Trading as name

Trading as name business

Generally a business’s legal name and trading as name may be the same.

In certain instances, however, a business may use a trading as name instead of their legal business name. This is generally the name that customers of the business will know the business by. Further, this name will generally be on their marketing “shopfronts” – both physical and digital (like websites and social media)

Reasons for this

  • The legal name is formal and often lengthier, and a simpler name is preferred
  • A preferred name cannot be registered, often because it may already be registered or is too similar to a name that is already registered

Other terms for a business’s trading as name

  • Trade name
  • Trading name
  • Business name
  • Assumed business name
  • Fictious business name

Standard abbreviations

  • T/a or T/A (to designate a trading as name)
  • DBA, dba, d.b.a. or d/b/a (acronyms for “doing business as”)
  • O/a (short for “operating as”)

For example: Long Legal Name With Suffix And Sometimes Number Legal Designation t/a Short Name

Legal implications

  • Registering the trading as name with a companies registry, alongside the legal name, is often required
  • Using one (or more) trading as names does not create one (or more) separate legal entities. The distinction between a registered organisation legal name and a trading is important, because trading as names do not clearly identify the entity that is legally responsible
  • Legal agreements (such as a lease in commercial real estate (CRE)) normally refer to the registered legal name as the contracting party

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