By Robert E. Caruso, Staff WriterPublished February 05, 2017 07:45AMCOLUMBIA, Mo.
— Fictitionary business names like “Tacoma” and “Aku” are still being used in the state, even though a statewide ban was lifted.
The names are still popular because they are so easy to remember and can be sold as a legitimate business name for almost anything.
But they also have become the subject of complaints from some businesses.
That’s why lawmakers recently approved a bill to require the name of any business that uses a fictitious business name to be stamped on all merchandise sold in the State of Missouri.
The measure was passed by the Missouri House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The Senate is expected to take it up in the next few weeks.
“We have been told that the people who use these business names are creating jobs and providing income to businesses across the state,” state Rep. Tim O’Connor, R-St. Louis, said.
“But the real answer to the problem of fake business names is to ban them.
We need to get rid of them.”
The Missouri law also allows businesses to have two business names on their corporate documents.
Businesses with more than one name can still choose to have only one on their name.
A bill passed by both chambers last year would have made it illegal to sell fake business name cards without having a business name stamped on the front.
But it was vetoed by then-Gov.
Eric Greitens, who said the bill was unnecessary.
“I have to take responsibility for this because I made the mistake of signing a bill that made it very difficult for businesses to be able to use their business names without having their business name on the label,” Greiten said in 2016.
The law was passed after a number of cases of fake businesses were found to exist in Missouri.
It was first proposed in 2014.