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How do I change ownership of a DBA?

Saint Louis, MO |

My nonprofit has a name that is our "legal" name, but we're sometimes doing business under a slight variation of that name. I filed a DBA and put myself as the owner of that DBA, but someone suggested that the nonprofit should be the owner of that DBA. Since I already filed it over a year ago, how should I change it? Should I just re-file the correct way? If I do that, what does that do to the prior DBA application?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    With a pending dba, the county will probably refuse to register the same name. The procedure here is to withdraw the personal dba and then file the new dba for the not for profit.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.


  2. You need to see an IP attorney. You have so many question posted in so many different areas. You are obviously hoping to DIY. That is not a smart move. You are going to have to redo this dba since you screwed it up. You now have yourself in legal exposure for filing a false dba, you have the nonprofit legally exposed for failure to file, you have apparently no servicemark registration either with the state or federal level, you have graphic design issues, and those are just some of the mess you have done yourself. Stop and hire an attorney so you get this right and don't waster more time, effort and money all to just have to redo it.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.


  3. Read the Fictitious Business Name FAQs published by the Missouri Secretary of State via the link below which answer most of your questions. The reason your initial filing was wrong was, as you note, you told the world, through your filing, that YOU were doing business under the fictitous business name instead of the organization you created. Good luck.

    The above response 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.


  4. You made a common mistake by tying the fictitious name to you individually. You can withdraw the registration and file a proper one.

    My comments are general in nature, are not legal advice as to your specific issue, and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Disregard this solicitation if you have already engaged a lawyer in connection with the legal matter referred to in this solicitation. You may wish to consult your lawyer or another lawyer instead of me. The exact nature of your legal situation will depend on many facts not known to me at this time. You should understand that the advice and information in this solicitation is general and that your own situation may vary. This statement is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Missouri.

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