I am a licensed California real estate broker. I recently left the company I was working for and want to start selling properties on my own. I have a standard purchase and listing agreement form which meets DRE requirements. I have heard from broker friends, but cannot find documentation anywhere else, that even with a brokerís license I cannot sell property in my own name but would have to create a corporation, or fictitious business name. Is that true? I am about to sign up a few listings and was planning on just putting my DRE license number and contact information rather than anything else. Does that suffice?
4 Answers from Attorneys
Of course you can act as a real estate broker with your own name. You don't have to form a company. Other brokers do so for tax and liability issues, and it may be a good idea, but it is not legally required.
I agree completely.
No sarcasm intended, but you were required to know and demonstrate knowledge of all of those issues to pass the Salesman and then the Brokers Exam. If you don't know or remember the rules and law, then you should do a refresher and review to protect yourself from making costly decisions. The other above answers are correct, but you definitely should not be basing your business decisions upon 'free anonymous hints and tips'.
I believe two things are worth adding to the previous advice. First, the Department of Real Estate makes it very easy to get official answers to questions like this, either via the Web or by telephone. Second, I'm pretty sure that if your license is issued to you as an individual, then you'd need to apply for and receive a new, separate license for your corporation (and perhaps even for a fictitiously-named proprietorship); there'd be no new test, but you'd have to fill out an application and pay a fee. Probably worth it for the reasons already given.