Learn all you need to know about filing for a Doing Business As (DBA). DBA stands for “doing business as” and is referred to as a business’s assumed, trade, or fictitious name. A business is required to file a DBA when they conduct business under a name that is different from their legal name or their business’s legal, registered name. What is a Sole Proprietorship? How to Start Your Sole Proprietorship?
You have the choice of selecting a business name or DBA name for your business if you’re starting a sole proprietorship or partnership. Depending on the county, city, or state your business is based in, you may be required to register your fictitious name for the protection of customers conducting business with your company.
Which Businesses Require a DBA?
Sole proprietorships and partnerships will be required to file a DBA if the business operates under a name that’s not the business owner’s full, legal name, or their partner’s name. Sole proprietorships and partnerships are unincorporated, therefore they are not required to file entity formation papers, as well as a business entity name with the state.
However, corporations and limited liability companies still have the option of registering a DBA name, which allows them to do business under a name other than the name on their incorporation papers.
Generally, corporations or LLCs will register a DBA name when the business wants a different name for a specific product or service. This way the corporation or LLC won’t need to form a new business just to operate under a different name.
For example, Jane’s Beauty Inc. wants to operate under a different name for their new hair care product line, “Jane’s Hair Care Shop.” By filing a DBA name, Jane can save money and time, which would have been spent on launching and registering a new business. What is Trademark Registration? Why It is Important For E-Commerce Sites?
How to File a DBA:
- $10.00 USD
- 7 Days
While the filing process for registering a DBA name varies according to your business’s structure, county, city, and state, we’ve outlined three general steps for filing a DBA.
Filing a DBA.
Complete and file general paperwork.
You will need to provide personal and basic information, such as the business’s legal name, addresses and contact details of owners or partners, and the intended DBA name. This paperwork has to be filed with your local county clerk. Depending on your state, you will be required to pay a registration fee of $10 to $100. What is a European Union Brand? | EU and CTM
Place a notice in a local newspaper.
Some states or counties will expect you to place a fictitious name ad or “public notice” in a local newspaper for an allocated amount of time. Once your public notice has been released, you may be required to provide proof of publication. Generally, the newspaper will provide you with proof. How much does it cost to set up a Limited Company?
Register your DBA name ahead of time.
We recommend registering your DBA name 30 to 60 days before you officially start conducting business under your “doing business as” name. DBA name approval can take between one and four weeks, depending on your state and jurisdiction. Once you’ve been approved, you can open your business bank account, start conducting business and bring in new customers. Trademark and Service Mark: What’s the Difference?
DBA State Requirements:
|Alabama||In Alabama, a DBA is referred to as a trading name. To register a trading name you will have to complete all the applicable items on the Application for Assignment of Trademark, Service Mark, or Trade Name form, pay a $30.00 fee when filing the application, and have it notarized by a Notary Public.|
|Alaska||An assumed business name or DBA can be registered by submitting a New Business Name Registration form or added to a licensed business by submitting a Name Change form along with the applicable fee.|
|Arizona||The DBA application must be notarized, the filing fee must be paid, and a self-addressed stamped envelope must be enclosed unless you choose to file online. In Arizona, this process must be renewed every five years.|
|Arkansas||You will be required to complete an Application for Fictitious Name form and submit it to the secretary of state’s office along with the applicable filing fee. You will then receive a copy of the application, which must be filed with the county clerk in the county in which your business’s registered office is located unless it is in Pulaski county.|
|California||You must use the current legal name of the company or your own name if you’re operating as a sole proprietorship when filing a DBA name. Include the business’s main place of business and, for California LLCs, the address used in the articles of formation. In addition, you will need to provide the names and home addresses of all business owners or partners.|
|Colorado||You will be required to provide personal information when filing for a DBA name, including name and address, the intended DBA name, a brief description of the business you operate, and all contact details.|
|Connecticut||To file a DBA name in Connecticut, you must provide the personal information of the owners, including their names and home addresses. In addition, the forms will also need the selection of a DBA designation and an official signature from an authorized person.|
|Delaware||In Delaware, DBA registrations are filed with the Office of the Prothonotary of each county in which the business operates. Therefore, the filing process of each county may differ. Typically, you will need to provide basic information, such as your name, main place of business, and the name of the DBA you want to use.|
|Florida||You will be required to advertise a public notice of your intent to file a DBA in a local newspaper. Generally, this public notice must run for five days. For effortless filing, Florida has an online registration point that allows business owners to file a DBA online. Your fictitious name will only be registered for 5 years.|
|Georgia||In Georgia, you will need to follow a county-by-county DBA system. Some counties may require you to place a public notice of your intended DBA name in a local newspaper. You’ll need to receive a certificate from the newspaper proving you’ve properly completed the notice period.|
|Hawaii||A trade name can be registered via the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ online services or by paper. Paper filings must be typewritten or printed and completed in black ink. A nonrefundable $50.00 filing fee is payable with the submission of a completed form.|
