Question: I have not formed a limited liability company for my Arizona business, but can I register the trade name World Wide Widgets, LLC, from the Arizona Secretary of State for my business?

Answer:  No.  An Arizona trade name, aka a “dba,” cannot contain any words or abbreviations that indicate an entity type such as LLC or Inc.  See the Arizona Secretary of State’s Trademark Handbook.  If your dba included the letters LLC that would be misleading because it falsely represents to the public that the business is a limited liability company.

If you are going to operate a business you should form an LLC to protect yourself from things that might go wrong.  Without an LLC, a corporation or a limited partnership the owners of a business risk losing their life savings if business activity results in a lawsuit.  Read my article called “How LLCs Protect Your Life Savings.”

Say you form a business called World Wide Widgets, LLC.  That business could get a dba such as Best Widgets and use that on its store front or letterhead.  In Arizona the dba is obtained from the Arizona Secretary of State for $10 by completing and filing a Trade Name Registration Application.  This is explained in detail in my book called the Arizona LLC Operations Manual that is included with my Silver and Gold LLC packages.