My wife recently took my last name, but she wants to continue to use her maiden name in her work as a plastic surgeon. All of her degrees, licensees, certifications, etc. are in her maiden name. We want to insure that she has completely covered herself legally. Thank you.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
There is no law requiring her to change her name for any purpose. As long as she is not using a name for a fraudulent purpose, she can call herself anything she wants. My wife and I have separate names for business purposes and joint for personal purposes. Never a problem in 24 years.
Michael is in San Jose, California and can be reached at 408-295-4232 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.
Mr. Schwerin is correct. She does not even need to file a fictitious business name statement.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" 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.
Employment / Labor Attorney
Names under CA law. Very simple. She should not use a name that is a famous one. Wouldn't be prudent. For example, I would not suggest she solicit donations to her favorite charity under her magical new name of Doctor Michelle Obama. And, she should not use a name in order to commit fraud or to defraud creditors. Trying to get a credit card in Washington, DC using her magical new name of Hillary Clinton might get her a credit card, but it might eventually lead to a fraud charge if she defaults, Wouldn't be legal. Period. Hope these examples help. Much safer for her to call herself Dr. Joey Schlobotnick on alternating weekends when visiting friends at Colton's Olive Dell Ranch. Understand name tags are not needed there.
Seriously, she should have no problems, assuming her maiden name is not Alberta Einstein or Madam Curie. Many professional women do precisely what she's contemplating. Some of them are California lawyers who have degrees, licenses, certifications, etc. Some women who are not licensed professionals nonetheless have reputations they do not want to abandon upon marriage. Entertainers, for instance. Writers. Professional athletes. Politicians. The list goes on.
This answer is made available by the above lawyer for educational purposes only. It is also offered as a public service to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. This answer is not intended to give you specific legal advice. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. And, no attorney-client relationship has been formed. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance. Only when a complete interview takes place is it reasonable to rely on legal advice.