legal name n1 : 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)
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.