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dkennedy
dkennedy, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 5996
Experience:  15+ years of practice, including intellectual property--primarily copyright law
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If a person owns an LLC, say for Example "Angel City Aces L.L.C."

Resolved Question:

If a person owns an LLC, say for Example "Angel City Aces L.L.C." They will need a DBA if they were to operate under the name "Iron City Aces". Correct? Also what exactly does "Operate" mean? Does this mean buisiness cards, advertisements, or does this mean having checks written to Iron City Aces?

I have a situation that fell into a somewhat grey area. I own Angel City Aces L.L.C, but my website domain is angel-city-aces.com orCustomercom AND I call the web site "Angel City" Since I want to put Angel City on all of my business cards and the like. I just filed for the DBA as "Angel City" was this the right move?

Thanks!
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  dkennedy replied 11 months ago.

dkennedy :

Hello,

dkennedy :

I can help you with this. What do you mean "own" the LLC? Is your name on it as the only member? Did you register it at the state level, or did you somehow acquire it from someone else?

dkennedy :

So much depends on how you "own" it. It is actually a separate legal person in the eyes of the law. We have to chat about this. I see you are off line but I will keep checking back to see when we can discuss my questions more so that we can get your information to you timely and accurately!!

dkennedy :

Hello! You're online now?

dkennedy :

Usually "dba" is when you are an individual (sole proprietor) "doing business as" a company. The LLC is registered at the Secretary of State as its own business. That means you are not responsible for the liabilities of the business.

Customer:

Yes you got it. I created the LLC

dkennedy :

You can call your business whatever you want, depending on what your articles of operation say, if you have any. Just remember to
CYA or you could be held responsible. For instance, as an extreme example, a large corporation such as Motorola might also have companies called Phillips, Maytag, etc. under them, but all goes back to the main company. Make sure you have your documentation done and in place in case of legal action, debts, etc. Does that make sense?

Customer:

I used legal zoom to create and LLC. So created the LLC, recieved and EIN, am filling out the Business Tax application right now, and just purchased a DBA of "Angel City" because I did not want to put the whole long phase "Angel City Aces L.L.C." on ever piece of business material, specifically the marketing.

dkennedy :

You can call your "companies" whatever you want. Just have your paperwork straight

Customer:

Yeah that makes sense. So you are saying that I DID NOT need to create a DBA for my LLC.

dkennedy :

not really, but it doesn't hurt anything

Customer:

There is a lot of info on the benefits of having a DBA as an LLC.

Customer:

So if I started another company called Iron City, I would not need a DBA to market the company as Iron city and be covered under the Angel City Aces LLC?

dkennedy :

Well, sure. Like if I wanted to open a rec center, dba "roller city" I could start an LLC called "Leisure World" and my roller city would be one of the companies, and then later, I could do "mini golf city" and "swimming pool city"---like that

dkennedy :

Only if your local ordinances require such. What state are we talking about?

Customer:

Los Angeles California

dkennedy :

DBA stands for "Doing Business As," which is a company name, also commonly called a "fictitious business name", "trade name" or "assumed name". A DBA is a secondary name for your business, an officially licensed "alias" if you will.

When a sole proprietor operates a company using any name except his or her own given name, then the DBA or ficticious business name registration establishes the legal ownership to satisfy banks, local authorities, customers, etc.

For example, Anita Cantor runs a salsa dance business and marries Scott Beckenbauer. After being wed she takes her husband's last name, but to keep her business's branding in tact, she files a DBA name to operate under her original name. Thus, her DBA filing allows her to continue doing business as "Anita Cantor", while still keeping Beckenbauer as her legal last name. Great branding strategy!

Even established corporations benefit from filing DBA's if they want to change their business name or operate under a different name. For example, MTS Inc. has a registered DBA under the name Tower Records.

dkennedy :

This is mostly for clarity and you are doing the right thing to clarify that you are operating a certain company, but doing business as something else. This merely makes it clear that you have an umbrella LLC

dkennedy :

Nothing you have done is wrong. You are covering your bases, but don't need to worry. All is legal under your LLC

Customer:

Sounds good to me. Thanks for the information! Much appreciated.

dkennedy :

You're welcome! Good luck to you.

dkennedy, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5996
Experience: 15+ years of practice, including intellectual property--primarily copyright law
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