Generally speaking, you would not want to use someone’s LLC name as your DBA name. There are a number of things that you need to consider here.
- Are you and the LLC near each other? If the LLC is registered in your state, your state may not allow you to register the DBA.
- Even if you could register the DBA, what would be the likelihood of confusion between your business and their business? If the business’ are completely different—for example like computers and a travel agency—then this may not be an issue. However, if you both make t-shirts, this could cause a likelihood of confusion and subject you to possible liabilities.
- Does the other business have trademark rights to the name? Trademark rights can be acquired through registration with the USPTO and through use via common law rights. If the business has trademark rights to the name and you are offering a similar good or service, then you could be infringing on the mark.
The safest route is to come up with something original for your business.
If you’d like to discuss your situation in more detail with an attorney,can connect you with a vetted business lawyer from our network to help you explore what options are available to you and the potential pitfalls to be wary of in your specific situation.