Does a DBA Protect Your Business Name?

In addition to the way in which you use your company name and your interest in having exclusive rights, you will also have to fully understand the legal protections or the lack of them that each of them entail. Yes, it's important to be aware that a Database Administrator (DBA) offers virtually no legal rights. You have the right to use a name for your company, but not to defend it from competition. However, commercial brands and DBAs can work together to provide the best of both worlds.

The name of a DBA is also known as a “business name”, a false name, or a “fictitious business name”. It creates a public record of your use of your company name and can discourage competitors from choosing a similar name. The relevance of these reasons will vary for your company depending on the type of legal business entity, the type of business you are engaged in and your growth strategies. 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.

Corporations and LLCs sometimes also have an official name and another name that they use for their businesses. This distinction between your legal name and that of your organization is really the only important advantage of a database administrator name over other options. As described above, a database administrator creates a barrier between a legal entity and the name you use to market and promote your company, while the name of a trademark is inextricably linked to the distinction between your company and other companies with names or even similar missions. 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.

If you're planning to create a formal business entity, but aren't ready to do so right away, almost every state allows you to reserve a business name. However, when a competitor creates a company with a name similar or identical to yours, your customers can get confused, you can lose business and your reputation can be affected. While it's true that a database administrator name has its place (and it's quite possible that it's ideal for your company), its usefulness as a marketing and brand development tool doesn't include any broader legal protection for your company or its meticulously chosen name. To set yourself up for success, you'll need to think about more than just filing for a DBA.

You'll also need to consider your company name, finances, an operating agreement, and licenses and permits. Banks often require sole proprietorships and joint venture partners to have a database administrator before they can open a business bank account.

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