Can a Business Have the Same Name as Another Company?

In most states, no two companies will be able to use the same DBA (Doing Business As). Doing so will lead to confusion, especially when the fictitious names belong to the same industry. To use a DBA in your company, you must submit an application. The name of a DBA is also known as a “trade name”, fictitious name, or “fictitious business name”.

Having a DBA name can provide additional credibility for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. You need to register a DBA name so that the public knows the real owner of the company you are buying from or trading with. Unless you file a DBA, your company name and personal name will automatically be the same whenever you have to include your company name in a public record. The existence of several database administrators allows you to separate companies from the parent LLC with different brands. There are many advantages to using a DBA name (doing business as) for your business.

The basic steps to file a DBA include completing and submitting the appropriate DBA forms and paying a filing fee, after which you will receive a DBA certificate. Once you successfully complete the submission and receive a fictitious name certificate, you can start using your DBA name. And if you end up finding another DBA or a trademark similar to yours, send them a cease-and-desist letter to warn them. A DBA name is an alternate name that your company operates under and that is different from your legal name, allowing you to use a different name for marketing and branding purposes without having to legally change your company name. If you decide to use a name that appears in another state, it's important to understand the implications of doing so, especially if you're not going to use a DBA with it.

We strongly recommend that you talk to your accountant or lawyer to determine if registering a DBA is the best option for your company. To do business under a DBA name, you must complete and submit the appropriate DBA forms and pay a registration fee. Another option for using a name that's already in use is to file a “doing business” or “DBA” name. Now that you have some basic facts about DBA names and DBA requests, work with your business advisor and compliance partner to ensure that they are well written. If you choose a DBA that is very similar to the name of another company, you may face legal consequences of that company.

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