” becomes an “And,” and it keeps changing. The only thing that crosses my mind is — what is the name on your official business license, and do you even have a business license?

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You might also like:

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=7100

Silly names for notary businesses
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4231

Registering a business license
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=742

Operating without a business license & getting put out of business by the state!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2804

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January 18, 2014

You could get sued if you don’t have a business license

Legally, you might need to get a business license
Did you just get your Notary Commission? Good for you! Do you want to start a business doing notarizations? unlikely unless you have gotten huge without a business license. However, there is a small chance that someone else might register that business name somewhere in your state or county and sue you for damages. After all, you were Legally, you might need to get a business license. But, most notaries don’t get one until they want to use a particular business name. Some even advertise in the yellow pages without having a registered business name. What is the risk in not doing so? Will the state government come crashing down on you? That is using THEIR business name and they could claim to have lost money!

Changing or removing your business name
The problem is that once you put your business name in print on the internet or in printed advertising, you might find it very difficult to get change it or remove it. Google keeps a cache of old pages for months as well, so that information you posted on the internet could haunt you long after you remove it!

Notary Business names that change every month?
We have notaries on 123notary who change their business name every month. Each time it is a different variation. In October it is MG Notary Service, and then it changes to MG Properties, and then in December it is Mary’s Notary & Apostille. Which one is it? Notaries cannot change their personal or business name on our site without my intervention. But, when I see that they are changing their business name every month, I begin to think that “perhaps” their business name is not really registered, and that they don’t have business licenses. Hmmm. Once I asked someone to send me proof of their business license and they sent me a copy of a newspaper ad they had used to publish their business name. The text was different sizes and on different lines, and I couldn’t tell which part of the name was commentary and which part was the name on their business license. Good God!

Be safe and get registered
It is better to think long and hard about what your business name should be. Then, register your business name, and get a company bank account. Then you can advertise, and do business as a DBA without “as much” risk of being sued due to your business name. There can always be some clown who still wants to make trouble with you who has that same business name registered in another county, but if you are playing by the rules, it will be harder for someone to question the legitimacy of your business name and probably less likely that they can sue you for “business name infringement”. Your name on your notary commission is registered, why shouldn’t your business name as well?

Tweets:
(1) Did you just get your notary commission? Good! You need to get a business license now.
(2) Once your business name is registered & in print, it is not easy to change it. Think it over first.
(3) We have notaries on 123notary who change their business name every month. Doesn’t sound very legal.
(4) You might be held liable for “business name infringement” if you don’t register your biz name.

You might also like:

Stealing a business name
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2660

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