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What is a trade name?

July 4, 2023

Starting a business can be an exciting adventure, and as an entrepreneur or SME owner, you'll want to make sure you're on the right track. One essential aspect of this process is choosing a trade name for your company. But what exactly is a trade name, and why is it so important? In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of trade names and how they differ from company names, their importance, and some famous examples.

What is a Trade Name?

A trade name, also known as a "doing business as" (DBA) name, is the name under which a company conducts its business. It's different from the legal name of the company, which is registered with the government. A trade name is used for marketing purposes and helps customers identify your brand and services.

The Difference Between a Company Name and a Trade Name

While a company name is the official, legal name under which a business is registered, a trade name is the public-facing name that customers see and interact with. For example, if you start a business called "Smith & Co.," that would be your company name. However, if you decide to operate under the name "Smith's Supermarket," that would be your trade name.

Why Do You Need a Trade Name?

Having a trade name is essential for several reasons:

  • Branding: Your trade name is a crucial part of your brand identity, helping customers recognize and remember your business.
  • Legal protection: Registering a trade name can help protect your brand by ensuring that no one else can use the same name in your industry or region.
  • Professionalism: Using a trade name makes your business look more professional and established, instilling trust in potential customers.

Famous Examples of Trade Names

Some well-known companies use trade names that are different from their legal names. For example, Google's parent company is Alphabet Inc., while McDonald's Corporation operates under the trade name McDonald's. These examples show how trade names can help create a strong brand identity and make it easier for customers to connect with your business.


In conclusion, a trade name is an essential aspect of starting a business, as it helps establish your brand and differentiate you from competitors. As an entrepreneur or SME owner, choosing the right trade name is crucial for your success. So take the time to select a name that represents your brand and resonates with your target audience. And remember, once you've chosen your trade name, bunq can help you manage your money and grow your business with our innovative banking solutions.

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