When learning how to transfer a DBA to a new entity in Texas, you must determine if you're transferring it to another person, changing the name, or making it an LLC.

How to Transfer a DBA to a New Entity in Texas

According to Texas law, businesses can operate under an assumed name, also known as doing business as (DBA), for a legitimate business reason as long as the name is unique and registered with an official state entity.

You register DBAs at the state or county level in Texas, depending upon the entity type and where the entity does business. Transferring the DBA to a new entity requires an authorized person to file a new assumed name certificate within 60 days of the transfer.

According to Chapter 71 of the Texas Business and Commercial Code, businesses can operate under a business name different from the registered legal name as long as it registers the name with the state.

A DBA remains valid for 10 years. If the owner sells the business or wants to give the DBA to another entity, Texas law states the owner must file a new assumed name certificate within 60 days. The owner cannot amend a certificate.

If the new entity using the DBA is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, it must file a new assumed name certificate. All Texas counties maintain websites where you can access the county clerk's office page to download the certificate.

If the new entity is independent and had to submit formation papers with the state, it must file a new assumed name certificate with each county clerk's office. It must also file one with the secretary of state's office by one of two ways:

  • Download Form 503 from the website and file the certificate by mail.
  • File the certificate online by using SOSDirect, the state's electronic filing system.

How to Transfer a DBA to Another Person

Every business must operate under a name that isn't already in use. If a business realizes that its name is already in use in another state or wants to use a name different from the legal one, the business must register an assumed name or DBA.

Each state has its own DBA-filing requirements, but once filed, the business has the rights to use the name for a specific number of years. Once the time period ends, the business can renew the registration.

Most states don't offer a specific way to transfer DBA ownership to another person. However, a business owner in Texas can change the contact information by filling out an Assumed Name Certificate and paying a fee. On the form, you must do the following:

  • Provide the business name.
  • State the business's location.
  • List the names and addresses of the current DBA owners and contact information for the new owner.

After you complete the form, make an appointment with a notary. You and the new owners must be present to sign the form in front of the notary. Mail the application along with any required paperwork.

How to Transfer a Business Name

To transfer a business name, you must:

  • Obtain a transfer of business name form. You can find this at your secretary of state's office. Download or print the form directly from the website.
  • Determine the transfer/registration fee via the website.
  • Complete the form correctly. Include name and contact information of the current and future owners.
  • Sign and date the form. Have the form notarized.
  • Mail the completed form and payment to the secretary of state's office.

How to Change From a DBA to a LLC

Determine whether the business has registered the DBA name. Use the online search option from the secretary of state's office, and search for the name you want to use for the limited liability company (LLC). If you find the name in the database, you must modify or change the name of the business. If nobody else uses the name, you can register the DBA as the LLC name. From there, complete the following:

  • Locate the LLC application and forms to complete so you can register the LLC.
  • State the registered agent's name, address, and phone number.
  • Write the Articles of Incorporation.
  • Apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) or tax identification number (TIN).
  • Contact the county to notify that you registered the business as an LLC.

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