Authority/Reference(s) Texas Business and Commerce Code §71
Revision Date January 15, 2019

Policy

DFPS only contracts with an entity using its full legal name.  However, an assumed name may be added as a DBA (Doing Business As or “Assumed name”) following the legal name, if the entity has filed the Assumed Name Certificate (Texas Secretary of State Form 503) in the county where it plans to conduct business or filed the DBA with both the county and Texas Secretary of State (SOS), depending on the type of entity. 

A business entity must file a new certificate at the SOS or in the appropriate county/counties within 60 days of a change in:

  • Name
  • Identity
  • Entity
  • Form of business or professional organization
  • Location of a registrant
  • In ownership for a proprietorship or sole practitioner
  • Admission of a new partner or venture for partnerships
  • An end to a partner or joint venture for partnerships

Assumed name certificates are effective for a term not to exceed 10 years from the date of filing, but can be renewed for additional periods that are no longer than 10 years per renewal.

Texas Business and Commerce Code Sections §71.202 and §71.203 allows criminal penalties for general violations and fraudulent filing of assumed names.

Filing Requirements of Assumed Names by Business Entity Types

The following business entity types must file an assumed name certificate with the county clerk in each county in which they have a business office.

  • Sole proprietorships
  • General partnerships or joint ventures
  • Estates
  • Real estate investment trusts
  • Any other type of business entity not included below or those listed above as filing with the secretary of state.

If these entities do not maintain a business office in Texas, then they must file in each county where they will conduct business.

The following types of entities must file an assumed name certificate with both the SOS and the county clerk, and maintain a registered agent file in the county where the DBA’s principal office is located (if in Texas), or where the registered office is located (if outside of Texas).

  • Corporations (for-profit, nonprofit and professional) or other incorporated entities
  • Limited liability companies (including professional limited liability companies)
  • Limited partnerships
  • Professional associations
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Foreign filing entities

A domestic entity that is not required to maintain a registered agent, must file in the county where the entity maintains its office in Texas. A foreign entity that is not required to maintain a registered agent in Texas, shall file a certificate in the county where it maintains its principal place of business in Texas.

If an entity would like to file a DBA in additional counties, other than what is required by Chapter 71 of the Texas Business & Commerce Code, the entity should contact the applicable county clerks’ offices for information on filing a certificate.

Additional information can be found at the Texas Secretary of State.