Topic 5.11: Trade Names >

Learning Objective

After successfully completing this topic, you will be able to determine whether the name of a firm makes it a fictitious name.

Trade Names

Trade names, often called fictitious names, are names used by an individual or business firm which are different than its legal name. The actual name of an actual person or an entity which has been registered with the state is not a trade name.

  • “Tom Jones, broker” is not a trade name. The actual name of the owner is used.
  • “Florida Sun Realty, Inc.” is not a trade name. The actual name of the corporation is used.
  • “Action Realty” is a trade name. It does not have a person’s name, nor “Inc.,” “Corp.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.” behind the name.

A broker may use a trade name after registering it with the DBPR. Registering the name with the DBPR eliminates the need for a broker to register the name with the Department of State. Sales associates and broker associates may not use trade names. A broker can operate with only one trade name.