Registering A Name... Please Help

Business By dennishaskins Updated 3 May 2008 , 7:40pm by dennishaskins

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dennishaskins Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 10:50pm
post #1 of 12

i am in the process of trying to get a website going for my cakes.. do i have to try and register a name for my company before i get any of this going? i live in va so i can have my home bakery licensed (which i plan on starting the process next week.) should i wait to get all of that taken care of first?

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JoAnnB Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 11:27pm
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You can register a business name with your state before you complete the business activity. The Secretary of State is typically where you can do this. In Oregon, it costs about $50 for two years.

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dennishaskins Posted 30 Apr 2008 , 11:53pm
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do you think i should do that before i purchase the domain name?

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mjcakes Posted 1 May 2008 , 4:23am
post #4 of 12

Ge the name of your business registered with the Stae first, then you can see what options are available with the name. For example, I had to put a hyphen in the middle. ie: MJ' That's what was available for my domain.

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dennishaskins Posted 1 May 2008 , 12:45pm
post #5 of 12

do i have to get my license in order for me to register a name?

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jenbakescakes Posted 1 May 2008 , 4:54pm
post #6 of 12

What part of VA are you in? I am in Pittsylvania co. and have been through the process of inspection and all that kind of good stuff. There is a website for people in VA to check out biz names to see if they are available. Are you going sole proprietor or LLC or what? I can look up my info and get back with you later on today probably. If you are near a Small Business Developement center you should really go there, they are a huge help. I can get the # for mine, and you can probably call them and they can direct you to one near you.

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Laura102777 Posted 1 May 2008 , 5:06pm
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by dennishaskins

do i have to get my license in order for me to register a name?

No, but you probably wouldn't want to spend money on a domain name until you're sure the business name is available in your state. If you've checked to make sure the name is available in your state, then go ahead and register your domain name. I wouldn't recommend publishing a business website until your business is completely legal, but reserving the domain name wouldn't hurt.

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AuntAndrea Posted 1 May 2008 , 5:27pm
post #8 of 12


I live in VA, too -- Northern Virginia area.

I ended up doing both at the same time -- I would come up with a business name and then check to see about it's availability, both as a Domain name and with the State Corporation Commission, Office of the Clerk (which is where you register business names in VA -- they just updated their website). There is no legal requirement that you register the name before purchasing a domain -- but it just makes sense that you verify that the name you want to use can be registered before you spend a lot of money on webstuff. (You DO need to know what kind of business entity you want, though -- LLC, Partnership, etc. -- since the search is done by entity type.) But the two searches can be done simultaneously. icon_smile.gif

It took me QUITE a while to finally find a name I was both happy with AND could get the Domain name for -- lots of the names I thought up were already in use on the web. I also changed my business name a couple of times along the way, having picked ones I wasn't totally thrilled with. (Which in turn meant that I ended up paying for multiple domain names that I'm not ultimately going to use... <sigh>icon_wink.gif. So you might want to spend some time really thinking about possible names first.

It takes really NO time online to check with the Office of the Clerk to see if the name you want is available, and it's pretty much the same to find out the availablity of a particular domain name. In fact, finding an available domain name took longer for me! icon_eek.gif Sometimes, if you use your own name as part of the business name, that will narrow down the chances that someone already has the name you want, but that's not always true. I first went with "Aunt Andrea's Cakes and Crafts", but ultimately changed that to my current business name, "Anytime Cakes", which is now registered as an LLC with VA. When I finally managed to come up with "Anytime Cakes" and verified that the domain was free, I immediately purchased the domain name online and then sent in my LLC registration form for VA in the mail that evening. The registration in VA was $100. Couple of weeks later, I got my certificate in the mail and was good to go!

Here's the website to search if the name can be registered in VA: . You might also want to check out the online Virginia Small Business Launchpad site: . It really does give you step-by-step instructions for what needs to be done and in what order to register a small business in VA. Frankly, I'm STILL walking through some of the steps!! icon_surprised.gif

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress!! thumbs_up.gif

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dennishaskins Posted 2 May 2008 , 3:29am
post #9 of 12

wow thank you guys so much for all of the information! its unbelievable! i'm actually located in richmond city, born and raised! i called the dept. of economic development this mornimg and they reffered me to a 5 week business startup course this morning but unfortunately it doesnt start until sept. any other startup information you guys have would be phenomonal, i think my business is starting to grow a little faster than i expected and i dont think i should wait until sept!

oh and ps.. my business name is available both as a domain and a business name!! also are you licensed out of your home? thats where i would like to start out.. any tips?

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dennishaskins Posted 2 May 2008 , 4:22pm
post #10 of 12

andrea.. is your website up? i would love to see more of your work.

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jenbakescakes Posted 3 May 2008 , 1:59am
post #11 of 12

Call the Dept. of agriculture. They will send you a big packet of everything you need to do.
As far as what I was talking about earlier, the SBDC has a website that has their offices on it. The website is:
Like I said, they were a HUGE help! The one in Danville met with me for 2 hours and went into every aspect of starting my biz. You might find you don't even need the startup course after meeting with the SBDC! Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

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dennishaskins Posted 3 May 2008 , 7:40pm
post #12 of 12

oh wow thank you so much!

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