S Corp with Multiple DBA’s

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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