Businesses operating with a name which contains any words except the true legal name of the owner are usually required to file a DBA -- “doing business as” -- statement in Texas. These statements are also referred to as “fictitious business name statements” or, as is the case in Texas, “assumed business name statements.” The Texas Business and Commerce Code section 71.002 (2) contains the exclusion criteria for an assumed name.
Texas Assumed Name Laws
Sole proprietorships and partnerships must file an assumed name statement if the owner’s surname is not included as part of the business name. For corporations, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships, an assumed name is any name that is not contained in the certificate of formation. Corporations must first file an assumed name statement with the Secretary of State located in Austin, Texas. After filing with the state, the assumed name statement must then be filed with the Galveston County Clerk.
Galveston County DBA Filings
Galveston County businesses must file an assumed name statement with the Galveston County Clerk’s office. There are fees associated with filing an assumed name statement. As of January 2012, the fees are $14.50 for sole proprietorships, an additional 50 cents for each additional owner, $6.00 for a certified copy of the filed assumed name statement, and $2.00 for the assumed name certificate. An additional fee payable to the Secretary of State and collected by the Galveston County Clerk for indexing may also be required.
Assumed Name Statement Forms
There are two separate forms for filing an assumed name statement for corporations and other business entities. These forms are available online at the Galveston County Clerk’s official website. Businesses must file assumed name statements in every county where the business maintains an office or conducts business. Assumed name statements are valid for 10 years, after which a renewal assumed name statement must be filed. A renewal is invalid unless the business files for renewal at least six months prior to the expiration date of the original assumed name statement.
Failure to File or Filing False Statements
Failure to file an assumed name statement in Texas is a crime, as is filing a false assumed name statement. Additionally, a business that is required to file a DBA can’t maintain a lawsuit unless and until an assumed name statement is filed with the appropriate county clerk.