Make Sure Your Business Names Are Registered

A new client was sued personally a while back and didn’t know why.

They advised that they carried on business through their numbered company, so they were confused to discover their personal name on the Plaintiff’s Claim, and not their business.

When we asked for them to provide their Business Name Registration to confirm registration, they were not aware that their trade name had to be registered because it was “never was an issue before.”  Well….it is now, isn’t it?!

The answer to their question was obvious: they were personally sued, because there was no record of their trade name so it could not be tied to the numbered company, as it should have.

They previously had their trade name registered, however, like most things, it didn’t last forever, and it had expired, and they weren’t even aware of it.

Had they had proper representation during registration, the expiry date would have been so that it could have been renewed, however, that was not the case, and here we are defending a claim against them personally. 

Now that we’ve re-registered the trade name to the numbered company, they are once again ready to go out in the world and generate business under the trade name knowing that they’re protected.

If you carry on business using a trade name, it must be registered, whether it’s a business name registered to a numbered company, or the trade name itself is incorporated or its registered to your name personally as a sole proprietorship.

If you use a trade name that isn’t registered, you run the risk of being sued personally, as suing an unregistered trade name will result in a useless, unenforceable judgment that no creditor wants.

Had the client ensured their registrations were up to date, they might not have been in the position they are in now.

If you have a trade name, now might be a good time to look into its registration to ensure yours hasn’t expired, or you may end up being sued personally!

Murray Brown, Licensed Paralegal