The only way you can use your nickname for your real estate business

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06/11/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

Can I use the nickname “Johnny Doe” in my business activities even though I’m licensed with TREC as “John Doe”?

Yes, if your broker (or you, if you are the broker) has notified TREC in writing of the nickname, or assumed name, “Johnny Doe” by filing the TREC form Notice of DBA or Assumed Name for a Broker’s License.

Assumed names include any name other than the name listed on your TREC license that you would use in advertising, on a listing agreement or in a contract, or in any other business circumstance. TREC Rule 535.154(e) provides that a broker must notify TREC in writing within 30 days after the broker, or a salesperson sponsored by the broker, starts or stops using an assumed name in business other than the name under which the person is licensed. You must file all assumed names you use, and you can file as many assumed names as you want.

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Categories: Legal
Tags: legal faq, brokers, trec rules


Sherry on 07/26/2016

I think wearing a name badge is personal and should draw attention to make you memorable. If your name is Catherine and you want to state,  “Call me, I’m Cate.” and the the name of your company on your badge you should be able to wear this. Be memorable!
I also feel putting my last name on my name tag is an invasion of privacy.  If I want to contact or be contacted I will hand out my business card with all contact info. 
In today’s society, I think you need to be pro active in being protective and cautious.

Alice Caron on 08/17/2015

If you need specific info on how to do this you can email me at alicecaron at kw dot com and I will be happy to tell you how to do it. xoxo Alice

EUGENIA ALEMAN on 08/17/2015

My name is Eugenia Aleman in all my business official transactions.
Every body knows me or call me Jeanie for years.

Please tell me if its wrong or if I need to correct my set up or if you
can notify TREC?  Thanks Rita.

Alice Caron on 08/11/2015

Hi there. I have a lot of experience with TREC and legal stuff (we have 525 agents).  On nicknames, if you use any other name other than your first name and last name for your real estate business, you must register your name you will go by with TREC.  In other words, for example, if you go by Chris but your name is Christina, you would use form DBA-2 from the TREC website documents to note that.

Also if you use a team name, i.e. Alice From Dallas Team or Alice From Dallas Group, that must be registered with them as well.  I would not be able to call myself Alice From Dallas Realty because to TREC that would give a false impression of having my own real estate company.  Basically, you can use Team or Group but nothing else.  It used to be if you were a broker you could choose other names but no more. They have really tightened down on the names in order to protect the public which is what TREC is there for.

Lauren Collier on 06/26/2015

I am also interested in Bobby Mathew’s question. I have a name (like a team name without the team yet) I’d like to use under Keller Williams Realty.  I used the name for my website domain as well. I’m still using my actual name thats on my license though.

Blah Blah Properties
Lauren Collier

Mary Katherine McMurrough on 06/18/2015

For years I have called myself Mary Kay McMurrough.  With such a long last name, I shortened the Katherine to Kay.  I did not know this was illegal.  Thank you for the information.

Bobby Mathew on 06/18/2015


I would like to use a DBA as something like “ABC Realty” so that I can build a brand name now and when I become a broker I can use that name for my realty. So I would like to print my business card as something like

ABC Realty
Bobby Mathew, Agent/Realtor

Is it allowed? If Yes, what is the best way to put my sponsoring brokers information on my business card to adhere to the the TREC rules?

Thanks in advance
Bobby Mathew

Pat Raybon (Patricia A. Raybon) on 06/18/2015

It’s great to learn this was changed. Thanks for all of your work making it happen.  Pat

Shaun on 06/18/2015

The DBA only cost about $18.00 at the County Clerks Office
And if the name is anything different from what your license states
you will have to get the DBA.

Barbara Torres on 06/18/2015

I called the Hotline. Was told to call TREC. TREC had already told me to call the hotline. Got the run-around and no answer to my questions, which were the same ones as above.

Mary L. King dba Lucy King on 06/12/2015

I have been “Lucy” King since getting my salesman licence, then 3 years ago I was told that I had to file DBA if I continued using “Lucy” as my working signature.  My middle name is “Lou” so now I am wondering if I can use my “Lucy” name and drop the Mary King dba Lucy, could some one comment on this.  My license is 0291336 and I have already renewed my license for another 2 years, what signature will be considered legal?  thanks for any feedback Lucy King

Ward Lowe, TAR staff on 06/12/2015

That’s a good question, and a TAR attorney will be happy to discuss it with you. Please call the Legal Hotline at 800-873-9155. At this time, attorneys do not answer questions via email and other electronic media.

Marti Pattinson on 06/11/2015

Great question Lee Hudman… Am interested in the response.

Lee Hudman on 06/11/2015

What if a salesperson only uses only part of their legal name?  For example, the salespersons full legal name (which is on the license) is John Lee Doe, Jr.,  but the salesperson just uses Lee Doe.  This is not technically a nick name.  Is this any different than using just John Doe (dropping the middle name Lee and the Jr.)?  I rarely ever see an agent using their first name and middle name, and I assume that all of these agents that don’t use their full legal name are not filing the form.  Would this example still require the form be submitted by the sponsoring broker?

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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