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How do I register current DBA to a new LLC?

Oakland, CA |

Currently have a business with a DBA as a sole proprietor. Just created an LLC (under a different name). Now want to use\link the LLC to the current DBA name. Do I need to abandon the DBA first, then re-register the DBA to the LLC or is it possible to just update that information with one form?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    I would advise against abandoning the name first. You want some overlap thee so that there is no gap between your sole proprietorship usage and the LLC's usage. You personally are entitled to use the DBA now in the county(ies) where it is currently registered, and you are simply assigning that right to the new LLC. The LLC can just file a new DBA.. County Clerks generally do not check for prior use or enforce against competing uses. Just register the DBA name under the LLC and let the sole proprietorship DBA expire. If you want to be abundantly cautious that you are not personally liable for LLC obligations, you should abandon the sole proprieor DBA after filing the new LLC DBA.

    Alternatively, if another LLC is not already uing the name, you could change the LLC name to the DBA name. The LLC right would apply statewide however so if someone who filed in another county is already using the name, their rights may supercede the LLC's in those other counties.

    Attention: This response is based upon general legal theories and may or may not specifically address issues that affect your individual legal matter or situation. It should not be relied upon outside of the jurisdiction(s) in which the attorney is licensed to practice as each state has different laws. Each situation is fact specific and requires comprehensive legal evaluation following a thorough consultation and review of all the facts and evidence available. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between the asking and answering parties.


  2. Well, as a general rule only one entity or individual can express itself as a DBA...so, you will need to file a new DBA application with the LLC as the entity expressing itself as that specifica fictitious name DBA. Keep in mind that you will want to speak with an attorney about what you are doing so that you understand the other collateral issues that arise.

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  3. Attorney Rover is correct. The LLC can just file a new fictitious name statement. Unlike the Secretary of State's office, the various county offices which handle DBA filings do not check for prior or competing uses.

    The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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