The confusion starts because business names are

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Unformatted text preview: He can’t make all the other John Smiths change their names. So too, the first Smith’s Restaurant can’t stop all other Smith’s Restaurants from using that same name. McDonald’s Hamburgers can’t make McDonald’s Hardware Store change its name, and McDonald’s Hardware Store in Manhattan can’t sue McDonald’s Hardware Store in San Francisco. However, just as you have rights to your own identity, so does your company. One John Smith can sue another John Smith for using his identity, having bills sent to the wrong address, or purposely confusing people. McDonald’s Hamburgers can sue just about anybody trying to use McDonald’s for a business selling fast foods. The confusion starts because business names are registered by different authorities in different places and on different levels. • The first and simplest business name is your own name, which might be enough for John Smith using Smith Consulting or operating Smith’s Restaurant. This kind of business name normally requires no additional paperwork, although most business owners end up registering a name anyhow to establish their legal claim to it. • The second common level of business names is called DBA (for “doing business as”) or Fictitious Business Name, which gives an individual the right to operate under a business name with signs, bank accounts, checks, and so on. These are generally registered and legalized by county governments within states. There might be a McDonald’s Hardware Store as a DBA in many counties within a given state, and across many different states. To register a business with a fictitious business name, call your county government for details. You can expect that you’ll have to visit an office in the county government, pay a fee of less than $100, and do some legal advertising, also less than $100, probably using forms you can fill out in the same office. Somebody will probably look up the registry to make sure that yours is the first business in the c...
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2014 for the course BUINESS 102 taught by Professor Unknown during the Winter '09 term at University of Phoenix.

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