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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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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.

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April 24, 2011

Business Licenses

Does your business have a business license?

Having a “real” business like a store or restaurant requires you to have a business license and perhaps some other permits.   Being a notary public is easier.  You don’t need a liquor license unless you want to offer unique wines from Mendoza that you stash in your trunk to your notary clients. It might help them get through a stressful signing, you never know.  But, most notaries do not have a business license, and legally, you should probably have one.

Company names?
Its good to have a notary company name / notary business name.  It gives the impression of professionalism.  Our notaries often put a company name on their listing, but many keep changing the name every several months.  I begin to think that they are not licensed, and they just improvise on the name as they please.  This can get you into a heap of trouble. We already had a threat of a law suit because one notary used someone else’s name (gulp).  Notaries with a company name get about 17% more clicks than those that don’t.  Removing your personal name to replace it with a company name can lose you some brand recognition in the short run though.

Business licenses
Its doesn’t require a degree in nuclear physics to ge ta business license. Just waltz down to your county clerk’s office with a check and register your business name.  You have to check to see if the name is already in use.  If not, then register your choice of name. Its good to think for a few weeks what you want to name your business, so you can start off with an auspicious name.  Registering your business on a lucky day will help your business for life too, so have a good astrologer pick a lucky day for you with some good constellations. Make sure Mars is in the right house.. or else!  You have to list your business name in one or more newspapers in your area, but the county clerk will take care of that for you.  You fill out a few quick forms and write them a check, and then you are done.

Name ideas
Its sometimes a good idea to have a unique name.  Many companies in our industry have a name so similar to someone else’s name, that when the “other” company does something wrong, the new company is effected by the bad reputation of the other company.  Unique names are good, and names with geographical terms are sometimes a good idea too.  Its best to pick a good name, and then keep it for life.  Many companies like to keep changing their company name, and this causes a lot of confusion for the customers.  There is a train station in Bombay that changed its name three times in the last several years.  I don’t know whether to call it “Fort”, “VT”, or “Victoria Station”, yikes.  I’ll have to call it, “The railway station formerly known as Victoria Station”.  That will not help me when I try to look it up on the internet.

Do names have energies?
The mystics think that names have powerful energies, and that if you pick a good name, that will help your business. Personal names have karma too, and if you want to change your karma, the first thing to do is to change your name.  Number combinations have energies too.  Names also make quite an impression, so if your name seems unique and also gives the client confidence in you, you are on the right track. Considerate Notary Services, Astute Notary, Meticulous Signing Services, Simi Valley Signatures…  These names may be a bit funny, but they are good names in my opinion because of the impression they give.

When you are ready!
Think hard about what type of notary company name / notary business name to get. Ask your friends and your cat or dog what they think too.  Meditate on it.  Then, when you are ready, register your business name!

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