I am under 18 and slowly building a company.

Right now I am just working on the website. I will be asking people online to help me by donating, I don't not want to reveal the company name because I haven't registered it yet.

How can I "register" my company name without paying? can I send myself an email with the company name, because if I did that it will be dated etc?

If I did send my self an email, can I show the company logo/name with the registered mark by it - Is this legal?

I live in the USA.

  • 1
    What's with all the downvotes here? Part of the OPs premise may be a bit naive; but there's nothing wrong with his (her?) intent. Jan 24, 2017 at 11:53
  • 1
    @DanNeely Because: Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here
    – Draken
    Jan 24, 2017 at 12:32
  • I thought this site was for the workforce, I tried to look for a business site. I didn't think about asking on a law site. Jan 24, 2017 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


You have several things to consider.

  • You can file a "DBA" (Doing Business As) with your state, and that will give you legal authority to use that name. It can be as low as $10. However, most banks won't let you open an account without an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS.
  • You also have an issue that you're probably not at the age of legal consent in your state, so you'll have to get your parent/legal guardian to file with you.
  • Registering your company names / logos has to be done with the US Patent & Trademark Office. Fees vary significantly depending on what you're doing. Once they're registered, then you can use the ® symbol. Until then, you can use TM and SM (Trademark and Service Mark)
  • An email or letter to yourself with a name and logo is hardly going to cut it. It was a "poor man's copyright" back in the early 20th century, but you'd have a hard time using that in the 21st century.
  • Finally, domain name registration is fairly easy. Google Domains is my personal favorite, right now.

You may want to use a turnkey service like LegalZoom to handle all of this for you.

A word of caution: Don't do this unless you're serious. You can't just "walk away" from these filings. You have to shut them down, later. If you have access to one, an attorney is worth consulting. You may get lucky and find one who will give you a quick startup guide for free since you're so young.

  • @GovaDEster Another reasonable and generally reliable domain registrar is Hover, a subsidiary of Tucows, who have had their fingers in internet-related endeavors for over two decades. I don't personally use them but have had friends and former employers who've used them and have been very satisfied. I've also assisted said former employer in managing their domains and the interface is pretty easy/intuitive to use (to me at least). Just providing options :)
    – Doktor J
    Jul 31, 2017 at 13:20
  • Could you maybe substantiate the thing about not being able to walk away? Are any or all of these recurring payments?
    – Weckar E.
    Aug 2, 2017 at 10:52
  • @WeckarE. What do you mean? Aug 4, 2017 at 6:24
  • @GovaDEster You can't just "walk away" from these filings. You have to shut them down, later. " If it is just a one-time payment, there's no reason you would not be able to just walk away. Could they explain WHY you would not be able to?
    – Weckar E.
    Aug 4, 2017 at 10:35
  • @WeckarE. - When you get an EIN, you have to file informational returns about your business activity,even if there is none. Seek professional legal advice for anything further. Aug 4, 2017 at 15:37

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