BlogBusiness FormationSmall BusinessStartupsStartups: DBAs and Certificate of Assumed Name

February 18, 2022by Jeffrey Davis

Very often I receive a call from a client where they ask me whether they should form a DBA or a Corporation (or an LLC).

“DBA” stands for “doing business as”, and in New York it’s also referred to as a “Certificate of Assumed Name”.

The legal name of your business is the name you file or register your corporation or LLC under.  Your DBA is your marketing or branding name.  So as a simple example, New York Sports Club is an assumed name. Their legal entity name is Town Sports International, LLC.

The important thing for new business owners to understand is that there is no protection just from getting a DBA. If I Jeff Davis file a DBA for my company Red Umbrella Company, that doesn’t protect me. If someone sues Red Umbrella Company, they’re suing me personally. My personal assets are subject to exposure and risk.

A DBA is not a type of entity.  You can get a tax ID for your DBA but it will not give you any legal protection whatsoever.

If you want to protect your personal assets you need to incorporate your business i.e. form a corporation or an LLC.

For information on Corporation basics click HERE.

For information on LLC basics click HERE

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