Choosing a Business Name FAQ

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What is a fictitious business name?

The term "fictitious business name" (or "assumed business name," "trade name," or "DBA" for "doing business as") is used when a business uses a name that's different from its legal name. For instance, if John O'Toole names his sole proprietorship Turtle's Classic Cars, the name "Turtle's Classic Cars" is a fictitious business name because it does not contain John's last name, "O'Toole."

If your business uses a fictitious business name, you'll need to register it with a government agency -- in most states, your local county clerk's office.

For more information, read Registering Your Business Name.

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