Fictitious Names

Often, for varied reasons, a business decides to operate under a fictitious name. However, obtaining a fictitious name does not mean that the entrepreneur has formed a legal entity. In addition, it does not mean that the name selected has been “reserved” as a trademark, solely for the use of the registrant.

For example, in the State of Florida, a fictitious name is simply a name registered with the Department of State to inform others that a business is operating under that name.

A sole proprietor operating under a fictitious name does not have the protection afforded by a legal entity (the “veil or wall” protecting the business owner from the business creditors) because the fictitious name does not create such a legal entity.

An enterprise registered legally under the Department of State can also obtain a fictitious name and operate “doing business as” such a name. This situation is different from the sole proprietor situation because the business has also registered as a legal entity and has the protection of the veil, in addition to operating under the fictitious name it registered.

In addition, under no circumstance does a fictitious name provide the same protection afforded by a trademark. Please look for upcoming information about trademarks in separate posts on this blog.

* This material is an excerpt from the book “Does Your Compass Work? Practical Legal Guide for Florida Businesses.” Copyright © 2008-2015 Yasmin Tirado-Chiodini. All Rights Reserved. This excerpt is provided under a Creative Commons License.


About tiradochiodini

I am a attorney, entrepreneur and author blogging about business, law, entrepreneurship, writing, books and other subjects.
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3 Responses to Fictitious Names

  1. John Lesko says:

    It was years ago that we met at ANSER and now I see that you’re blogging. I do hope that you’ll write about publishing and the various legal concerns that an author needs to think through as they market their work. Good luck in 2015 … JL


    • Hello John, Thanks for posting. Absolutely! As my blog’s welcome message states, my goal with the blog is to share helpful information for entrepreneurs from all walks of life, including creative minds, like artists and authors. I also plan to touch on other topics of interest that I’d like to share with the blog’s audience: books (my own and others I find interesting), reading, writing, genealogy… The blog’s categories (on the sidebar) will develop as I post. I hope you enjoy the blog!


  2. Pingback: Author Q&A: Should I incorporate or form an LLC if I am a self-published author? | The Tirado-Chiodini Post

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