|Idaho||To file a DBA in Idaho, the business owners must complete a Certificate of Assumed Business Name, form and file it with the Idaho Secretary of State. There is a $25 filing fee.|
|Illinois||Depending on the county your business is based in, you may be required to release a notarization and publication. In this case, a notary public will have to sign your form. In addition, you may need to officially place a notice in a newspaper in the county where the business is located. This notice has to be placed within 15 days after you file the DBA name.|
|Indiana||Sole proprietorships and general partnerships must file an assumed name with the county recorder in the county in which they are located, while other legal entities are required to register their assumed names with the secretary of state. Applications must be typewritten or printed and completed in ink and be submitted with the applicable fee.|
|Iowa||You will have to complete a Fictitious Name Resolution form, pay a $5.00 filing fee, and submit it to the secretary of state.|
|Kansas||The State law of Kansas does not require or permit businesses to register or file DBAs or fictitious names.|
|Kentucky||You will be required to complete a Certificate of Assumed Name form and pay a filing fee of $20.00. Sole proprietorships must file this form with the county clerk where they are located, while all other businesses structured must file the form with the secretary of state. Assumed name registrations are effective for a term of five years, after which they must be renewed for another term.|
|Louisiana||An Application to Register Trade Name form must be completed, notarized, and submitted with a filing of $75.00 to the secretary of state.|
|Maine||In Maine, sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not required to register trade names at the state level but must file these with the municipal clerk in the county in which the business is located. Other legal entities must file an application to do business under an assumed or fictitious name with the secretary of state. All filings must be submitted with the applicable filing fee.|
|Maryland||Include the name of the business, the primary place of business, and the DBA name that will be used. Sole proprietorships and partnerships will need to provide all the names and addresses of owners and partners.|
|Massachusetts||Must provide the filer’s name, the business’s legal name, the names, and addresses of all business owners or partners, the business’s main address, and the intended DBA name.|
|Michigan||Include your name, the business’s main place of work, the DBA name you want to use, and your Identification Number provided by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau.|
|Minnesota||First, you will need to complete the Certificate of Assumed Name, which will require relevant information, such as the filer’s name, the business’s primary address, and the intended assumed name. Once you’ve obtained the Certificate, you will be required to publish it in a certified Legal Newspaper for at least two consecutive issues. These legal newspapers must be published in the county where the business operates. Furthermore, businesses must renew their DBA name annually.|
|Mississippi||You will need to complete and file a Fictitious Business Name Registration form, accompanied by the applicable filing fee, with the State’s Business Services Division.|
|Missouri||To file a DBA in Missouri, you will need to provide the address of the business’s headquarters, the names and addresses of the business owners, and the business’s legal name. The DBA registration has to be renewed every five years.|
|Montana||A Registration of Assumed Business Name form must be completed and submitted along with a $20.00 filing fee. This can be done online.|
|Nebraska||An Application for Registration of Trade Name must be completed and submitted with the applicable filing fee. Once you receive a duplicate copy of the filing, you are required to publish one legal notice of your registration in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where your business is located. Once your notice has been published, you must file a notarized Affidavit of Publication with the secretary of state within 45 days of the date of registration. Registrations expire after 10 years from the date of filing.|
|Nevada||Each county in Nevada has individual requirements. General requirements include providing the intended DBA name, the name of the business or the name of the filer, the business’s headquarters address, and a statement about the type of business it is. You may have to stay up to date with the latest renewal requirements and fees.|
|New Hampshire||You will be required to complete an Application for Registration of Trade Name in black print or type and file it with the State’s Corporation Division, along with a filing fee of $50.00. If your filing is accepted, you will receive a filed-stamped copy of your registration within 30 days.|
|New Jersey||Sole proprietorships and partnerships must register a trading name in the county in which their business is located. Other legal entities may register an alternate name with the secretary of state by completing and submitting Form C-150G, along with a filing fee of $50.00. Registrations of alternate names are effective for five years, after which they may be renewed for five-year periods.|
|New Mexico||New Mexico does not have registration requirements for DBAs or fictitious names.|
|New York||In addition to providing general information, you will need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name. This certificate filing must be signed on behalf of the business by a corporate officer, a general partner of a limited partnership, a member or manager of an LLC, or by an authorized person chosen by the business. However, choosing an authorized person will only work if that person can provide the name and title of the principal for whom he or she is acting on behalf. The authorized person will also need to provide his or her name and address to receive the receipt that evidences the filing.|
|North Carolina||Businesses must complete an Assumed Business Name Certificate and file it in the register of deeds in the county in which the business has its primary location, along with a filing fee of $26.00.|
|North Dakota||You will be required to file a Trade Name Registration online using the state online service FirstStop and pay a registration fee of $25.00. Registrations are effective for five years from the date of registration and may be renewed for further five-year periods.|
