What if the defendant you are suing is using a fictitious business name (DBA)?
Businesses typically use "Fictitious Names" or "DBAs" to interact with their customers so it's likely that you are more familiar with a business's DBA rather than its legal name. Both are important when you are filing a case against the other party.
A "Fictitious Business Name", also known as "DBA" (doing-business-as) is a nickname that a business uses for branding. DBA’s are often used when sole proprietorships do not want to operate under the individual’s name or when a company wants to manage multiple businesses under one registered entity. Corporations, LLCs, sole proprietorships, and partnerships can all have DBAs.
A sole proprietorship dentistry owned by John Smith, but the dental business is named "Smith's Dentistry".
DBA = Smith’s Dentistry
Legal Name = John Smith
A restaurant owned by a corporation named ABC, Inc. may operate several restaurants, one called "Peggy's Famous Foods" and another called "Joe's Pancakes".
DBA = Peggy's Famous Foods
DBA = Joe's Pancakes
Legal Name = ABC, Inc
A growing business called Jane’s Jewelry, LLC wants to offer new fashion services without opening a new business entity. She can keep her existing LLC and file a new DBA under that umbrella.
DBA = Jane’s Jewelry
DBA = Jane’s Fashion Boutique
Legal Name = Jane’s Jewelry, LLC
Finding the DBA of a Business
You can find out if the business is operating under a DBA by checking with the appropriate state agency (typically Secretary of State) and/or at the local county/city level.
The state's Secretary of State (SOS) will have a database you can check to confirm whether or not the business is operating under a DBA.
The county, city clerk's office, or the local court clerk's office may have the DBA information if it's unavailable at the state level.
JusticeDirect.com to Help You Write and Send a Demand Letter
Quest for Justice (Q4J)'s first product, JusticeDirect Demand Letter, will help people without lawyers draft and send a customized letter demanding payment, free of charge. Rather than use a generic sample demand letter or a template, JusticeDirect will guide users step-by-step to prepare and send, via USPS Certified Mail, a professional and personalized demand letter. The system helps users avoid common mistakes that often delay justice. Whether you are owed money or you are not happy with services or goods you already paid for, sending a detailed and professional demand letter is the first step to being taken seriously in the legal process and getting the justice you deserve. A simple, fast, and effective way to get your money back.
Other helpful sources: