For those of you that have known me for more than 2 decades, you’ll know that I have completed over 50,000+ assorted projects (Ranging from design, management, public relations, marketing, and More!), developed over 300 domains for market testing, research, and personal (Self Employed/Freelance) online business ventures, traveled all over the country, attended multiple industry related events/conferences, held 3 business licenses (2 in San Antonio, Texas and 1 in Anchorage, Alaska), and 5 assumed name certifications. All my business models were based on Sole Proprietorship filings within their respective counties.
Today, my lovely wife and I have filed together for number 6 (Assumed Name Certification). This time, in Houston, Texas (Harris County). The Scorpion Agency is now officially a General Partnership (Mom & Pop operation) and we’ll be starting the process of opening joint business accounts within the coming weeks to reflect the change in our business status.
It gives me great pleasure to be able to share everything (Including business) with my lovely wife.
How easy is it to file for an “Assumed Name Certificate”?
It’s actually pretty straight forward and only takes 15 to 30 minutes. All you have to do is visit the “County Clerk’s Office” in the county you reside in, fill out one form, pay $25 (Some county’s may vary in cost), and have the Notary at the clerks office stamp and sign the document as a witness. Your filing is good for up to 10 years before you have to renew.
An assumed name certificate can be filed for the following: Sole Proprietorship, Sole practitioner, General Partnership, Joint Venture, Joint Stock Company, Real Estate Investment Trust, Incorporation, or Other (You Specify).
Once you have your assumed name certificate, you can then head down to your favorite banking institution, hand them your certificate, and open an account under the new legally documented assumed name.
Note: Some businesses may require additional filings (E.g. Business license, EIN (IRS), etc.), so be sure to check with your county and/or business attorney to see what you need in the event this isn’t going to just be a home business (Self Employment/Freelance).
It should also be noted that while most county’s in the U.S. only require an Assumed Name Certification and Self Employment tax filing to operate a home business as a freelancer/self-employed, some county laws may very. Be sure to do your own research to ensure you are legally covered to operate your business.
There’s no logical reason why anyone shouldn’t file their brand name in their county. Matter of fact, it’s probably wise for potential clients/customers to check such statuses and ask questions before conducting business with an individual or company. This is your brand we’re talking about. Protect it!
Now get down to the county clerks office in your county and file (If you haven’t already).