How to Reference a DBA Name on a Contract

Failing to properly reference the legal names of parties to a contract can create ambiguity about who is obligated by the contract. Companies that use a tradename or a dba, which is short for "doing business as," sometimes misuse their tradename when entering into a contract.

Confirm the exact legal name of the company. The correct name will be in the company's organizational documents (the articles of incorporation for a corporation or the articles of organization for an LLC).

Insert the full legal name of the company as it appears in the organizational documents together with the state of organization. For example, an Arizona LLC named Mike's Widgets, LLC would identify itself in the contract as "Mike's Widgets, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company."

Read More: Can an LLC File a DBA & Still Do Business Under the LLC Name?

Insert "doing business as" or the acronym "dba" after the company's legal name followed by the dba. If Mike's Widgets, LLC uses the tradename "Awesome Widgets," then the contract would identify the business as "Mike's Widgets, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company dba Awesome Widgets."


  • Check the laws regarding using tradenames in the state where the company does business. The company may have to file a registration of the tradename with that state.

Related Articles