legal name

noun

1
: a person's name that is usually the name given at birth and recorded on the birth certificate but that may be a different name that is used by a person consistently and independently or that has been declared the person's name by a court

Note: If a person seeks to change a name by judicial process, the court may not deny the change absent any indication of a fraudulent purpose. In some states, a woman's legal name is presumed to include her husband's last name.

2
: the designation chosen by a business entity (as a corporation) and reported to the state (as in the articles of incorporation)

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Cite this Entry

“Legal name.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/legal%20name. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

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