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What’s the Legal Name of Your Business? Here’s How to Figure It out!

What’s the Legal Name of Your Business? Here’s How to Figure It out!

Million Mile SecretsWhat’s the Legal Name of Your Business? Here’s How to Figure It out!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Million Mile Secret Agent Justin asked:

If someone is working as a consultant for Arbonne or LuLaRoe, does that become the legal name of the business or is it still your own name?

Justin, the legal name of the business in that case will be your own name.  As a consultant for Arbonne, LuLaRoe, or any similarly structured company, you are an independent contractor and will receive a 1099 form for your income.  And independent contractors can use their name as the legal business name.

Whats The Legal Name Of Your Business Heres How To Figure It Out
To Qualify for a Business Card You Do NOT Need a Complicated Legal Structure in Place

Small business credit cards are a great way to earn Big Travel with Small Money, if you qualify for them.

And lots of folks qualify for business cards and don’t even know it!  Because you don’t need to make a million dollars before you apply, or have a trademarked business name.  That’s why I’ve written about how to fill out Chase and AMEX small business credit card applications.

What Name Should You Use for Your Small Business Credit Card?

Link:   Step-by-Step: How to Complete a Chase Business Card Application

Link:   Take My Hand! I’ll Guide You Through Applying for an AMEX Small Business Card

In general, if you receive a 1099 form for your work, you’ll use your own name.

This could change if you set up a business structure other than a sole proprietorship.  So if you’ve created an LLC (limited liability company), then the LLC’s name would be the legal name of the business.

Whats The Legal Name Of Your Business Heres How To Figure It Out
If You Haven’t Filed Paperwork to Establish a Business Name, Then Use Your Own Name on Your Credit Card Application

There are times where even if you can use your own name as your legal business name, you might not want to.  For example, if you own a public business like a retail store or bakery you probably won’t use your name as the business name.  In this case, you will need to file a DBA (doing business as) form to use a different name for your business.

As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t filled out any official forms registering a legal business name, then use your name.  And the same goes for your tax ID.  If you haven’t registered for an EIN (employer identification number), use your social security number as your business tax ID.

But I am not a lawyer, so if you are still unsure or if you have a complicated situation, I recommend getting advice from a legal expert.

Bottom Line

If you are a sole proprietor, you can use your own name as your legal business name.  If you have not filed any paperwork to register a legal structure or name for your business, and you work for yourself, then you are likely a sole proprietor.

And you can use your social security number as your businesses tax ID.  But if you have an EIN (employer identification number), use that number instead.

Thanks for the question, Justin!

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Independent contractors should absolutely speak with their tax consultant and/or lawyer as soon as possible. The new tax law gives them big tax relief, potentially up to 20% tax reductions, for pass-through income. Pass-through income looks much cleaner when reported as a DBA sole prioprietor. And it’s relatively easy and fast to get this set up, to get an EIN, and to open a bank account and get those credit cards as outlined on this site!