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  1. #1

    Default Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    My question involves business law in the state of: PA

    My father had a registered fictitious name and passed 5 years ago. I would like to transfer ownership of that name to me so I can use it for my consulting business.

    I do not know if he had any debts related to this business entity. Upon his death he had no will and no property so was insolvent.

    Is there a risk of debts being transfered to me by filing the required paperwork to transfer ownership of the entity? If so, how could I resesrch and ensure there are no outstanding debts?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,598

    Default Re: Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    If it was a business, and that isn't entirely clear as you use 3 different terms for it, and it had debts; the debtors may try to come after you for it once you start the business/whatever back up. A transfer of ownership can include the assets (the name) and liabilities (debt) of the business, depending on the full facts of what we are actually talking about transferring.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,671

    Default Re: Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
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    Is there a risk of debts being transfered to me by filing the required paperwork to transfer ownership of the entity? If so, how could I resesrch and ensure there are no outstanding debts?
    The statute of limitations in PA for breach of contract (which is how debts usually occur) is 4 years. Unless there's a judgment out there you should be OK. See if your county courts have an online search feature. You can check for lawsuits that way. Local magistrate may require a phone call or visit to do a search.

    You can also check the county recorder for any recorded documents that might be adverse.

    Quote Quoting free9man
    View Post
    the debtors may try to come after you
    I'm sure you meant creditors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    18,827

    Default Re: Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    Fictitious names don't have ownership in themselves. You want to use it, you just register it for your new entity (either yourself or your LLC/corporation). There is no "entity" in a fictitious name, it's just an alias for something else. The state doesn't require or guarantee uniqueness there. Debts do not attach to a fictitious name, as it's not an entity, they attatch to whatever the name was applied to (your father or his LLC/corporation).

    Now the fictitious name might also rise to the level of being a trademark (independent of the fictitious name part). But it sounds like you don't have that concern here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,598

    Default Re: Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    I'm sure you meant creditors.
    So I did. It was late.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    1,070

    Default Re: Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
    View Post
    My father had a registered fictitious name and passed 5 years ago. I would like to transfer ownership of that name to me so I can use it for my consulting business.
    There's likely nothing to transfer. All you likely need do is register the fictitious name under your name.

    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
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    Is there a risk of debts being transfered to me by filing the required paperwork to transfer ownership of the entity?
    Not likely -- especially given my response above.


    Quote Quoting Mr.Fix_It
    View Post
    how could I resesrch and ensure there are no outstanding debts?
    The time to do what would have been shortly after he died. At this point, the statute of limitations on any debts he had likely has expired.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    405 West Front street Bloomington, IL. 61701 USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    This is a multi part question. First if the business is organized? Is this a corporation or LLC. That will frame the answer regarding the liabilities. If the business name was all that is registered, it is possible that the name can be transferred. You would have to check with an attorney in Pennsylvania to address the liability issues. Most states have a transfer of ownership of the DBA. Good luck.*

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,827

    Default Re: Transfer of a Fictitious Name and Debts

    Sorry, Richard. Your answer is wrong. A DBA/Fictitious name does not have ownership (at least not in the poster's state of Pennsylvania, nor any other that I am awayre of). There is no OWNERSHIP, EXCLUSIVITY, or TRANSFERRING of fictitious name. He's free to register the same fictitious name. THe name is not any sort of entity. If there are debts associated with the entity that was also using that fictitious name, those do not in any way affect the new entity using the same fictitious name. They stay with the previous entity (whether it be his father as a person or an LLC or Corporation that the father's business operated under).

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