Coming up with a brand name can be a daunting task, even when every word in the English dictionary is up for grabs. That’s not the case however with DBAs, and it’s wise to become familiar with words that are restricted from your registered business name.
First, let’s look at what a DBA is, exactly.
DBA application filing is required when an individual establishes a business with a name that differs from her legal name, or the name of partners in a general partnership.
For example, if you make cakes for a living, you wouldn’t want your cake shop to be called Jane Doe; it doesn’t describe the business, and it’s possible there’s another baker in town with the same name.
DBAs, also called fictitious business names, or trade names, are registered at the county clerk’s office, or state department, to protect consumers from nefarious businesses. Without DBAs, it would be difficult to hold businesses owners accountable.
That being said, there are exclusions in naming your business that you should be aware of if you plan on starting a business, or complete a DBA application.
Words Prohibited in a DBA Name
As a rule, DBA names can’t mislead the public as to what type of business entity the business is or mislead the public into thinking there’s an association with another business, when there is not.
States also have unique exclusionary rules for DBA names that often include words that are easily misconstrued, like school, university, museum, foundation, national, and United States.
These unique exclusions are generally restricted by state statute and should be reviewed carefully on a state-by-state basis, depending on where you plan to do business.
While there are some precautionary exclusions, for the most part you should have no problem picking a name that fits your business plan and vision.
To answer any additional questions, ask an expert here.