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Use of a DBA required for different business names

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Part of business incorporation requires adhering to legal requirements, including registering any different names that business might be conducted under.

If the name used by a business differs from the one registered with the state, a fictitious business name must be filed.

Some states use different terminology for a fictitious business name. Many refer to a “DBA” (Doing Business As), but a “trade name” or “assumed business name” is the same thing.

However, having a DBA does not provide any extra protection from financial liability. Forming a new corporation is the only way to legally protect different businesses or individuals from liability in the event of a bankruptcy or other financial debt.

Many new corporations may look to expand by opening several divisions or locations, and sometimes use different names, requiring an annual filing.

Filing a fictitious business name is up to the business owner. The California attorney general is warning entrepreneurs who may be contacted by disreputable “DBA renewal” firms that ask for a fee to renew, using official-looking state stationery, according to the Victorville Daily Press.

California filed suit against several of these firms last year.

More about DBA Filings