I am filing a Trade Name Report with my states Secretary of State. It told me to enter the trade name of my business which is the name of my business and then it says to enter the "legal name" of my business but it has to be different from the trade name of my business. So I'm wondering what is the legal name of my business since it won't allow me to put the trade name as the legal name. I have a sole proprietor business.
A trade name report is required when you're operating a business under a name that is different than the legal name of the entity. If you're operating the business under it's legal name, you do not need to report the use of a trade name.
For example, if your legal business name is ABC Mowing and Cleaning Services, Inc. and you're operating a business as ABC Services, then you would report the trade name (ABC Services) and the legal name so the Secretary of State can connect the trade name to a legal entity. If you're not using a trade name and just using the legal name, there is nothing to report.
Based on the fact that you are a sole proprietor, then the legal name would be your name. If you operate under a name different from your own name, then such would be the trade name. For example, an individual is called Jane Doe. Jane owns and operates a restaurant called The End of the World. When Jane signs legal documents related to the restaurant, she would sign: Jane Doe t/a The End of the World. But if someone ate in her restaurant and got sick, the person would not know who is The End of the World. That is why a sole proprietor, when operating under a name different from their own, must register that trade name with their state. Good luck.
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You submitted this question under the practice are of "LLC" so I'm responding under the assumption that your business is or will be an LLC. If you are setting up an LLC, or have already set up an LLC, then the legal name is the original name you choose for your business when initially submit your Articles of Organization to the Oklahoma Secretary of State. If you later want to operate under another or additional business name, then you would file a Trade Name Report with the Oklahoma Secretary of State so that the new or additional business name would be formally recognized. Forms are available with the Secretary of State online or you can hire a local attorney who handles business formation to assist you.
This is not legal advice. There is no established attorney/client relationship between us. Talk an attorney licensed in your state for formal legal advice on this matter.
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