Colorado Rules for Using a DBA Name

By Anna Assad

A business may use a "doing business as" name to identity itself to the public. A DBA, known as a trade name in Colorado, is a name that a business uses other than the name that the company was created under. A business may use a trade name for various reasons, including brand recognition and marketing. Any business using a trade name in Colorado must follow the rules set by the state and file a statement with the Secretary of State's office.

A business may use a "doing business as" name to identity itself to the public. A DBA, known as a trade name in Colorado, is a name that a business uses other than the name that the company was created under. A business may use a trade name for various reasons, including brand recognition and marketing. Any business using a trade name in Colorado must follow the rules set by the state and file a statement with the Secretary of State's office.

Filing

Any business using a name other than its true name must file a Statement of Trade Name with the Colorado Secretary of State's office. The office only accepts trade name statement filings online at its website. A business using a trade name without filing a statement can't sue under the trade name and might receive penalties or a court injunction that orders the halt of business operations.

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Names

A trade name doesn't have to be different from the names of other registered businesses in Colorado. That means a business doesn't have to check existing names or make a trade name reservation before filing a statement. Filing a trade name statement does not protect the trademark name from use by others, but trademark law may. For example, a local business in Colorado already using a name may have rights to the name that it can enforce in court.

Renewal

A business must renew its trade name registration every year. It expires on the first day of the 13th month after the original registration. For example, if a business registered on March 3, the registration expires on April 1 of the following year. To prevent a registration lapse, a business is allowed to renew its trade name as early as three months before its expiration date. The business can renew the name by filing a Statement of Trade Name Renewal online at the Colorado Secretary of State's website. If the business doesn't renew its name before registration expires, it must file a new Statement of Trade Name online.

Reporting Businesses

Some businesses, such as corporations, are required to report to the Secretary of State's office during the year. A business that meets all reporting requirements is considered in "good standing" by the office. Only businesses in good standing can keep a trade name registration. If the business becomes delinquent or dissolves, the trade name registration is valid for only one year afterward. The business can renew the trade name only if it cures its delinquency or reforms before the registration expires.

Termination and Transfer

A business can let its registration lapse or file a Statement of Trade Name Withdrawal to end the trade name use. Colorado does not allow one business to transfer its trade name to another business, even if the original business doesn't want to use the name any longer.

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Cancelling a DBA

References

Resources

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How to Check for DBA (Doing Business As) Names

Business owners who use a name other than their own name are using a DBA, which is short for “doing business as” and also referred to as a trade name, assumed name or fictitious business name. A DBA is desirable when you want a name for your business that more readily identifies your products or services. Using a DBA is also the easiest and least expensive way for you to establish a name for your business. Before using a DBA, you should check available sources to determine whether another business is using the same DBA.

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A DBA -- short for "doing business as" -- is a trade name that differs from your personal name. When you first create a business, its legal name defaults to the person or entity that owns it. In order to choose a different name, you must register a new alternative name by filling out a DBA form. A DBA is a valuable business asset that can be transferred to another party.

How to Register a Trade Name in New Jersey

In New Jersey, a trade name is considered any name a business uses in the course of doing business that does not include the full legal name of all the owners of the business. Trade names go by different labels in different states; they also are called fictitious names or DBA names, which is short for "doing business as." A business owner in New Jersey that operates under his actual name has the option of registering it as a trade name. However, if you choose a name for your business other than your actual name, you are required to register it as a trade name. For example, if your name is Fred Jones and your business is named "Jones Pizza Parlor," you'll need to register the trade name in the county in which your business is located before you open the door to customers.

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