Once the principals of a business select a statutory entity and secure their identification numbers, they must register their “fictitious name” or names. A fictitious name is any name under which a person or company is doing business other than their true or corporate name. For instance, John Doe and Jane Smith may be the shareholders of Doe and Smith Ventures Inc., but operate a shop called John and Jane’s Coffee Shop. Doe and Smith Ventures Inc. must register the fictitious name under which it is doing business, John and Jane’s Coffee Shop.
Fictitious name registration is completed through a filing with the Secretary of State. The filing may be completed online at the Secretary of State’s Web site, or by mail.