Can I trade under a business name that has already been registered?
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.Company names are determined by the Secretary of State of your state. As long as there are no other businesses with the name you want to use in your state, and provide the name meets other criteria that your Secretary of State may have, you can use it.
You may use a trade name for your company – once again, registration and approval of the trade name rests with the Secretary of State. A local attorney familiar with corporate issues can help you work this out.