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Are your assumed business names or “doing business as” name (DBAs) on file with TREC? A DBA or assumed business name can be used in advertisements in place of the inspector’s name if it is properly registered with the Commission. This is what licensed professional real estate inspectors, real estate inspectors, and apprentice inspectors need to know to be in compliance.

What is an Assumed Business Name or DBA?

An assumed business name or DBA means any name that the license holder uses in business other than the name shown on the inspector’s license.

What is an Advertisement?

Advertisements are all communications created or caused to be created by a licensed inspector for the purpose of inducing or attempting to induce a member of the public to use the services of the inspector. An advertisement could include the following types of communications:

  • Inspection reports
  • Business cards
  • Invoices
  • Signs
  • Brochures
  • Email, the internet, and electronic transmissions
  • Text messages
  • Purchased telephone directory displays
  • Advertising by newspaper, radio, and television.

How Do Inspectors Register Their DBAs With TREC?

Inspectors should complete the Notice of Assumed Business Name or DBA for an Inspector's License form to register or remove names and email it to TREC.

Registering or Filing with the Secretary of State is Not a Filing with TREC

Some license holders who file for incorporation with the Secretary of State incorrectly assume that filing for an assumed name certificate brings them into compliance with TREC’s requirements. This is not the case. The Real Estate License Act and TREC Rules require the name be registered with TREC.

Do Real Estate and Apprentice Inspectors Need to Register DBAs?

Yes, Section 535.221(c) states: “A licensed professional inspector, real estate inspector or apprentice inspector shall notify the Commission in writing within 30 days after the inspector starts or stops using a name in business other than the name in which the inspector is licensed.”

In addition, Section 535.221(b), also states that a real estate inspector’s or an apprentice inspector’s advertisements must contain (1) the name or assumed name of the person's sponsoring professional inspector; and (2) a statement indicating that the person is sponsored by that professional inspector.

Can a Company File A DBA For All Its Inspectors?

No. Employees of a company must file to be listed under the company they work for if the company’s name is different from name in which the inspector is licensed.

TREC does not issue licenses to businesses entities such as corporations or LLCs that conduct inspections. Therefore, one DBA form cannot be submitted to cover each inspector employed by one business.

Since the company presumably owns the use of their business name, any inspector who uses the company name in their advertising (see above definition), will need to have the company’s permission to register the company name as a DBA under their own license (during the term of employment). Upon termination of employment, the inspector should notify the commission within 30 days that they are no longer using that DBA.

Can I Be Disciplined if I Use a DBA That is Not Properly Registered?

Yes. An inspector can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply with the registration requirements. Section 535.221(e) says, “The Commission may reprimand or suspend or revoke the license of a person who is found to have engaged in false or misleading advertising or to have failed to comply with provisions of this section.” License holders have up to 30 days from the time an inspector starts or stops using the business name to notify the Commission.