An assumed name allows sole proprietorships and corporations to operate under more than one name other than its registered legal name (an example would be its marketing or trade name).
What is an Assumed Name Certificate
An assumed name certificate sometimes referred to as a fictitious name certificate or "doing business as" certificate (dba) is a required document filed with the county or state which discloses the correct name and address of the real owners of a business that conducts business in the State of Texas.
You will need to provide a bank with a filed assumed name certificate if you want to open a bank account in the name of your business.
The Steinbach Law Firm can prepare an Assumed Name Certificate for your business. Our fee is $195 per Certificate. We will provide you with instructions and where and how to file the certificate.
A sole proprietorship can use an assumed name instead of the last name of the business owner. It is important to keep in mind it does not provide any additional liability protection for a sole proprietorship.
(The use of a marketing or trade name does not change the personal assets liability of this type of business entity, as it would with if forming an LLC. )
Corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies
If a limited liability company, limited partnership or a corporation wishes to use a marketing or trade name other than its legal name they are required to obtain authorization to use an assumed name in Texas.
When do you need an Assumed Name (Fictitious name or DBA Certificate)?
If you conduct business or provide a service under an assumed name or a fictitious name, you must file for an assumed name certificate.
Common examples of when you must use this document in Texas:
- If you are an individual and your business name does not include your real last name.
- If you conduct business as a partnership and your business name does not include the real last name or another legal name of each joint venturer or general partner.
- If you are an individual or a partnership, and your business name includes words such as "Company," "& Company," "& Son," "& Sons," "& Associates," "Brothers," and similar words.
- If your business is a corporation, limited liability company, or a limited partnership, and you do business under any name other than the name stated in its certificate of formation.
Filing an assumed name (or dba certificate) in Texas
It must be filed with the County Clerk for the county where you maintain your business or where you conduct business. In some cases, it must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office.
The Steinbach Law Firm can prepare an Assumed Name Certificate for your business. Our fee is $95per Certificate. We will provide you with instructions and where and how to file the certificate.
When to file
- Before you start the business in a Texas.
- It must be re-filed every 10 years.
Are there penalties for not filing
- If you conduct business using an assumed name and you do not file an assumed name certificate, there are penalties.
- If you are sued or if you need to sue someone and you have not filed one, there will be penalties.
There are also criminal penalties:
- In Texas, it is a Class A misdemeanor to conduct business or a professional service in Texas under an assumed name with the intention of violating this law.
How to file for an assumed name certificate?
- The Steinbach Law Firm can prepare an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.
- Our fee is $195 per Certificate.
- We will provide you with instructions and where and how to file the certificate.