A trade name or DBA (“doing business as”) is a name other than the true name of the entity under which it is authorized to do business in Colorado. So, for example, if Colorado Enterprises, LLC opens a pizza shop named Rossi’s Pizza, “Rossi’s Pizza” is Colorado Enterprises, LLC’s trade name. If the trade name is anything other than owner’s true name, Colorado law requires that Statement of Trade Name be filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.
A Statement of Trade Name allows the public to identify the real owner of a business when the business name does not identify its owner. Without an effective Statement of Trade Name, an entity cannot maintain a court proceeding for the collection of debts and may also subject the ownership entity to monetary penalties or an injunction from continuing to transact business.
Filing a Statement of Trade Name does keep any other company from filing a Statement of Trade Name and using the same name or otherwise protect the business name. There may be Rossi’s Pizza shops up and down the same street, all with different owners; however, by investigating the on-line records of the Colorado Secretary of State at www.sos.state.co.us and matching the specific business name with its address, the identity of the actual owner is easily obtained.