Monday, January 15, 2007

The 411 on DBAs

From my weekly (AM) radio segment titled "Legal Minute".

Owners of start ups are wise to start off on the right track. One item on the to do list is filing a Fictitious Business Name statement or DBA, doing business as, statement. This is a requirement under state law for any person or company who is in business for profit. Filing a DBA is useful when we want to collect funds or market our business under another name. For example, my firm is known as “Zent Law Group” but we also have a DBA under the name ZLG which is sometimes used for marketing and collection purposes. Filing the DBA statement is easy. Run a search on the internet, download the appropriate forms and file the statement with our county. Filing the DBA early in the startup phase is best in order to have exclusive rights in the county to use the DBA name. It’s helpful to keep a few rules in mind when filing DBAs. For individuals, the DBA must exclude our last name and the suggestion of other owners (such as John Doe brothers or John Doe and associates). For companies and partnerships, the DBA must exclude the name on the articles of incorporation or certificate of partnership. No DBA statement is required for non-profits. For more help on filing, check the state code or contact your business lawyer.