Register my business?

Am I required to register as a DBA/doing business as if I’m just doing the normal ‘flipping’ thing?

I was always under the impression ever since I took a uni class on ‘small business’, that you can just start a sole proprietorship as you wish, you don’t need to go file anything or declare anything.

If my name is john smith, can I just start advertising as “Smith Real Estate”, or do I need to do the red tape thing first? What would happen if I did just start advertising, without ever doing a DBA?

Let me ask you, if you just started using “Smith Real Estate” without registering the name, what is to keep someone else from starting a properly registered company called “Smith Real Estate” ?

When this company sues you for something like trademark infringement, your defense position is that you just did not want to bother with the red tape? Your attorney will be looking to settle your case out of court quickly and expensively.

Seems easy enough to avoid all this if you just register your DBA.

more importantly also - you can’t advertise as Smith Real Estate - because that is a seperate entity from yourself.

DBA - 50 bucks local county clerk - done.

now onto other issues like - insurance - you better have some…alot of it actually…

or don’t get it, tell me where you’re doing a project and i’ll just happen to walk by, slip on a blade of wet grass and have my money-hungry lawyer serve you with some papers - i’ll own your property in a few months - thank you very much.


Are you suggesting that someone would intentionally do that to extort money from me, knowing I’d pay to keep my name? Or do you mean that if someone happens to start using that name, then I’d lose it (potentially)? If it’s the latter, then it’s not a worry, because my last name is very rare, so I wouldn’t be concerned, and if it did happen I’d just have to come up with a new name. Plus, we are planning to incorporate our company (LLC probably), so it will be done at some point in the near future, but we aren’t planning on doing that until we actually have a couple properties.

We will definitely be buying insurance, however, we’ll be getting insurance once we actually have a property. We’re currently an infant company right now, haven’t bought our first property yet. When we do, and have tenants, we will definitely have insurance.
(btw, that’s a great resource in your sig)


I think you missed the point. You chose a common business name for your example. Common enough that it would be reasonable to assume that someone else could also come up with the same name.

Since we are talking about a common enough business name, how likely would it be that someone else already has that name licensed and is operating under that name. Since you are not bothering to register your DBA identity, you don’t get a chance to discover that the name is already taken.

Now, when you come along using the same name, the entity with the properly registered business name could sue you for something like trademark infringement or whatever it is called when you are illegally using their business name. They could claim that your use of the name is siphoning business from them and sue you for the monetary damages they will claim to have suffered – all the profit you will have made and probably more.

Far from extortion. Goes on all the time. You may remember the huge lawsuit between the Apple record company and the Apple computer company over the name “Apple” and the logo that went with it.

In my opinion you are fine with the sole proprietorship without a DBA, although I don’t see why you wouldn’t go down and file one. If protecting the name isn’t important then you don’t need it any way. Incorporating is a better idea, but that just protects you personally from liabilities of the business.

That’s the thing - protecting the name is relatively pointless, given how unique my name is. So I wouldn’t be doing it out of concern for the name, not only because it is so rare that it’s highly unlikely that someone else is/will be using it, but also that I don’t really mind it changing if it had to.

I’m mostly concerned with things like having a business card with the name on it, when it’s not registered as a dba.

there’s a right way to run a business, and a sloppy, half-assed way.

one way leads to a bright future, the other to ruin.

pick one.

Okay, you’re suggesting that not getting a dba for some months, adn just waiting til I setup an entity to register my name, will lead to ruin? Jumping to conclusions a lil? :rolleyes

not at all. the desire to take shortcuts and avoid necessary details speaks to a general attitude about “taking care of business.”

That attitude will lead to failure.

I’m sorry i must’ve taken your statement the wrong way. I’m not doing things half assed. If I believed it was a pressing matter to go get that dba, then I’d do it. It seems like soemthing that is totally suitable to just be put off until we setup our entity. In the meantime, we’re 100% driven in our marketing, but we’re trying to put first things first. Any money/time available now is going towards finding properties, I wasn’t trying to imply I’d never set things up properly, but I feel doing that quickly up front isn’t so pressing, and I’d be better off pumping that money into more mailings, signs, etc etc etc, than setting up a dba, especially since I’ll be registering in the near future anyways once we establish an entity.

So, aside from protection of my company’s name, are there any other pro’s / con’s of registering as DBA?