Legal Question in Business Law in Pennsylvania

How to register a DBA?

I'm developing a home based consulting business. I've read that I need to register my business name as a DBA, but I don't know how. Specifically:

With whom do I register?

Should I expect to pay a fee?

How long does it usually take to register as such?

Is this the same thing as (or does it qualify as) having searched to be certain no one else uses the name?

Do I have to notify anyone else once I get permission to use my DBA (ie. I read somewhere about a TM registration--is that necessary?)

Thank you so much for the time involved in answering this question. Valuable service you have!!!!

Asked on 5/31/99, 9:34 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gerald Hershenson Law Office of Gerald M. Hershenson

Re: How to register a DBA?

In Pennsylvania what you require is a fictious name registration. This involves searching the records to determine the name availability, filing a fee with the Department of Corporations. In addition, you must advertise in two papers of general circulation, one of which is predesignated depending upon the county you reside in. However, this registration will only allow you to open a bank account in the fictitious name, advertise under the name, but does not establish a proprietary interest in the name. You must either form a corporation or register the name as a trademark. You certainly can do it yourself, but an attorney could handle it more effectively and efficiently. Suggest you contact an attorney to assist you. In the event you fail to register and have to sue some one for non payment the debtor can raise as a full and complete defense your failure to properly register you name. It can be cured by filing the registration, but will cause a delay. The purpose of the registration is to provide notice to the world as to the name and address of the owner doing business under the fictitious name.

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Answered on 6/01/99, 9:46 pm

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