Contact Us for a Free 20 Minute Consultation +1 347 329 3952

Blog

What is the point of a DBA application? Is it different from filling for a trademark?

Posted by Giselle Ayala Mateus | Mar 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

When it comes to doing business the name of the business and trademark used to attract clients are two important matters to resolve. However, it is important to understand that the name of the business and the trademark are not the same, and these two concepts are also different from the logo of the company, although it feels like an obvious thing.  The name of a business or a company is the legal name of registration when the company is created, for example, Torres Bulding Entreprise LLC. The trademark may not necessarily be the same as the name of the company. If a company wants to identify itself with a more catchy denomination it may come up with another name. For example, Torres Bulding Entreprise LLC may decide to use the name BRICK to do advertising and marketing in social media and T.V. 

A company is said to be "doing business as" when the name under which they operate their business differs from its legal, registered name. Some states require dba or fictitious business name filings to be made for the protection of consumers conducting business with the entity. Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/

Considering all of the above, the legislators and the legal authorities in charge of protecting consumers required businesses to register those words or denominations that they use to do business or attract consumers. If a company uses a name other than its legal name for any business activity it should register such a name. The idea is to know who is doing business with the public because the consumer is not necessarily sophisticated enough to know it. 

How many DBA registration may have a business? Well. there is no limit as to the number of DBA registration that a business may have. However, as long as a company is doing business with a name other than its legal name of constitution, registration is required. To obtain a DBA registration, the company must file the proper form with the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations, and UCC. 

Ok... How is this related to trademark law?

Well, the protection of a DBA registration is mainly for the consumer who will be able to know who is the company selling him goods or services. However, if a business wants to use the same name as a trademark, the business must file a trademark registration. A trademark is any symbol used to distinguish and differentiate the commercial source of services or goods. Accordingly, absent a proper registration, there could be two companies selling the same goods or services under substantially similar DBA registrations. For example, BRICK and BREEK. 

When a business files for trademark registration before the USPTO, this is on the national level, an examining attorney makes a search and established whether a trademark similar or substantially similar exists or has been registered. If a similar trademark has already been registered in the same class of goods as the applicant, the USPTO examining attorney will issue an Office Notice and may request the applicant to explain why there is no likelihood of confusion, in other words, to explain why the trademark registration should be approved. In contrast with a trademark filing, in the context of a DBA registration, the Department of State only makes research to know whether an identical denomination has already been registered. 

The explanation is important because if a company wants to percent another from using a name or denomination that is identical or substantially similar to the one the company already uses, trademark registration is probably the most effective way. Additionally, there are sanctions for the no registration of a trademark. However, if a business does not complete the proper DBA registration it may be fined. 

About the Author

Giselle Ayala Mateus

Giselle Ayala Mateus is a NY attorney with comprehensive experience in transactional law, creative agreements, business formation, and immigration law. She is also the founder of FOCUS a not-for-profit project focused on supporting entrepreneurs and artists.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Start Here!

Welcome to the Law Office of Giselle Ayala Mateus. Our office is specially focused on the satisfaction of the clients, their needs and expectations are fundamental for the provision of an effective service. The first meeting with the attorney is focused on creating a safe space to make questions and build trust. Additionally, you will be able to measure how we can help you.

Menu