Doing Business As or DBA in California
This guide has been created specifically for entrepreneurs and business owners and its objective is to provide information on DBA in California, the need for a DBA, filing and managing a DBA.
California is one of the most favorable states amongst entrepreneurs and first time business owners for starting a new business thanks to its strong economy, good infrastructure, and easy access to local, national, and global markets. You can start a new business in this state by filing a DBA in California and then register your business and apply for licenses and permits to make it operational. However, there are several aspects that you need to consider prior to fictitious business names in California registration including when you would actually require a DBA or whether you need it at all.
What is DBA in California?
You have an idea and you want to make it operational by starting a business. One of the foremost requirements would be naming your business as the entire branding, marketing, and financial strategies will be carried forward using the business or legal name. DBA or ‘Doing Business As’ is a type of business name and is also known as fictitious business name in California, an assumed name, or even a trade name. So, if you are planning to conduct your business under a name other than your own name then filing a DBA in California is necessary.
For example: If an entrepreneur named Jason Hughe starts a business and the name of his business is Jason Hughe Landscaping Services then filing a DBA in California is not required. However, if the name of the business is “Hugh Landscaping Services” then he would be required to file a DBA online or offline as it is not his full name or a combination of his name and the products or services offered.
Once you file a DBA, the name becomes public record and consumers and other businesses would be aware of the chosen name.
When do you need a DBA in California?
Every new business or startup has a true name or a legal name and this name has to be registered in the state of formation, which is California in this case. The filing of DBA in California will be driven by the form of business as well as other needs of the business. It is hence important to identify the reasons that would require you to file a DBA online or offline. Some of the common reasons or when startups require DBA includes:
- Type of business: The most common and easiest form of business is a sole proprietorship firm. If you are planning to form a sole proprietorship or partnership firm then filing a DBA in California is one of the simplest and least expensive ways for using and registering a business name. A DBA will help you to create a separate professional identity for the business.
- Multiple businesses: If you are planning to operate multiple businesses then it can be quite a complex and expensive affair especially filing of documents pertaining to each business. A DBA or fictitious business name in California will help you in operating multiple businesses without having to form separate companies.
- Banking: If you are starting a new business then having a business banking account can be quite helpful. Filing a DBA in California is required by sole proprietorship or partnership firms prior to opening a bank account. There are many banks that may want to see the DBA name or assumed name certificate as a proof of registration.
- Different product of service: If your company wants to offer a product or a service that is different from the existing registered name then you will need to file a DBA online or offline in California. For instance, if your business is selling shoes but now you want to expand the business into sports equipment but as a separate entity then a separate assumed name or DBA will be required for the new sports equipment business.