S Corp with Multiple DBA’s

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S Corp with Multiple DBA’s

Can we set up an S Corp as a general, catch-all entity, and then open multiple DBA’s under the Corp to nail down each niche business? If so, if a lawsuit were to arise under one of the DBA’s, will the Corp be responsible or will it fall on me personally?

Asked on December 27, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a corporation may do business under different names, or DBAs. These names must be registered in the county in which you do business, and must be available, not misleading or too similar to other business names, and must be distinguishable from other names. There is also a requirement to "publish" the name in newspapers before using it. You can find the various requirements at the website of the CA Secretary of State, though the easiest thing (and least likely to cause problems, such as by omiting a step or doing paperwork incorrectly) is to hire an attorney to verify, publish, and register the name for you.
If the DBA belongs to the corporation, then only the corporation, not its owner(s) personally, would be liable.


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