How to Obtain a Trade Name in Pennsylvania

By Mark Kennan

A trade name, known as a fictitious name in Pennsylvania, is an assumed name that a business uses to conduct business that is different than its legal name. For example, if you want your business to be known as Exquisite Assortments, you have to register "Exquisite Assortments" as your fictitious name. Registration of a fictitious name does not provide a business entity with exclusive rights to use the name. However, you cannot register a fictitious name that conflicts with an already-registered name. In Pennsylvania, trade name registration is handled by the Department of State and requires two parts: submitting an application and publishing your fictitious name in the county in which you will do business.

Step 1

Go to the Pennsylvania Department of State website. Click on "Corporations" and then on "Name Availabilities." Enter the trade name you wish to register to determine if it is available.

Step 2

Download a copy of the Pennsylvania Application for Registration of Fictitious Name. On the Pennsylvania Department of State website, click on "Corporations" and then on "Forms." Under "Form Names," click on the link to the "Registration of Fictitious Name" to download the form.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now

Step 3

Complete the Pennsylvania Application for Registration of Fictitious Name. This application requires your name, the trade name you want to register, the purpose of the entity and the names of anyone else who is a party to the fictitious name. For example, if you're registering the name on behalf of an entity, such as a corporation, you need to include the entity's contact information as well.

Step 4

Mail the completed form along with the fee to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Corporation Bureau, P.O. Box 8722, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722. The department of state typically takes between seven and 10 business days to process applications.

Step 5

Publish your intent to use a fictitious name on or before the date you register your name. When you register a fictitious name, in 54 Pa.C.S. ยง 311(g) of the Pennsylvania Code, it is provided that an entity, which includes an individual party, must officially publish the intent to use the fictitious name in the county that is the entity's principal place of business. The notice needs to include the fictitious name, the address of the place of business, the names of the people who registered the name and a statement saying you applied or will be applying for a fictitious name. In Pennsylvania, "officially publish" requires publication in two English-language newspapers. If there's only one in the county, that one is sufficient. You do not need to submit copies of the publications, but should keep them for your records.

Ready to start your LLC? Start an LLC Online Now
How to Set Up a Business Name in Wisconsin



Related articles

How to Get a DBA in Utah

A DBA, short for "doing business as," is a trade name you use for your business when you don't want to use your given name. For example, if you want your bakery to be known as "Sweeter than Sugar," you are operating under a DBA. In Utah, DBAs apply to sole proprietorships and general partnerships. The DBA must be registered with the Utah Division of Corporations, and the registration is valid for three years. The DBA then expires unless it is renewed.

How to Place an Ad in a Paper When Creating a New DBA

Registering a fictitious business name, also known as a trade or "doing business as" name, is a local process that is state, county or city specific. Some jurisdictions require business owners to place a notice in a local newspaper to complete the registration process to inform the public of the use of the name. These jurisdictions typically provide the locality-specific information you need to quickly satisfy this requirement.

How Do I Legally Change My Name in Ohio?

Name changes for an adult in Ohio are made in the probate court of the county the person lives in. You must file an application to have the case heard by the court. Ohio state laws require a hearing be held on the matter, and the court can deny your name change if you don't give an acceptable reason. Name changes that are for fraudulent purposes, such as to evade legal authorities, are not permitted in Ohio.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help LLCs

Related articles

How to Change a Middle Name on an Alabama Birth Certificate

A birth certificate is a fundamental identification document, and the name on a birth certificate normally reflects the ...

Does a Nonprofit Organization in Pennsylvania Require a Business License?

A business license is simply an issuance of permission to operate in the state. Although nonprofits do not transact ...

How to Change Your Last Name in Tennessee

You can change your name in Tennessee if you're at least 18 and the new name doesn't hinder public interest. Some ...

How to Copyright in Illinois

Copyright law in the state of Illinois, like all states, is governed by federal law. The U.S. Constitution vests in ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED