The Benefits of Using a Fictitious Name
There are many things that go into the name that we give to our business. But one thing that many people often find, is that the name they originally incorporated as, doesn’t necessarily make the best name to market your company under.
Others may find that they get so big, and so well known, that the public just refers to their business by a nickname or a slogan.
You may find that a catchier, more well known, or more descriptive name, works best for your business for the purpose of marketing and advertisement and your relations with the general public.
You certainly don’t want to close your business and reincorporate all just to change your corporate name. Is there a way you can do business under a different name than you are legally incorporated with?
Using a Fictitious Name
It turns out in Florida, there is—it’s called a fictitious name, or, as many people refer to it as, a “doing business as” or DBA name.
Officially registering a fictitious name isn’t just good for advertisement—it can make your life easier as well. That’s because any official paperwork like bank accounts, loans, leases, or other documents, will always have to have your (less desirable) corporate name—not the name you go by when doing business.
But when you register your fictitious name, now all legal documents, paperwork, contracts and similar items can be filed, signed, or registered under the fictitious name. For all purposes, your fictitious name carries the same legal weight as your originally registered corporate name.
Air of Legitimacy
Fictitious names also tell the public you are legitimate, especially important in an age where so many companies online may be unscrupulous or untrustworthy.
Let’s say you just use the name “Joe’s Computer Repair,” without registering it as a fictitious name. When a consumer looks that name up, they will find nothing. Most consumers will stay away, seeing that. But with an official fictitious name registration, the consumer would see that “Joe’s Computer Repair” is actually a DBA for your corporate entity, a valid, registered company, thus giving consumers more confidence in using your business or services.
How to Register
If you haven’t registered a fictitious name, it’s not too late—it can be done anytime. Your fictitious name can’t have “Corp” or “LLC” or other corporate designation (it isn’t a company—it is a fictitious name). Once registered, the name lasts five years until it must be re-registered.
If you have registered a trademark for the fictitious name, that’s great—but remember that doesn’t mean you have an official fictitious name under the State of Florida. You would still need to register the name with the state. Also bear in mind that registration is a formality–the state doesn’t check whether you can legally use that name under federal trademark laws.
Call our Fort Lauderdale business lawyers at Sweeney Law P.A. at 954-440-3993 today with your corporate law needs.