Doing Business As
What is a DBA?
Doing Business As (DBA), also known as fictitious business name or assumed name is an official way of registering a business name with either the state or local jurisdiction, such as a county.
A DBA name is generally used when you want to use multiple names for a single business, or if you are a sole proprietor, who wants to get recognized as a name that is not your legal name.
DBA allows you to legally do business as a special name at minimal cost and without creating a completely new business entity. You can accept payments, advertise and otherwise present yourself under that name. In fact, it can be considered legally wrong if you present your business under a name other than your proper legal name without proper notification.
What words are prohibited in a DBA?
When choosing an assumed name, there are some restrictions that you need to keep in mind. You cannot use words that may mislead the general public into believing the company is something other than what is being described by the DBA name.
For example, you may not use “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” if the company is not officially formed as an LLC. Also, you may not use corporate name endings such as “Inc.,” “Incorporated” or “Corp.” if the company is not officially formed as a Corporation.
What is the Importance of DBA?
If you own an LLC or Corporation, a DBA will let you manage multiple businesses without having to form a separate Corporation or LLC for each business. For instance, if you are planning to expand your business into multiple websites, stores, restaurants, services, etc. You can create a Corporation with a relatively generic name and use a DBA for each business. This will cut down on your expenses and paperwork when you’re operating multiple projects.
It’s the simplest way to register your name. For a Sole Proprietor, filing for a DBA is the simplest and least expensive way to use a business name. You can create another professional business identity, without having to form an LLC or Corporation. And for Sole Proprietors, a DBA is required to open a bank account to be able to receive payments in the name of your business.
It keeps your business compliant: If your business is an LLC or Corporation, you enjoy special legal protections. Still, these protections may be invalidated if you’re operating under a different name and didn’t file for a DBA.
What are the reasons for DBA filings?
- It may be legally required: Use a separate business name than your entity’s official name or your personal name.
- Set up a business bank account: For Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships, most banks require a DBA.
- Expand and grow your business: Name new business lines and keep them separate to cut down on expenses and paperwork.
Where should I file my DBA?
DBAs are generally filed in the state and/or county where the principal business address or street address of the business is determined. If you are Incorporated in a state other than the state where your business is located, you usually need to file the DBA in your State of Incorporation. In some cases, you must file the DBA in other local jurisdictions, such as with the city or town clerk.
Do You Have to File a DBA?
A DBA allows a Sole Proprietor to use a business name other than his personal name. You can use either your full name or part of your name, plus a description of your product or service, without filing an assumed name in some jurisdictions. You might do business as ABC Interior Design or XYZ Investigations. The exact rules vary from state to state so check with your local business regulatory authority.
If the name implies that more than one owner or individual is involved, you must typically file an assumed name.
How Do You Get an Assumed Name or DBA?
To get an assumed name or DBA, you may register it with the Secretary of State or another state agency, but mostly the registrations in most of the states are handled at the country level. Each county may have different forms as well as fees for registering the name, but the process is simple. Also, you can search through the provided database to make sure that the name you have chosen has not been used already. After that, you can submit the form along with the appropriate filing fee.
Some states may also expect you to publish a notice in your local newspaper and submit an affidavit to get a proof that you have completed all the requirements of the publications. You can check with your county’s clerk to know the procedure and fees in your area.
Can I file a DBA if my company is not incorporated?
Yes, you can file a DBA even if your company is not incorporated. In fact, many General Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships file DBA. Also, most of the banks require a DBA to open a business bank account. So, Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships also need to have a DBA. Moreover, the owners of Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships are legally considered the same as the business. Without a DBA, you must transact business using your personal name.
When does a Corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) file a DBA?
When your Limited Liability Company (LLC), C Corporation, S Corporation, or NonProfit Corporation wants to do business under a name other than the registered name that appears on its foreign qualification documents or state-approved incorporation documents (or, in this case, your corporation or LLC needs to file a DBA), remember that the LLC or Corporation must file the DBA with the professional agency in the state in which the company is formed or foreign qualified. For Nevada and Wyoming, you can contact IncParadise. We can assist you with the same.
Do DBA filings expire?
DBA filings can be valid for any number of years and may or may not expire. Each state and county has its own expiration requirements for DBA filings. If your filing expires, the suitable agency will notify you at the address you have on your records, and you will need to re-file the DBA name. Keeping a current DBA business address with the appropriate agency is essential.
What are the publication requirements for DBA filings?
Some states expect publication of the DBA filing in a particular newspaper for a specific time frame. The requirements vary by the state and/or county in which the DBA is filed. In some cases, upon satisfaction of the publication requirement, you will need to file your proof of publication with the appropriate agency.
How can IncParadise assist you?
If you need to file a fictitious name (DBA – Doing Business As), IncParadise can take care of your DBA filings in Clark County, Nevada. The cost is just $75.