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Is a DBA needed for a Sole Proprietorship

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rutwad, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. rutwad

    rutwad LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 179

    I talked to a lady at the Probate Office about license for a new business. She said since I am operating as a sole prop. that all I need is a FEIN. So I asked what would happen if the business name I wanted was already used. She said it doesn't matter as a sole prop. Is this so?

    I want to get everything ready, advertising, truck signs, etc. and I would hate, HATE for the same lady to tell me something different when I go to get my license. I can already hear her, "I'm sorry sir, but that name's already being used, you need to choose something else". ERRRRRRRRRRRR!!! That would not be good.:hammerhead::cry:

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    When you incorporate you need to register a name and than it matters.
    As a sole Pro. you can be anything. But you may not be able to keep the name if you later incorp.
  3. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    Not sure about Alabama but, in NC when I started my sole proprietorship, I had to get a DBA because I wanted to open a checking account with my business name. When I did it, they actually looked it up to see if my selection was already registered. It was, so I had to pick another.

    Better safe than sorry. If someone started going around here with Lawn Specialties on the side of their truck, I know I'd go all the way to legal action if that's what it took to get it stopped. Like you said, spending that money on signs, etc., and then having to change it all would stink. Go ahead and get a DBA.

    That way when you're making millions with 34 crews out there, nobody can come along and take your name.:laugh:
  4. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Talk to a accountant in your area.
  5. Robbie Rooster

    Robbie Rooster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I know laws are different in every state, but that lady is full of it! Think about it. I'm a sole prop, so I can name my business Best Buy, Target, or Microsoft? I don't think so. As an example, in Minnesota, as a sole prop you do not need a dba if your full name(first and last) are in the business name. example, John Smith Lawn Care. If you would go Smith Lawn Care, then you would need to get a DBA. Also depending on your laws, you may not need a fein unless you plan on having employees. The bank will not open an acct in the business name without a dba certificate. Better safe than sorry.
  6. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Get professional advise in your area
  7. Sup3rman

    Sup3rman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    If something is copyrighted then use is prohibited no matter what. Copyrights basically fall under an untouchable category. You are speaking of an entirely different situation depending on the laws in your area.
  8. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 788

    Listen to John Gamba
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    I wish my Girlfriend would:hammerhead:

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