What’s an Assumed Name Certificate, and do I need one?

When you’re starting your business it’s fundamental that you’re aware of all the legal steps you have to take. If you’re one of those folks with multiple startups, or multiple branches of the same business, you may have heard about “doing business as”, more formally known as “Assumed Name Certificates”....


What’s an Assumed Name Certificate, and do I need one?

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Let me tell you more… Choosing a business name can be tough. But it’s not a requirement that your business is named according to its legal name. For example, you can register your businesses legal entity as “Navarre Holdings”, after your family name, but end up having your corner store called “John’s Market”.

In this case, a certificate that says you’re conducting a business or providing services under an assumed name is needed. That certificate is called a DBA (Doing Business As).Let’s assume you’re in Texas, because every state has its own laws.  

If you need a DBA, first thing is to determine if you’re an Incorporated or an Unincorporated Business. The main difference between an incorporated and unincorporated business is the way owners shoulder business activities. You can read more about all the differences here.

When does my DBA Certificate expire?
Your DBA Certificate lasts for 10 years. If you need to renew it, you should fill it out again 6 months before the expiration. And in case you don’t need your certificate anymore, you can cancel it by having a Certificate of Abandonment or Disposition of Interest.

If I don’t obey the Texas laws regarding DBAs, what happens?
Uh oh!  Well let’s assume this is a purely hypothetical question and you haven’t yet done anything wrong.  The Texas Business and Commerce Code specifies both civil and criminal penalties. What you should know is that the DBA does not protect the business owner from his or her duties of business. If you’re a single owner that uses a DBA, you’ll be liable for any legal ramifications regarding your business activities.

And what’s the cost for a DBA?
Depending on the county, $15 is charged by the County Clerks and $25 by the Texas Secretary of State. We recommend using Texas LLC Pros for your Assumed Name Certificate.  They charge a very reasonable $115 per filing of DBA. And by using their service, you know it’ll be done right, and obey every letter of the law.Texas LLC Pros is a BBB A+ rated law firm, specializing in business formations. They have some pretty amazing feedback from clients, and if you’re interested they offer a free 15 minute consultation, same-day LLC filings, post-incorporation support, low flat fees and much, much more.


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