what state to file and register tradename?

I have made an LLC in California because that is where I live but I will be doing business like sending mail in Tennessee. Will I have to make a tradename in Tennessee or California?

This is not legal advice, but my understanding is that you would have to file a national trademark.

@gooddays410 I think you’re referring to filing as a foreign entity (e.g. - if you have an LLC in California but want to do recurring business in TN, you would either want to file a new LLC in Tennessee or register your California LLC as a foreign entity in Tennessee).

(Note: Registering a trade name and a trademark are two very different things, and neither one are the same thing as registering your LLC as a foreign entity in another state… so try not to get confused on the terminology)

This blog post explains more about how to think through this.

Failing to do this won’t necessarily be catastrophic, but if you ever want to exercise your legal rights in Tennessee, you would probably lose some of those rights if you don’t register your foreign LLC accordingly.

I’ve done business with my Michigan LLCs in other states many times without registering as a foreign entity, but those instances were always one-time events (I wasn’t intending to do business there again and again for years to come). Because of that, it didn’t seem work all the hassle to register for those single, isolated deals.

If I did plan to use one of my Michigan LLCs in another state long-term, then I would either register it as a foreign entity or just start a new LLC in that state and use that one for those purposes.

Disclaimer: I’m not an attorney. None of this is legal advice.

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