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Now that you have filed your Assumed Name Certificate with the County Clerk’s Office you may believe you are free to use that name for your business. But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, an Assumed Name Certificate (or dba as it is called by most people) is for the protection of the public in dealing with your business. Chapter 36 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code sets out the requirements of Assumed Name Certificates.

The idea behind the Assumed Name Certificate is to give members of the public a central location to search for the owners of a business.  If you are doing business as “Fred’s Garage” and someone wants to know who owns Fred’s Garage they look in the Assumed Name records. In almost any instance in which your business name is different from your last name, or doesn’t include your last name, you need to file an Assumed Name Certificate.

If you are in a partnership, like “Smith and Jones” and you do business as “Smith’s Furniture” you will need to file an Assumed Name Certificate so that members of the public know that someone besides just Smith is an owner. Similarly, if you do business as “Sanford & Son”, “Sanford & Company”, or “Sanford & Associates” you are required to file an Assumed Name Certificate to identify everyone other than Sanford involved in the ownership of the business, or to notify the public that there is no one other than Sanford involved.

And corporations sometimes need Assumed Name Certificates. The “Subway” sandwich name is an example. The business is actually named “Doctor’s Associates, Inc.” but it does business as “Subway”. As such, they need an Assumed Name Certificate (or some other legal mechanism) to allow members of the public to find out who runs the “Subway” sandwich shop.


*This information is a general overview of the law regarding Assumed Names in Texas. It is not legal advice and is no substitute for consultation with an attorney regarding your specific legal matter. Do not rely on this document or the information contained herein in making decisions regarding legal matters.

© 2000 Michael Hrabal, P.C. All Rights Reserved.

Legal Services provided by:

Michael Hrabal*
Attorney at Law
1201 West Presidio Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102

*Board Certified, Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

©2000 Omega Network Services, Inc.
Revised: August 02, 2000