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Can general partners use their last names without registering a fictitious business name?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

Can two general partners do business under their last names without registering a fictitious business name? For example, can John Doe and James Smith (who are partners) enter into contracts using the name "Doe Smith" without registering "Doe Smith" as a fictitious business name?

Mr. Murillo, What do you mean by an "owner agreement"?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Unless Florida has unusual laws, if you use your natural name that is not fictitious. One bit of unequivocal advice, do not use a partnership as you need to have limited liability under an LLC or corporation. Once you select the appropriate entity, then you must have an owner agreement. Doing business with anyone without a good entity and a good owner agreement is just begging for more problems than you can imagine.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Read the FAQ's from the Florida Secretary of State about fictitious business names and then speak with a Florida-licensed business attorney. In California, the direct answer to your question is no, "Doe Smith" would have to be registered as a fictitious business name. Florida law may be different.

    The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.


  3. More information is needed to better answer your question. (1) Is this partnership an incorporated entity? (2) If so, are the partners transacting business in names that are not necessarily the registered name of the Partnership? Generally, in Florida, (certain exceptions apply) businesses should transact in the registered name of the Business or under a DBA/Fictitious Name which must be registered with the State.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided solely for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.

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