If I have an LLC video production business and am now starting an audio video installation/programming business, should I change the LLC and make it a DBA?

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If I have an LLC video production business and am now starting an audio video installation/programming business, should I change the LLC and make it a DBA?

Or should I create an entirely new business LLC with a new name? I may still want to do more business with the video production in the future but I don’t want to use the same name as my AV business which is now the primary focus (I haven’t been doing much with the video production business lately).

Asked on May 9, 2014 under Business Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You are almost always better off conducting business under an LLC than as a DBA, since an LLC will protect you from most employment/work-related liability--e.g. you will likely not lose  your house if the business is sued for breach of contract or the like. Having an LLC also makes it easier and cleaner to show business costs/expenses as opposed to personal costs/expenses, which makes it easier and safer to take business deductions for tax purposes.

As to whether you should have a new LLC or work under the existing one--that is a matter of personal preference. Legally, an existing LLC can expand into new business lines, so the question is do you value the increased flexibility of conducting both business under one LLC (you can move money, etc. around between them easier) more or less than you value having a different name and being able to keep the lines of business more fully separate?


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