Use a DBA for business cards?

I’ve decided not to use an LLC (at least not for the first few years) to buy houses under. So I’ll just be buying under my own name for now.

When I create my business card, should it just read:

My Name
RE Investor
Phone, etc.

or does that look silly?

I could create a DBA, to create an extra name like XYZ Investments, but I’m not sure it’s worth the DBA fees just to add something to a business card. From what I understand you still have to sign your lease as Joe Blow dba XYZ Investments, so you won’t be hiding ownership from the tenants. So the only purpose I can see for it is the business cards.

Why bother with DBA fees when you can just put a “business name” on there for legitimacy purposes and buy it in your name with absolutely no association to the business name? The only time I could think of that you would need an official DBA is if it was getting checks and you need it for the bank. But you said that you are buying them in your name so the check can go to you. You can use the business name only for that first impression.

And with my LLC’s, my leases are between the tenant and my LLC. My name is not on it. They know my name because we talked. When I evict them it is my LLC vs the tenant and I am a representing member of the LLC.

I didn’t know that was legal. I was under the impression that it was considered fraud to advertise using a business name that’s unregistered.

I don’t know if you have some state specific rules but a business name that makes no money is a hobby by the federal government and of no concern. They will actually reclassify a legitimate business as a hobby. You are not defrauding anyone in any way whatsoever. You are legitimately buying their property in your name.

My we buy houses business is called Roanoke I am only using that to show a professional image. Each house I buy goes under a different LLC so it is very similar to this situation. So what do you do, act like you are your last LLC but do a switcheroo and change it to the next one when you buy from them? Same thing. Or tell them your name acting like you are going to buy the property but actually have a LLC buy it. Same thing.

Fraud is more lined up with actually trying to screw someone for your personal gain. You actually have to commit a crime and there needs to be a victim for fraud. That is not your objective. From what you said your objective is simply to show a professional image.

The question is, does it pass the smell test? Smell test being that you are trying to harm someone or pull one over on someone by doing this. And that is not the case.

Thanks Hooch. All I want is something to put on my business cards.

You need a DBA if you plan to conduct business in a name other than your own. Fraud is irrelevant.

OK. But conduct business only means monetary transactions, from what I understand–not putting something snazzy on a business card just for effect. So I think I should be in the clear.

Your local clerk will disagree with you. Passing out business cards is conducting business, but you face no real penalty from the authorities.

Why would you want DBA on your business card? To me its degrading myself. To me it looks like doing business as a novice. Just my 2 cents anyway. herbster

Passing out business cards is conducting business

I would say passing out cards is attempting to conduct business rather than conducting business as you have not done any business together until money changes hands.

That is absolutely not true. Money does not need to change hands to conduct business. Negotiating, advertising, and anything related to the generation of profit is conducting business. It certainly isn’t personal, a hobby interest, or charitable. The city clerk will define these actions as business so that they can collect the DBA fee. It doesn’t matter what you call it. It matters what they call it, but they aren’t going to do anything about unless someone complains.

I think that he was trying to get an answer on whether he will be fine putting a business name on the card without getting a DBA. We can talk about technicalities just as we can talk about never pulling the tag off your mattress or you will be committing a crime. Or going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit.

I agree that it is important for people to know the laws but there is a point where the people have to draw a line in the sand with the government harassment. NO one is harmed by your attempt to show a professional image. No money even exchanged hands between the seller and buyer in that name. The city would have to pay thousands of dollars to take you to court with something the judge would likely throw out in a heart beat. Lawyers don’t often even take cases where there are NO damages. So what is the point in spreading fear of the government anyways? And why would anyone complain in the first place?

That is the last thing I would worry about. Paying your taxes, committing real crimes, etc are what a person should be concerned with. The fear of someone calling my local government is of absolutely no concern to me.