Filing DBA in Georgia
One of the most influential characteristics of any business is its name. It is considered the first or initial point of reference to any business by their competition, customers, as well as employees. Naming a business is often the toughest first step although filing DBA in Georgia is considered a much easier process as opposed to other forms of business names. This article will provide you with an insight into understanding a DBA, how to obtain a DBA in Georgia, the registration process, renewal, and even canceling a trade name.
Doing Business As or DBA in Georgia
Georgia is home to 1.1 million small businesses and this constitutes different business structures like sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, and corporations among others. Some of these businesses choose to apply for Georgia DBA online to necessitate business operations in the state. Georgia trade name registration is governed by the 2020 Georgia Code, Title 10 – Commerce and Trade, Chapter 1 – Selling and Other Trade Practices. A DBA also known as a trade name in the state is not a mandatory requirement although it is important to understand what a DBA is and whether your company requires it.
What is DBA in Georgia?
If you are planning to start and establish a small business in Georgia then the first step would be to identify an appropriate name. There are primarily two types of business names and they are either based on the name of the owner or any other name except that of the owner. The latter is considered a DBA or “doing business as”. A DBA name is also referred to as a trade name in Georgia, a fictitious business name, or an assumed name. If you file an online DBA in Georgia application then the chosen trade name will be considered as the operating name of your company as opposed to legal names reserved with the state like those used by business corporations or limited liability companies. Let’s look at an example to understand a DBA.
Example: If you are planning to start a bakery in Atlanta, GA and if you are the sole owner then there are two business name options. You can name it after your name like Melissa Johnson Cakes. In such a scenario, this will be the legal name of the store. Now, if you don’t want your name as the brand name then you can opt for something like Melissa’s Cookies or Baking with Melissa. In such a scenario, you will need to apply for an online DBA Georgia registration.
A business name is integral to creating brand value for any company. If you are wondering how to obtain a DBA in Georgia then the first step will be to identify the factors to be considered when choosing a business name or a trade name. Some of the factors or elements that will help you to identify a trade name in Georgia are:
- You need to identify your brand identity and then choose a DBA accordingly. This will ensure your chosen name reflects the company values correctly e.g., Ryan’s Digital or James’ Physiotherapy.
- Try to ensure your chosen DBA or trade name in Georgia is simple. You can also opt for a short and creative name e.g. Rhiana Bakes.
- When you choose a name, there could be trademark issues. If you are thinking ‘how do I look up a DBA in Georgia’ then try searching for trademarks in the database of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can use the Trademark Electronic Search System for this.
- One of the aspects to consider in this digital age is SEO. If you want a business name that is search engine optimized then use SEO Business name generator tools like Namelix, SEMRush, Moz Pro, and Looka.
Filing DBA in Georgia for LLC and Corporation
DBA stands for “doing business as” and is a type of business name that is more common amongst sole proprietorship entities but this doesn’t mean a limited-liability company or a corporation cannot use such a name. There are certain scenarios where-in an LLC or a corporation will apply for a Georgia DBA online. Some of the classic scenarios for choosing a DBA are:
- An LLC or a corporation that is already established but wants to rebrand or create an offshoot entity may opt for Georgia DBA online application. Choosing a trade name in Georgia will lower the cost and reduce the time of creating a new LLC or business corporation.
- An LLC or a corporation that exists in another state and wants to start in Georgia. In this scenario, their existing business name might not be available for reservation and if such a company wants to conduct their business using the same name then the alternative is filing a DBA in Georgia.
Do you want to file a Georgia DBA for your company?
Do Georgia DBA Name Search
If you are facing the question, ‘how do I look up a DBA in Georgia’ then the answer lies in conducting a thorough search for existing DBA or trade names. Name search is important whether you are planning to go with a traditional LLC or corporation name or a fictitious name. The objective of this search is to ensure a chosen name is available so that you can apply for Georgia DBA online. There are three ways to conduct this name search and they are:
- Search through the business entity database of the Georgia Corporations Division
- Conduct a search for trademarks using the trademark database also known as Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)
- Conduct a Georgia trademark search using the trademarks database of the Georgia Corporations Division
It is important to note that the database contains names and trademarks that are registered with the office of the Secretary of State.
Register your DBA with the county clerk of superior court
If you are wondering how to obtain a DBA in Georgia then it is important to identify whether your chosen trade name is in use or not. Once you have conducted a fictitious name search and if the DBA is available then the next step would be filing a DBA in Georgia. When it comes to fictitious or assumed names, the filing regulations are different for each state in the USA. In the state of Georgia, you will need to file a DBA with the Clerk of the Superior Court.
You can apply for Georgia DBA online or by mail and will be required to submit a Trade Name Application form. The Georgia DBA online application fee is $171 and you are required to mail the original notarized application along with a copy to the Clerk of Superior Court of the respective county. The normal processing time is 4 weeks. We at IncParadise, have the experience and expertise in the filing of DBA and can assist you with the process.
Publish a notice in the local newspaper
One of the primary requirements after filing a DBA in Georgia is to publish a copy of the trade name registration in a local newspaper. According to Georgia state law, it should be published in a newspaper that the Sheriff’s office of the said county uses for legal advertisements. You have to publish Georgia trade name registration information once a week for two consecutive weeks and ensure to keep a copy of the Publisher’s Affidavit as proof. The cost of publishing will vary according to the newspaper and the county.
Managing Georgia DBA
Filing a DBA in Georgia makes it possible for businesses to transact in the state using the fictitious name or trade name. Every state has its own set of DBA rules and regulations especially when it comes to the renewal of a DBA, changing a trade name, and canceling the DBA. Let us look at the renewal, change, or cancellation processes or how they work post Georgia trade name registration.
How to renew a Georgia DBA?
Many states require you to renew a DBA annually or after a specific period according to state laws. On the contrary, a Georgia trade name registration means that you are not required to renew it. The DBA will be applicable till the time you cancel it or make amendments.
How to change a Georgia DBA?
After filing a DBA or a trade name in Georgia, if you want to change the said name then the option is to apply for an amendment. You will be required to file an Amendment to Trade Name Application, have it notarized, and submit it to the county clerk of superior court in the said county. The filing fee may vary from one county to another for example the fee in Fulton County, GA is $171.
How to cancel Georgia DBA?
After filing a DBA in Georgia, you may at some point in time want to cancel the trade name. There could be several reasons for canceling a DBA including dissolving the business itself. If you want to withdraw or cancel your Georgia trade name registration then it is possible. There is a process for the same and the application and procedure can vary from one county to another. In Gwinnett County, you will be required to file a Trade Name Cancellation Request Form with the Gwinnett County Superior Court, Trade Name Division. However, in the County of Forsyth, you will be required to file an Affidavit to Cancel Registered Trade Name with the Office of Clerk of Superior Court.
Need Any Assistance in Filing Georgia DBA?
Filing a DBA in Georgia takes place with the office of the County Clerk of Higher Court and not the state. Hence, the process, documentation, and fee may vary from one county to another. Georgia DBA online application is an intricate process and IncParadise can provide valuable assistance with the process. We have expertise and knowledge regarding state and county laws pertaining to trade names and can help you to register Georgia DBA.
Since each business has a different requirement; we have created additional services to cater to specific business related requirements in Georgia. Some of the most common services offered include getting a tax id, S corporation status, and dissolutions among others.