I’ve been browsing this website for a while now and I am finally starting up my own business and had a few questions.
I am in the middle of creating a complex eCommerce application that I will be able to use across multiple industries. For that reason I created a corporation(lets call it ABC Inc) who will own this eCommerce platform and have DBA’s under the corporation for each industry I use it towards. Right now we are just focusing on one specific industry before we use it for other industries in a few years. So I created a DBA that is owned by ABC Inc for this industry. So that there is no confusion, let’s just say the DBA is called ShoeStores as an example. So to sum it up, ABC Inc owns and operates ShoeStores.
I am the CEO/Co-founder of the corporation. My question to you is what would my title be for ShoeStores for business cards, etc. We would be going to conferences and conventions for this specific industry and would like our titles to be used.
Should we create 2 business cards? One for the corporation with our tittle and one for the DBA with just our names?
Have you filed the DBA in your state with the secretary of state? If so, then you should be able to use your corporate titles since the DBA really is the corporation just operating under an assumed name.
If not, it is really a trademark/service mark and not a DBA. In that case, you should probably indicate something like “ShoeStores, a division of ABC Inc.” You can make up whatever title as divisional officer that suits you.
Basically, the DBA is a just a name that you are using to do business with. You are still operating as the corp, you are just ‘doing business as’ another name.
If you are talking about business cards, there is some flexibility. You can get away with a card that says CEO, ShoeStores and probably not have any issues. However, if you are signing a legal document you need to be careful - you’d probably want to use the corp name whenever you are acting as an officer of the corp. You can also do things like 'Director, ABC Inc dba ShoeStore"
Speaking of technicalities, are you really a CEO of the company? That title has a specific meaning and you’d have to be documented in the minutes/bylaws/somewhere as being a chair of a board that actually exists. One of the quickest ways to tell if someone is operating a one or two person corp is when they call themselves the CEO and obviously don’t have a board of directors