Filing an Arizona trade name renewal application is an important part of maintaining your company's trade name. A trade name could include a variety of components that identify either the products or services of a business. A trade name can consist of:

  • Word
  • Name
  • Logo
  • Symbol
  • Slogan
  • Device

Trade names can be registered by:

  • An individual
  • A corporation
  • A partnership
  • An LLC

You may also hear trade names being referred to as assumed business names or doing business as (dba) names which allow you to operate in the state using a name that is not your legal name. Some businesses use trade names in lieu of their business names for many reasons, such as:

  • Allowing a sole proprietorship to build a brand around a name other than its own.
  • Allowing you to operate in states where other businesses may exist that have a name too similar to your company's.

Trade Name: Background

A trade name is different from a trademark. A trademark is a brand name. A trade name is a design, term, or even a sound that is used to distinguish the products and services of the company that sells it. The similarity is that in Arizona, you register both a trade name and trademark in a similar fashion.

You register your legal business name with the Arizona Corporation Commission, which is different from the trade name your company uses. Many companies use a trade name to ensure that they don't infringe on another established business names which could land you with a host of legal issues.

It is important to note that when a trade name is registered in the state of Arizona, it is only good in that state and will need to be registered in other states if you plan to use it there. If you register your trade name in Arizona, it does not provide you with exclusive rights to it if a business in another state uses it. To achieve protection throughout the United States, you will need to register it with the federal government.

How to Register Your Trade Name

There are a few steps you will need to take to register your trade name in Arizona. You will need to:

  • Go through the Registered Name Information Search to make sure your desired name is available. The name you choose must be unique from any other business registered in the state. When choosing your name, it is important to note that the secretary of state does not count capitalization and adding articles such as "a" and "the" as being distinguishing.
  • Hire a business attorney to help you make sure that your application is complete and that your trade name is distinguishable.
  • Download the Trade Name Registration Application for the Arizona Department of State website. The forms can be found under the Trade Names and Trademarks header.
  • Include on the form the name and address of the company or individual registering the trade name, the date you began using the name, and a signature from a party authorized to sign on behalf of the business entity.
  • Send the form in with a copy of photo identification of the person signing the form.

Applications will often take two to three weeks to process fully. You can request an expedited review of your application for an additional fee of $25 when you file. Once the application is filed, the state entity will check the name availability and register the name to you. Once the name is approved, you will be expected to file a registration fee of $10.

Payment for the fee can be made via check, money order, or credit card. After payment is received, the Secretary of State's Office will then send an official certificate with the ability to purchase extra copies for $3. Trade name registrations must be renewed every five years, and a continuation should be filed six months before the name expires. You will pay the same price for the renewal as you did the registration, and it will renew it for another five years.

If you plan to change the trade name or design, you will need to file an amendment with your renewal form.

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