Holding company X has subsidiaries A, B, and C

Can A, B, and C each file a DBA to operate as the same name ie ACME?

How would this be different than Holding company X creating a trademark ACME and licensing it to A, B, and C?

Thanks!

up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is done routinely. For example, all interstate banks in the U.S. operate in this manner.

How would this be different than Holding company X creating a trademark ACME and licensing it to A, B, and C?

This is one of the common ways that this is done. The other is for each subsidiary to obtain a trade name certificate from the states where it operates with a certification from the trade name owner that it has authorization to do so.

A trademark licensing arrangement does not have to be accompanied by an ownership relationship, however. When it is not, it is called a franchise agreement.

  • Does the trademark allow the business to operate under that name? Or just prevent other companies from operating under that name? i.e. can i open a bank account under a trademark name when the legal name is something else? Or cash checks under the trademark name? Thanks! – user3527354 Apr 27 at 22:25
  • @user3527354 You would normally open a bank account as B subsidiary d/b/a Tradename and cash checks under that. Of course, when you do that you impair your ability to be clear which of the subs is liable for harm. Trademark would allow you to operate under that name, but tradename would probably be more appropriate for most purposes. A trademark is a brand. – ohwilleke Apr 28 at 3:00

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