by Kathy Tremmel, Business Attorney
Assumed business names can be used for a variety of reasons and purposes, depending on the needs of a business. Here is a short Q&A about the basics of assumed names.
What is an assumed name? An assumed name is a fictitious business name. It is also called a DBA, which is short for "doing business as."
When does my business need an assumed name? An assumed name may better represent a business than its legal name. For marketing purposes, you may decide to operate your business under another name. Or, you may decide to open a new vertical for your business which you want to differentiate from your current business. Sole Proprietors or Partnerships are required to use the names of the owner(s) for their business. In many instances, these entities want to conduct business under a business name. Your business is required to file an assumed name whenever you present your business under a name other than its formal legal name.
- Corporations or LLCs are required to file a DBA in both the County Clerk’s Office where the principal office is located and with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.
- Sole Proprietors or Partnerships are required to file a DBA with the County Clerk’s Office where the business is primarily located.
Does my company have exclusive rights to the assumed name? No. Just because your business has filed an assumed name does not mean that other people or companies are precluded from using that name. The Secretary of State’s Office reviews the name of any company that is registering to do business in Texas to make sure that the business’s name is not deceptively similar to the name of another company already registered in Texas. However, if you want to be sure that no other company can use your business’s name, you must trademark your business’s name with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
How do I sign contracts if I have an assumed name? Your business should include its legal name and its assumed name in contracts. For example: ABC, LLC d/b/a Assumed Name.
Article and information is courtesy of Kathy Tremmel, Business Attorney at Tremmel Law, PLLC. Amplify Credit Union does not endorse or guarantee the perspectives, the advice, the users, the businesses, or the products or services sold by any users or businesses that appear in this article.