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