I am forming a LLC. Our "sign" has a different name (we are vendors and travel) Will I still be protected under the LLC name?

Just want to make sure our business is covered under the LLC name if we use a different name on our sign.

Walla Walla, WA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Gavin Nathaniel Johnson

Gavin Nathaniel Johnson

Business Attorney - Bellevue, WA
Answered

In order to starting doing business you'll need to file a Master Business License Application with the Washington Department of Revenue. You can find the application here: http://bls.dor.wa.gov/file.aspx

There's an option to register a trade name when you fill out the application. The application fee is $15, and its an additional $5 to register each trade name. Registering your trade name will help protect the name from being used by another business in Washington.

As far as limited liability protection, your business will enjoy the same limited liability protection as any other LLC, even if you're using a trade name or "doing business as" (DBA).

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Rand L. Koler

Rand L. Koler

Business Attorney - Seattle, WA
Answered

Your company can use a trade name; it is a good idea to register it with the Department of Licensing.

Peter J Smith

Peter J Smith

Business Attorney - Seattle, WA
Answered

I like Gavin's answer. The default rule is that business entities (such as an LLC) protect the business owners from business liabilities. The exception to the rule of limited liability protection arises when the business owners are misusing the corporate form. One instance of misuse is intentionally making it difficult and confusing for those harmed by the business (including creditors) to bring suit against the real entity responsible.

I don't think your trying to make things confusing by using a different name on your sign. Nevertheless, the prudent thing to do is to register the name on the sign as a trade name (d/b/a) of the LLC.

Legal disclaimer: The answer provided above is for general information purposes only and should not be relied on.... more

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