|Ohio||Must include the name of the filer, the legal name of the business, the business’s headquarters, the intended DBA name, and a description of the type of business it is.|
|Oklahoma||You will be required to complete and file a Trade Name Report form, along with a 425.00 filing, with the secretary of state.|
|Oregon||Forms must include the intended DBA name, the filer’s name, the business’s main address, and any other required information.|
|Pennsylvania||Must provide the DBA name, a statement about the type of business, the address of the main place of business, and any other required information.|
|Rhode Island||A Fictitious Business Name Statement must be filed with the Business Services Division, accompanied by a filing fee of $50.00.|
|South Carolina||Must include personal information, including the business’s current legal name, its main address, the business owner’s name, the intended DBA name, and a description of what type of business it is.|
|South Dakota||You will need to file a DBA – Business Name by completing the online process on the secretary of state’s website and paying a filing fee of $10.00. DBA registrations are valid for five years and can be renewed for additional five-year periods.|
|Tennessee||You will have to file an Assumed Name Registration with the secretary of state and pay a $20.00 filing fee.|
|Texas||You will need to provide the intended DBA name, the business’s jurisdiction, the legal name of the business, the business’s address, how long the DBA name will be used (up to 10 years), a brief statement about what type of business it is, the number of counties the business operates in, and the applicable signature.|
|Utah||You will need to provide basic information, including your business’s legal name, the DBA name you want to use, the business’s primary place of work, and more. Check with the Utah Secretary of State for more filing information.|
|Vermont||In Vermont, an assumed business name can be filed online and must be accompanied by a $50.00 filing fee. Assumed business name registrations expire after five years and can be renewed for further five-year periods.|
|Virginia||Foreign or domestic corporations, LLCs, and LLPs must obtain a fictitious name by filing in a Virginia Circuit Court, and then you’ll need to file that certificate with the Clerk’s Office of the Commission. In addition, you’ll be required to file the name with every county clerk’s office in the counties where the business operates. For sole proprietorships and partnerships, you don’t need to register with the Clerk’s Office of the Commission, instead, you must register on the county level with the county clerk’s office.|
|Washington||Your DBA application must include a brief statement of the type of business you operate, the DBA name you intend to use, the state of incorporation or formation, and the names and contact information of all owners of the business. Washington offers online applications.|
|West Virginia||You can register a trade in West Virginia using the state’s One Stop Business Portal or by completing the appropriate form and submitting it to the secretary of state. While there is no filing fee for individuals, sole proprietorships, and general partnerships, other legal entities are required to pay a $25.00 filing fee.|
|Wisconsin||Include the legal name of the business, the intended DBA name, the main place of business, and the type of business.|
|Wyoming||The trade name you want to register must be in use prior to registering the name, and then you will have to complete and file an Application for Registration of Trade name, which must be signed and notarized and accompanied by a $100.00 filing fee. Trade name registrations are effective for 10 years and can be renewed.|
What does it mean to have a DBA?
A business is “doing business as” when they conduct business under a fictitious name that does not include the business owner’s name or the business’s registered, legal name. States have different requirements for the registration of DBAs.
What is DBA in business?
Doing business as (DBA) is a business term used when a sole proprietorship or partnership conducts business under a fictitious name that is different from the legally registered name of the business, or the business owner’s name. For example, when John Doe runs an auto shop named “Buddy Shop.”
What are the benefits of a DBA?
- Ensures your business is legally compliant.
- Easier business banking.
- Creates growth opportunities.
- Easier to register a business name.
Can a DBA have a tax ID number?
Yes. Whether you conduct business under your formal business name or as a DBA, the regulations for obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) are the same. Applying is free and it can be done on the IRS website.
Do I need a separate bank account for a DBA?
Yes. You will be required to open a separate bank account for your business if it operates under a DBA name.
Is DBA a legal name?
Your DBA is not your business’s legal, registered name. A DBA is seen as a business’s assumed, trade, or fictitious name.
Do I need a DBA if I use my own name?
You will not be able to file a DBA if you include your name, your partner’s name, or your legal, registered business name.
Is a DBA a business license?
No. A business license or specific type of permit is a requirement for all businesses, while a DBA is only required for sole proprietorships and partnerships when they conduct business under a fictitious name.
How do I get a DBA?
The filing procedures for a DBA vary according to county, city, state, and business structure. However, most states will require general information, including the business legal name, the proposed DBA name, and the name and addresses of all owners and partners.
What is the difference between DBA and LLC?
The main difference between a DBA and an LLC is the legal structure. Unlike an LLC, a DBA is not considered a legal business structure. Instead, a DBA is filed when a sole proprietorship or general partnership conducts business under a fictitious name.
Can two businesses have the same DBA name?
No. Before you file your DBA, you will need to verify that the intended trade name has not been registered with your secretary of state. If the name is already registered, you will not be able to file the DBA name.
Are DBAs legal entities?
No. A DBA is not a legal business structure.
Is a DBA a sole proprietorship?
No, a DBA is not a business structure. A business is “doing business as” when a sole proprietorship operates under a trading name.
Can you turn a DBA into an LLC?
No, a DBA is not considered a legal structure. However, you can turn your sole proprietorship or partnership into an LLC.