How to Transfer a DBA to a New Entity in Texas

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

How to Transfer a DBA to a New Entity in Texas

By Cindy DeRuyter, J.D.

In Texas, as well as other states, a DBA (or "doing business as") is an assumed business name or trade name. When a business owner in the Lone Star State creates a new business entity and wants to transfer an existing DBA name to this new company, the company must file certain documents with the Texas Secretary of State's office and the county where the business is physically located or registered.

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Transferring a Texas DBA to a New Business Entity

If you are a business owner in the state of Texas and have an existing DBA that you want to transfer to a new business entity you've created or plan to create, state law requires the filing of specific documents.

1. Determine whether you need a Certificate of Amendment or an Assumed Name Certificate.

If you have an existing LLC, partnership, corporation, or sole proprietorship that is operating under one name but you want to change the name to instead use a DBA name you previously used for another entity, you need to file a Certificate of Amendment (Form 424) with the Texas Secretary of State's office.

If you instead want to simply use an existing DBA name as a DBA name for another type of business entity, you need to file an Assumed Name Certificate (Form 503) with the Secretary of State. You must also file a similar document that meets county-specific filing requirements with the county clerk's office in the county where the business maintains its principal office address. If your business does not have a principal office in Texas, you must file an Assumed Name Certificate with the county clerk's office in the county of your registered office address.

For example, Jane Doe operates a sole proprietorship and created an assumed name, Jane's Consulting Services, for her company. A year later, on the advice of her attorney and accountant, Jane decides to establish a new limited liability company (LLC) for the business and registers Jane Doe, LLC, with the Texas Secretary of State's office. In order to hold out her LLC as Jane's Consulting Services in her marketing and sales efforts, Jane must file an Assumed Name Certificate with the Texas Secretary of State's office and in the county where her business is located.

2. Provide all required information on the Assumed Name Certificate.

You must provide certain information when filing your Assumed Name Certificate with the Texas Secretary of State. This includes:

  • The DBA name you want to transfer to the new entity.
  • The new business entity's legal name.
  • The type of legal entity (such as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship), and the file number assigned by the Secretary of State's office, if applicable.
  • The jurisdiction where you originally formed the business entity.
  • The address for the business's principal office (either a street address or mailing address).
  • The Texas county or counties where you intend to use the assumed name. You can simply indicate "all," if you intend to use your DBA name on a statewide basis. Alternatively, you can indicate "all counties except…" and name one or more specific counties.

3. Execute the document and submit it for processing.

Before you can file the Assumed Name Certificate with the Secretary of State's office or county clerk's office, you must make sure to meet execution requirements. This includes:

  • Having an officer, general partner, member, manager, representative, or attorney-in-fact for the company sign the form for the state-level filing
  • Signing the county-level filing in front of a notary public and submitting it with original signatures to the applicable county clerk's office for filing

In Texas, transferring a DBA name from one business entity to another requires the filing of certain forms with the state and county agencies. You may wish to consult with a business law attorney licensed to practice in Texas, who can help ensure you meet all statutory requirements.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.