Fictitious Name Registration

Fictitious Name Registration for Contractors

What is a fictitious name? A factious name is any name other than your proper legal business entity name that you formally get permission from the state (or county) to use when conducting business in that governing body. Fictious names are also referred to as:

  • Doing Business As (DBA)
  • Assumed Name
  • Trade Name

Why would a company need to use a fictitious name rather than their proper legal business entity name?

The Purpose of Using a Fictitious Name

DBA Registration doing business as form on a table.

States require filing fictitious business names because they help inform the public about who actually owns the company. A fictitious name filing puts a business’s name and its owner’s identity on public record. It helps protect consumers from being tricked into unknowingly doing business with a person or business entity that has a shady reputation.

What are the benefits of filing a DBA? For starters, it keeps you in compliance with the law. Neglecting to file a business name as a fictitious name (if operating under that name)when required to by law may subject you to fines, deny you the right to enforce contracts, and even result in the shutdown of your business.

In some cases, it is necessary to file a fictitious name when registering as a foreign entity in a state other than your domicile, or home state. If another company is already established in the state you would like to do business in and is operating under the same name or a name that is very close to your proper legal business entity name, you will be required to file for a fictitous name. 

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