SECTION 535.154. Registration and Use of Alternate, Team and Assumed Business Names Used in Advertisements  


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  • (a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section:

    (1) "Advertisement" has the meaning assigned by §535.155.

    (2) "Alternate name" (commonly known as an alias) means a name used by an individual license holder other than the name shown on the license issued by the Commission, such as a middle name, maiden name, or nickname. It does not include a common derivative of a name, such as Kim for Kimberly or Bill for William, which is considered the same as the name shown on the license.

    (3) "Associated broker" means a broker who associates with and gets paid through another broker under a relationship that is intended to be a continuous relationship, including but not limited to, an employment or ongoing independent contractor relationship.

    (4) "Assumed business name" (commonly known as a DBA or trade name) means any name used in business by a broker that meets the requirements of subsection (d), other than the name shown on the broker's license issued by the Commission, a team name, or an alternate name.

    (5) "Team name" means a name used by a group of one or more license holders sponsored by or associated with the same broker that performs real estate activities under an exclusive collective name other than the broker's licensed name or assumed business name.

    (b) Alternate names.

    (1) Before a license holder starts using an alternate name in an advertisement, the license holder must register the name with the Commission on a form approved by the Commission.

    (2) The Commission may request supporting documentation evidencing the legal authority to use the alternate name if the last name submitted is different from the last name shown on the license issued by the Commission.

    (3) A license holder must notify the Commission, and their sponsoring broker, not later than the 10th day after the date the license holder stops using an alternate name.

    (c) Team names:

    (1) A team name may not include any terms that could mislead the public to believe think that the team is offering brokerage services independent from its sponsoring broker.

    (2) A team name must end with the word "team" or "group".

    (3) Before an associated broker or a sales agent sponsored by a broker starts using a team name in an advertisement, the broker must register the name with the Commission on a form approved by the Commission.

    (4) A broker must notify the Commission in writing not later than the 10th day after the date the associated broker or a sales agent sponsored by the broker stops using a team name.

    (d) Assumed business names.

    (1) Before a broker, associated broker or a sales agent sponsored by a broker starts using an assumed business name of the broker in an advertisement, the broker must:

    (A) register the name with the Commission on a form approved by the Commission; and

    (B) provide written evidence of legal authority to use the assumed business name in Texas, such as registration of the name with the Secretary of State or county clerk's office.

    (2) A broker must notify the Commission in writing not later than the 10th day after the date the broker stops using an assumed business name.

Source Note: The provisions of this §535.154 adopted to be effective May 15, 2018, 42 TexReg 6802