An “assumed name,” “dba,” or “doing business as” is a name that an individual or an entity uses to do business separate and apart from their official or legal name. In Illinois, individuals must register an assumed name with the county in which they are located, and then publish in a local newspaper what the assumed name is. Business entities (corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships), on the other hand, must file an application for an assumed name with the state, but do not need to publish in the local newspaper.
Sometimes an entrepreneur will take the steps to form a business entity in order to take advantage of the corporate shield, but then will choose to do business under a different name. Doing so opens the person up to an argument that they are in fact doing business as a sole proprietor—which has no corporate shield protection and puts all of the liability for the business on the owner individually. Click here for an example of that very situation.
If you are thinking of taking on an assumed name, or if you already have and need to register it to protect yourself and your business, give us a call today.