Archive for July 6th, 2009

Dear Danielle: What Does d/b/a Mean?

Dear Danielle: 

I just purchased your retainer agreement template, but I’m from Australia and not familiar with what d/b/a is. What does that mean? —Heather James

Great question. Thank you for asking.

Although we work in a global marketplace, it’s not always easy to know whether certain terms are consistent or understandable in different countries.

In the United States, d/b/a means “doing business as.”

It is used to denote a sole proprietor’s business trade name rather than her personal name (e.g., Jane Doe d/b/a Jane’s Administrative Partnering).

It’s also used one or more of a parent entity’s business trade name (e.g., Smith Companies, Inc., d/b/a John Smith Administrative Consulting).

Some countries use “trading as” for the same purpose.

While our contract templates are absolutely suitable for business in all kinds of countries, they are written with U.S.-based legal terminology so you’ll want to swap out certain terms with the correct usage for your location.

And as always, the key word here is “template.” It’s still a good idea to have your own attorney check any legal documents before using them in your business.

The benefit of using our templates is that they are geared specifically for the administrative support business and they’ll save you a ton of time and money as opposed to having your own attorney draft one for you from scratch.

Hope that helps!