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© 2009-2018 Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law

DBA – Notice, but No Protection

Logo for Quora, where Dana Shultz answered a question about a DBA providing notice but not protectionThis post discusses the purpose of a DBA (which is an abbreviation for “doing business as”). This expands upon a Quora answer that I wrote recently. Please see Can someone use my DBA if I operate as a sole proprietor?

Terminology

To start, I will note that business people frequently use the term “DBA”. It is short and easy to say, and people readily understand it. (more…)

A DBA is not a Legal Entity

Logo for Avvo, where Dana Shultz answered a question, noting that a DBA is not a legal entityThis post is based on a question that I answered on Avvo. The question illustrates a common misunderstanding concerning DBAs. (DBA is an abbreviation for “doing business as” – i.e., in California terminology a fictitious business name or FBN.) The questioner did not realize that a DBA is not a legal entity!

Q. Can someone sue a DBA for breach of contract by the parent corporation? (more…)

How Should I Use a Fictitious Business Name?

Logo for Quora, the source for a question about fictitious business names

This post is adapted from my answer to a Quora question about use of a fictitious business name (FBN): Q. Must an LLC with a fictitious business name display the LLC name on its website?

A. In my opinion, an entity’s proper name and complete identification should be provided in every agreement. Agreements include website terms of service. Example showing how to include both the entity name and the FBN:

[Company Name], LLC, a California limited liability company doing business as [Fictitious Business Name], with a place of business at [address]

(more…)

What If I No Longer Need My DBA?

Statement of Abandonment form

Let’s assume that you have been doing business under a fictitious business name (FBN – also known as a DBA for “doing business as”). You are about to shut the business down, so you would like to get rid of the DBA as part of you effort to minimize the likelihood of any ongoing obligations or liabilities. How can you do this?

In California, the answer is provided in the Business & Professions Code. Section 17920(c) says (emphasis added) “A fictitious business name statement expires when the registrant files a statement of abandonment of the fictitious business name described in the statement.” (more…)

When should I apply for a DBA?

Form used in San Francisco to apply for a DBAThis post continues the last post’s discussion of the fictitious business name (FBN – or, colloquially, the DBA for “doing business as”). I am writing this because of a client’s question as to when his company should apply for a DBA / fictitious business name.

California Business & Professions Code Section 17910(a) states that a Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed within 40 days of the time when the registrant first used the FBN to conduct business in the state. (more…)

Can I assign a DBA to my new LLC?

Articles of Organization for an LLC, to which the founder wished to assign a DBAThis post is based on an answer that I provided on Avvo. The user wanted to know whether he could assign a fictitious business name (FBN) – or, colloquially, assign a DBA, short for “doing business as” – from his sole-proprietor business to a limited liability company (LLC) that he was about to form.

He probably would assign all of the sole-proprietor assets (and liabilities) to the new LLC. However, there are special considerations if one wants to assign a DBA / FBN. (more…)