Doing business as

Doing business as

The phrase "doing business as" (abbreviated DBA, dba or d/b/a) is a legal term used in the United States, meaning that the trade name, or fictitious business name, under which the business or operation is conducted and presented to the world is not the legal name of the legal person (or persons) who actually own it and are responsible for it. In other countries the expressions operating as (abbreviated o/a) or trading as (abbreviated T/A) are used for a similar purpose. The desired name might not have been registrable, or the business might be owned by another company, franchisee, or a sole proprietorship, resulting in all legally binding transactions taking place on behalf of the trading as name.

The distinction between an actual and a "fictitious" name is important because businesses with "fictitious" names give no obvious indication of the entity that is legally responsible for their operation.



In Canada, the term operating as (abbreviated to o/a) is used.

Trading As or T/A Abbreviation

In the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong (and some parts of the United States), the phrase trading as (abbreviated t/a) is used.

In the United Kingdom there is no filing requirement for a "trading as" name, but there are requirements for disclosure of the true owner's name, and some restrictions on the use of certain names.[1]


In Japan, the word yagō (屋号?) is used.

United States

In several U.S. states, DBAs are officially referred to using another term. Oregon uses Assumed Business Names;[2] Washington calls DBAs trade names;[3] other states refer to trade styles or fictitious business names.

In many U.S. jurisdictions for consumer protection purposes, most jurisdictions require businesses operating with fictitious names to file a DBA statement. This also reduces the possibility of two local businesses operating under the same name. Note, though, that this is not a replacement for obtaining a trademark. A DBA filing carries no legal weight in instances where a trademark would be necessary.[citation needed]

DBA statements are often used in conjunction with a franchise. The franchisee will have a legal name under which it may sue and be sued, but will conduct business under the franchiser's brand name (which the public would recognize). A typical real-world example can be found in a well-known pricing mistake case, Donovan v. RRL Corp., 26 Cal. 4th 261 (2001), where the named defendant, RRL Corporation, was a Lexus car dealership doing business as "Lexus of Westminster", but remaining a separate legal entity from Lexus, a Division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., which was not even mentioned in the California Supreme Court opinion.

Notably in California and also in other areas, filing a DBA statement also requires that a notice of the fictitious name be published in local newspapers for some set period of time to inform the public of the owner's intent to operate under an assumed name. The intention of the law is to protect the public from fraud, by compelling the business owner to record his/her name with the County Recorder, and making a further public record of it by publishing it in a newspaper.

Of notable interest, INDYCAR is legally a trade name. The company's name is legally "Indy Racing League LLC" doing business as INDYCAR.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • doing business — adj. Carrying on or conducting business affairs; usually used to describe a company that is conducting affairs in a particular state; see also long arm statute The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy… …   Law dictionary

  • doing business as — n. Phrase used to identify a trade name or the name of a business. abbrv. d/b/a The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008. doing business as …   Law dictionary

  • Doing business — may refer to: Doing business as (DBA) legal term; Doing Business Report World Bank Group s yearly study of private sector development. This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • doing business as — ( d.b.a.) Designation, usually following a name, indicating that a name used by a business is not the legal name of the entity doing business but is an assumed name or trade name instead. American Banker Glossary …   Financial and business terms

  • Doing business as — (im Deutschen wörtlich „Geschäfte tätigend als“) – abgekürzt DBA oder d/b/a – ist ein juristischer Begriff im Recht der Vereinigten Staaten. Er bedeutet, dass ein Unternehmen (juristische Person) oder Unternehmer (natürliche Person)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • doing business — Within statutes on service of process on foreign corporations, means equivalent to carrying on, conducting or managing business. A foreign corporation is doing business , making it amenable to process within state, if it does business therein in… …   Black's law dictionary

  • doing business as — (DBA)    When a business owner operates a company under a name different from his or her real name. All states have requirements for filing a fictitious name statement with the appropriate county or state agency. Such a document allows consumers… …   Business law dictionary

  • doing business — Carrying on business; engaging in business. In the case of a corporation, the exercise of some of the functions and the carrying on of the ordinary business for which the corporation was organized. Home Lumber Co. v Hopkins, 107 Kan 153, 190 P… …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Doing Business As — formal announcement that a person or company is conducting business under a different name …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Doing Business As — noun (law) a name under which a corporation conducts business that is not the legal name of the corporation as shown in its articles of incorporation • Syn: ↑assumed name, ↑fictitious name, ↑DBA • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence …   Useful english dictionary

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