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Definitions:

Broker Assumed Business Name (DBA) is another name for the broker’s business that can be used by all sponsored sales agents and brokers associated with this broker. Another name that indicates a broker’s line of business, e.g.  property management or commercial is also a DBA.

Team Name is a name used only by a team or group of one or more sponsored sales agents or brokers associated with this broker. Team names must end in “team” or “group” and cannot contain the words “brokerage”, “company”, or “associates” or other similar terms.

Alternate Name is a name used by an individual license holder other than the name on the individual’s license, such as a middle name, married name, maiden name or nickname.

Fun Facts to Know:

  • You must have the legal authority to use an assumed business name in the State of Texas before you can register the name with TREC.
  • An individual broker can have an assumed business name.
  • There is no provision under TREC Rules for a sales agent to have an individual assumed business name or “brand name”– any such name falls under the definition of team name and must meet those requirements.
  •  Nothing in TREC Rules prohibits a broker from using the word “team” or “group” anywhere in a broker’s licensed or assumed business name.
  • A name used by an associated broker working under another broker that is not the associated broker’s licensed name must be a team name or alternate name.
  • All three name types must be registered with TREC BEFORE you start to use them in advertisements.
  • TREC will soon have an online tool for brokers to register and delete assumed business names and team names.

How Do You Know Which Type of Name It Is?

Start by looking at the definitions. Then ask yourself these “check” questions”:

Check Questions for Assumed Business Name:
a. Do you have legal authority to use this name in the State of Texas?

              NO –you cannot register it as an assumed business name.

              YES - you can register it as an assumed business name as long as you can answer “yes” to b. or c below.

b. Is the name available for use by any sponsored sales agent or associated broker?

              YES – you can register it as an assumed name

              NO – it is likely a team name and must meet all requirements for team names.

c.  Is this name used to identify a different line of business under the broker that is available for use by any sales agent or associated broker that the broker deems qualified to engage in that line of business (e.g. property management)?

              YES- you can register it as an assumed business name

              NO -  it is likely a team name and must meet all requirements for team names.

Check Questions for Team Name:
a. Is this name for use only by a small group of license holders within the brokerage?

              YES – it is team name and must meet the team name requirements.

              NO – it cannot be used unless it is an assumed name (see check questions above)

b. Is this name for use only by one person and it is not their licensed name or an alternate name?

              YES – it is team name and must meet the team name requirements.

               NO – It cannot be used unless it is an alternate name (see check question below).

Check Questions for Alternate Name:
a. Is this name for use for just you but is not the first or last name on your license?

              YES – This is an Alternate Name.

              NO – this is likely a team name (see check questions above)

b.  Is this a common name for your licensed name, such as Kim for Kimberly or Bill for William?

              YES – you do not need to register this name with TREC

              NO – you need to register this name with TREC

c. Is the last name that will be used the same as the last name on your license?

              YES – Simply fill out the TREC Alternate Name form, sign it and send to TREC.

              NO – In addition to the TREC Alternate Name form, you must submit supporting legal documentation to TREC to be able to use this alternate name in advertising.

Team Name Requirements and Restrictions:

a. Name must end with “team” or “group”.
b. Cannot use words that could mislead the public to mistake a team for a brokerage.

            Prohibited words: Brokerage, Company, Associates or similar words

            Acceptable words: Property, Real Estate, Homes, Realty

Who Registers Each Type of Name?

Assumed Business Name: Broker

Team Name: Broker

Alternate Name: Individual License Holder

 

Published August 2018