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Sole Proprietorship with Fictitious Name Certificate

If a customer has a sole proprietorship along with a Fictitious name certificate, does the account still need to include their full name? Example: John Doe is the sole prop. He has a certificate to do business as Doe Technologies. Can the account be titled Doe Technologies or must it be titled John Doe DBA Doe Technologies?

Answer by Randy Carey: The proper title for the account would be John Doe DBA Doe Technologies. Doe Technologies is, as the certificate indicates, "fictitious." Since your core systems usually generate things like CTRs, etc., it is important that it is carried on your system appropriately. However, if you wish to allow the customer to order checks only showing Doe Technologies, that would be a bank decision.


Answer by John Burnett: Another way to look at this is to recognize that your bank needs to identify accounts with their true owners. As long as John Doe is the true owner of the account (Doe Technologies doesn't exist as a legal "person" so it can't own the account), you should carry the account under John Doe's name.


Answer by Ken Golliher: Just to make it a trio, take to heart the IRS instruction on the Form W-9:

Sole proprietor. Enter your individual name as shown on your income tax return on the "Name" line. You may enter your business, trade, or "doing business as (DBA)" name on the "Business name/disregarded entity name" line.

Note the use of the word "may." They really do not care whether the name of the business is on the form or not because it is simply irrelevant; the owner is the taxpayer and the taxpayer is the individual.

The DBA is the owner's nickname, nothing more. If his nickname was "Bubba" your bank might put that on the second line in the account title, but you would not use that in place of his real name.

First published on 12/03/12

First published on 12/03/2012

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