Is it legal for a DBA to add divisional suffixes (names) to its legal name in ads, legal and public documents?

Could a company like "Springfield Auto Supply Co" (made up example) add divisional suffixes to its official "DBA" to come up with names like "Springfield Auto Supply Co - Truck Parts Division" or "Springfield Auto Supply Co - Body Parts Division" and then publicly list itself as such, advertise as such and enter into contracts as such?

Update:

Good info Chris... thank you! But I should have clarified that am more interested in sole proprietorships and specifically in the use of the term "Division" with some descriptor tacked on to the sole proprietorship's legal DBA. In my state, a sole proprietorship can only have one DBA and we don't have ABNs, hence my question.

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  • Chris
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes (at least in Oregon and Washington, where I work). It would actually be an ABN (associated business name) and not a DBA but it's basically the same thing. My clients do it all the time - one S-Corp holds the ABN's for multiple branches of the same S-Corp that each offer a different service.

    In your example, you could even do an unrelated ABN. So Springfield Auto Supply Co. could have a ABN listed as "Awesome Truck Parts" and operate that business model but still be part of the S-Corp as far as taxes and licensing. They could enter into contracts, do work, and accept payment as Awesome Truck Parts no problem.

    Simply contact the Secretary of State for your home state and follow the procedure to create an ABN. OR and WA even allow you to do it online in about 24 hours.

    Source(s): I'm a business banking specialist with a major national bank.
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