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    7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2011 3:15 PM by Rodeothor

    can my LLC apply a DBA?

    jamx551 Newbie
      I registered my business as LLC here in TX.. but I have another business name that I use for one of my businesses.. Can I apply DBA using my LLC?

      Think of my business as an umbrella.. My LLC is the apex or main business which provides creative solutions for companies.. and under this LLC I plan to have different businesses like Graphic Design, Selling Paintings, Copywrting - in order to differentiate the roles of these business under the LLC.

      Does anyone know how I can do this?

      Another question: As for bank accounts, do I have to apply for separate bank accounts for each of my DBA? or will 1 bank account in the name of my LLC suffice? I have concerns about tax that why I want to be sure Im doing what is right

        • Re: can my LLC apply a DBA?
          jamx551 Newbie
          Also Will I have the liability protection with my DBA as with my LLC? Or Does my LLC legal protection also apply to my DBA?
            • Re: can my LLC apply a DBA?
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              Again, I'm not an attorney, but as I understand it, there are two basic exceptions to limited liability for an LLC in Texas -- guarantor and alter-ego.

              An LLC member is not liable for the debts of the LLC unless the member personally guaranteed the debt -- in which case, the member will become personally liable. Likewise, if an LLC is guaranteeing the debts of its operating divisions or subsidiaries, then it will be liable for those debts.

              When courts impose the Alter-Ego Doctrine, they essentially declare that one legal entity is merely an alter-ego or a "business conduit" for the other entity. This happens with single member LLCs frequently -- i.e., the court declares that the LLC and the member are really one in the same (i.e., that the business is essentially functioning as a sole proprietorship) in which case, the member's liability is no longer limited. The same doctrine applies to operating divisions and subsidiaries -- if they are merely different names or business conduits for the same entity, then liability would not be limited.

              If you're in an area that has oil and gas operations, you'll notice that a "parent" company usually has multiple LLC subsidiaries for exploration, services, production, distribution, reserves, etc. -- each capitalized and managed as a separate stand-alone company, in part to protect that limited liability status.
            • Re: can my LLC apply a DBA?
              Lighthouse24 Ranger
              I'm assuming that you don't have a need or desire to form separate wholly-owned subsidiary companies for each of those functions, but rather are just trying to build on your existing LLC's name and brand -- i.e., your LLC is "Jamx LLC" for instance, and you want to do business as "Jamx Graphic Design," "Jamx Copywriting," etc. in order to make customers more aware that you offer those specific services.

              If that assumption is correct, then yes, I believe your LLC could file a DBA for those names, and you could operate those functions as internal business units (e.g., "Jamx Graphic Design, a division of Jamx LLC"). You could also utilize a single bank account (if it made sense to do so), and there'd only be one legal business entity for tax purposes.

              Hope that helps. (Note: I'm a business owner with offices in Texas, but I'm not an attorney -- so please consider this response accordingly.)
                • Re: can my LLC apply a DBA?
                  jamx551 Newbie
                  Thanks Lighthouse

                  But I have some followup questions if you dont mind :


                  1. So what will I write on my checks.. is it : Jamx Graphic Design DBA?

                  2. Also Im about to go to the County offfice and fill up the form "Assumed Name Records Certificate Ownership" which I believe is the DBA applic. form itself.
                  I was wondering if Texas has an online application for DBA ? My county is Travis

                  Thanks again
                    • Re: can my LLC apply a DBA?
                      Lighthouse24 Ranger
                      1. If the bank account is under the LLC's name and EIN, then I would have the checks say "Jamx LLC" on the top line, and on the second line (with business check designs, that line usually contains either a slogan or branch/division information) I'd list the DBA names like "dba Jamx Graphic Design & Jamx Copywriting". Just a suggestion.

                      2. You can download the DBA form from the Travis County clerk's website -- but unlike other places, you have to go up there to conduct a records search and sign/file the form in person. The office in on Airport Blvd, near 290 (North Loop and Highland Mall vicinity).
                  • can my LLC apply a DBA?

                    In Tennessee the LLC files with the Secretary of State for a trade name (the subsidiary) and then files at the county clerk’s office for a business tax license (state level).  My attorney has advised me to open separate accounts for each of four businesses but I do not think that is necessary.   The Feds only care about the LLC and the other company’s just have to have separate books to show gross sales.  So I would say yes.


                    I am not an attorney or accountant just going through the same thing.