Trade Name Uses

Hello, does anyone know why the TTB does not allow "Inc.", "Corp." or "LLC" to be used in a trade name?  Apparently, it's not a regulation, just an internal decision. 


  • Alex KoralAlex Koral Posts: 36 admin
    Hi Gabriela,

    Thanks for the question--sorry it's taken a while to respond.

    Are you talking about the trade name you register when applying for a Basic Permit, or is it coming up somewhere else? Have you had an application be rejected because you included "Corp" or "LLC"?

    I can't say exactly why the TTB wouldn't allow an "Inc." or "LLC," as you say, it seems like an internal decision as opposed to a proper regulation. But perhaps it's because the trade name is supplementing the company name you're registering under, and the TTB wants to avoid confusion as to which is the corporation behind the wine.

    But then Basic Permit applications (and revisions) do ask you to supply proof of state registrations of your trade name, which should include things like notice of incorporation with the secretary of state (i.e. being an "LLC"). So on that hand, it does seem like those statements should be allowed.

    I'll keep looking into this still, and see if I can't find a proper answer.
  • chirvinchirvin Posts: 2
    I would think it's because Inc., Corp., or LLC are all LEGAL entity names. While they may be used as a trade name, a trade name is generally thought of as a DBA, assumed name, or fictitious name.That is, a name different from the exact legal name of your corporate entity.

    Most jurisdictions have some sort of law against using Corp., LLC, or Inc. unless it is an accurate statement of the legal status of the entity as registered with the appropriate Secretary of State office.

    Unless your company is registered as XYZ, LLC, you can't call it XYZ, LLC. And if it was registered as XYZ, LLC, you can't call it ZZZ, LLC simply by registering a dba, because ZZZ, LLC doesn't exist. Similarly, if your company is registered as XYZ, Inc., you couldn't call it XYZ, LLC because there are legal differences between a limited liability company and a regular corporation. ZZZ would be an acceptable trade name of XYZ, LLC, but you don't get to use the corporate entity designation after the trade name because it isn't accurate.

    This information is solely my opinion based on nothing other than my general experience, and in no way should be construed as legal advice.

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