Do you intend to reserve a business name in Georgia in order to make your company as distinct and unique as possible? You need to follow specific steps when reserving a business name in Georgia and this blog will help provide you with the insight into why this is important and how to follow the process through to completion.

Choosing the Right Name

You probably have spent hours thinking about the perfect name for your new Atlanta small business. If you have a partner, you’ve probably batted around ideas back and forth for some time before coming to a final agreement. Unfortunately, this isn’t where the process should stop.

You need to make sure that you’re not competing with anyone else’s intellectual property or businesses with a similar name that could get confusing for your customers. It can be very frustrating to finally come to terms of agreement on the name of your company and then realize when you attempt to get a certificate of limited partnership, certificate of organization or certificate of incorporation that the name has already been claimed by somebody else.

How to Reserve a Business Name in Georgia?

In order to avoid the issues that pop up when two companies are operating with the same name, the Georgia Secretary of State enables you to reserve your name while you are still in the process of launching your business.

Your name reservation number can be obtained for a maximum of 30 days for a small fee of $25. You have 30 days after you file that initial document to submit the entities formation documents with the name you have already reserved. During this 30 day period, the name that you have chosen is protected. This gives you the peace of mind that reserving a business name in Georgia will prevent anyone else from taking this name during the time that you are creating your formation document.

In the event that you fail to submit the necessary formation documents to the Georgia Secretary of State, however, your name reservation will expire and other entities will be able to claim it. There is no eligibility to renew your existing 30 day period and you would have to start the process all over again by submitting another $25. Thankfully, this is a process that we have helped many new Atlanta and Georgia small business owners avoid.

We assist you with filing the initial name reservation and pull together your formation documents quickly so that you can launch on time and also protect your name without allowing this period to expire. Reservation can be done online or through the mail. It is imperative that you complete all documentation properly in order for it to be accepted by the Georgia Secretary of State. If you are mailing in your application, you can send a money order, cashier’s check or check all made out to Georgia Secretary of State.

Submitting the Name Reservation Form

You will notice on the form to reserve a business name in Georgia that you will be requested to submit top three name choices. You will also need to indicate the type of business structure aligned with your name choice, including incorporated, LLC, company or corporation. In the event that all three of the names listed on the form to reserve a business name in Georgia are taken, you will receive a rejection notice by email, mail or phone from the Secretary of State. When you receive this rejection notice, you will also receive instructions about how to submit an additional request and you will be able to do this within a 10 day period without incurring additional charges.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Reserving a Business Name in Georgia

Simply submitting the reservation form for your business name in Georgia does not mean that you have avoided all other potential legal pitfalls. For example, trade names are not registered with a Georgia Secretary of State.

In order to clarify that you are not brushing up against someone else’s intellectual property in the form of a trade name, you will need to go to the superior court in the county in which the business is located. The search process can be complicated and is a leading reason why many small business owners retain an experienced Atlanta business attorney for reserving a business name in Georgia.

The true owner of the name can still be a different legal entity. You are not eligible to purchase a seal, advertise or partake in legal transactions until after your entity has been formed and after you have received a certificate of a limited partnership, incorporation or organization from the Secretary of State.

You should always consult with an experienced business attorney to verify that you have considered all potential issues and have avoided potential infringements of other people’s rights.