In many situations a business entity will conduct business under a trade name different from its legal name (e.g., ABC Enterprises, LLC operating a restaurant named “Big Bob’s House of Ribs”). An individual or business entity (such as a corporation or limited liability company) that conducts or transacts business in Virginia under a fictitious name (also referred to as an assumed name or d/b/a) without making the required local and state filings is subject to being convicted of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,500 or confinement in jail for not more than one year, or both. See § 59.1-75 of the Code of Virginia. Jeepers! That’s a pretty harsh penalty, but fortunately, satisfying this requirement is a simple and straightforward process involving: (i) the filing of a one-page Certificate of Assumed Name form with the court clerk’s office in the city/county where your business activities take place; (ii) requesting a “copy teste” from the court clerk; and (iii) filing that copy teste with the State Corporation Commission. The filing fees involved typically range from $10-15 (the SCC filing fee is $10). Assistance with these filings is included in Perkins Law’s flat fee business start-up package. E-mail or call if we can help you get your new business off the ground (or help your existing business get properly organized).