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Business name?

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Does a self-publisher need a business name? Should it be registered?

I know it's a good idea to have one, but is it really necessary?


I'd say yes. You wouldn't want to publish your book under your own name. I mean, imagine how awful it would look on Amazon.com:

"A Good Story" by John Smith. Publisher: John Smith Publications.

Basically you will be running your own publishing company so you'll need to run it like a business, including business name, etc. Also, don't use your home address either. It's wise to get a mailbox or an alternate address.

Dan Poynter's "The Self-Publishing Manual" is very informative.


Thank you, maestro. :hug

I've got a business name and was happy to find out that it's still available. I've also created a logo. Now I have to find out about registering the name. Mainly, how long it takes. I found out that you're typically supposed to register at the county clerk's office but some states have different guidelines.


Right. In the United States at least you only have to register at your local government office. There will be a small (e.g., $50) annual fee to maintain a local business license. You should be good to go the day you file for your license.

Finding Go! Matching Questions and Resources in Getting Publishe, Gary Kessler and Carol Kluz (Winterwolf)


again, my experiences are on the outdated side, but they're right, getting a business license is pretty easy. it cost me about $25 around five years ago.

uhm, there is a giant pain in the ass when you do this, though, and that's taxes. not only did i have to file a monthly business income report, but i sat through several tedious free classes offered by the post office and a tax attorney, even the small business administration (which was a bust, but they turned me on to the tax seminar). they were all free. i say that because i'm assuming you'll be taking in mail orders, too.

you got your business name and logo, that's a good start. getting the license isn't like getting a liquor license, it's much easier. i am, however, unaware of any resolution in the interstate/county tax controversy. my wife is suffering through that right now selling pampered chef.

good advice with the post office box. a medium size one is all you need, if even that.

doing your own book is incredibly exciting, but it's also a ton of work. once it's barely known you're doing this, you'll get swamped in junk mail, heh heh. it's all fun, though... except the tax seminar. gawd, that bit ass. i suggest calling the SBA and at least ask about free seminars. if you're going to do mail orders, call the post office. note: you'll have to call a main post office, a branch won't do.

hope that helps.


Thank you. That does help. :)

Not really looking forward to attending any seminars, though. Unless they provide a sign language interpreter.

I got the postal box, though. :)


glad that helps. sorry, didn't know you about your hearing, but, hey, maybe they would provide you, who knows? the post office i'm sure has literature on all that stuff they talk about. for me, it's helpful to go to those things because i invariably don't understand something. the tax seminar i went to was definitely more of an oral experience (before you ask, no, it wasn't *that* much fun), with not as much literature to take home. a lot of time, though, i reckon there are ways around these things. i'm sure you could probably find most of this information on the net, which wasn't an option for me at the time. you will have to learn about your taxes, though: whether or not you go to the lengths the law expects you to go through is up to you.

by the way, when you get your business license, one of the perks is you don't have to pay tax on what you buy-- only the end consumer has to pay the tax. so it might be very much worth the cost of a business license just to save on ink, paper, envelops, etc.. it's another form you have to fill out and the savings on individual purchases might not seem much, but it adds up.
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