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Filing DBA in Washington

If you have an idea for a startup, then it is time to bring it to fruition. You can start your company using your legal name as well as using a DBA also known as a “Doing Business As” name. A DBA name can be used by sole proprietorships, partnerships, and even single-member LLCs. This is a guide that will provide you with insights concerning what a DBA is, filing a DBA in Washington, as well as managing, renewing, and canceling a DBA. The guide will also explain how to look up a DBA in Washington.

DBA or Trade Name in Washington

Washington is home to over 600,000 small businesses including partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietorships. All company structures require a business name to operate. Some of these companies may opt to use the owner’s legal name like Brad Cooper LLC or use a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name like Brad’s Tours & Travels. If you want to register a trade name in Washington or a DBA, then it is important to comply with the requirements of RCW 19.80.010. If you are wondering how to look up a DBA in Washington, there is a process although it is important to first understand the conditions under which a DBA is used.

What is DBA or trade name in Washington?

When starting a small business in Washington, you must first choose a name for your company. You can choose your name (owner’s name), any other business name, or a DBA (Doing Business As). A DBA is also known as a trade name or fictitious business name and it should be distinguishable from any other name. Once you choose a name then filing a DBA in Washington should be your next step.

Even if you are planning to apply for a Washington DBA online, there are several points to consider. It is important to understand that a trade name or fictitious business will not offer any protection where your personal assets are concerned. One other thing to note is that a trade name registration is different from a trademark registration. The latter is governed by federal law, while a trade name is governed by state laws.

A wide variety of businesses can opt to register a trade name in Washington. There are several benefits to filing a DBA that make it easier for a small business to establish itself. The reasons for choosing a trade name may vary from one business to another. Some of the common reasons are:

  • Entity Structure – If you want to start a company in any name other than your own name or legal name then you should fill out a Washington DBA online application. More often than not, a trade name or DBA is preferred by sole proprietorships or general partnerships. This is because these particular entity structures are considered unincorporated businesses and don’t require legal formation or registration papers.
  • Name Combination – Sometimes, business owners like to use a combination of their name as well as the product or service being provided like James Gordon Catering Services. Such a name would not require filing a DBA in Washington. Alternatively, if the owner decided to use the combination of their first name and product or services like Gordon’s Catering Services then registration of DBA would be necessary.
  • Multiple Businesses – If you want to operate multiple businesses, especially LLCs or corporations, then you would be required to form a separate corporation or LLC for each of those entities. If you choose to fill out a Washington DBA online application for each of those businesses then it would cut down on the expenses as well as paperwork.

Filing DBA or Trade Name in Washington for LLC and Corporation

A DBA (doing business as) is known by many names and in Washington, it is known as a trade name. If you are thinking of starting a new LLC or corporation in the state then one of the foremost requirements is a business name. You can start a company in your legal name, opt for a business name, or even choose a trade name. There is a specific process to register a trade name in Washington for a business corporation or an LLC. The process and fee are different from the business name reservation process and fee.

Do a Washington Trade Name Search

If you are planning to register a trade name in Washington then the first step is to conduct a name search. Business owners are often faced with the question – how do I look up a DBA in Washington? These are the three ways to conduct a DBA search:

  • Conduct a business lookup on the website of the Washington State Department of Revenue. The business lookup offers the option to search through an extensive database of tax accounts, business licenses, and reseller permits
  • You can also conduct a Secretary of State Corporations Registration Data Search for names of LLCs and corporations registered with the state.
  • You can also search for federally registered names or trademarks using the trademark database also known as Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)

Register a DBA Trade Name with the Department of Revenue

Once you have chosen a trade name and have conducted the necessary name search; the next step is filing a DBA in Washington. The registration of a trade name is required and will notify your prospective customers or the general public about the company, which is conducting business under the said DBA. The registration of the Washington trade name is governed by WA Rev Code § 19.80.010 (2013). This law is applicable to both domestic and foreign companies.

To conduct business under a trade name, you will be required to complete and file the Washington DBA online application. There is no separate form or application for trade name registration; instead, it is a part of the business license application. There is a section in the license application for Trade name/Endorsements and the fee is $5 for each trade name being registered. You can apply for Washington DBA online through My DOR or submit the license application to:

  • Business Licensing Service
    P.O. Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034

Alternatively, we can help you to register a DBA or trade name for your business in the state of Washington. The process to file a DBA in Washington will require you to be compliant with state laws as well as trademark laws. When you file a DBA with us, you will be able to benefit from our expertise and knowledge of the intricate process. We will help guarantee proper information is provided and this will help you to save time, minimize bureaucracy, and make certain the application is not rejected.

Register your Washington DBA with ease!

Managing your Washington DBA

When you register a trade name in Washington or file a DBA then it will mean that you can conduct your business within the state using the DBA or assumed name. Each state has rules and regulations concerning a DBA or trade name. These laws are applicable for the renewal, changing, or canceling of a trade name or DBA in the jurisdiction where you are conducting your business. Let’s look at the various processes for managing a Washington DBA or trade name in the future.

How to renew Washington DBA?

Once you apply for a Washington DBA online with the Department of Revenue, you will not be required to renew it. There is no expiration for a trade name in Washington.

How to change a Washington DBA?

After filing a DBA in Washington, you may want to change the registered name shortly after. There could be many reasons, like a change in products or services being offered. To change the existing trade name, you will need to file a notice of change with the Washington State Department of Revenue pursuant to WA Rev Code § 19.80.025 (2013). The form you will need for this change is the Business License Application, wherein there is an option to Change the trade name. The fee for changing a trade name is $5 and the submission process would be the same as the registration for a DBA.

How to cancel a Washington DBA?

At any given point in time, if you want to cancel or withdraw your Washington DBA or trade name, you will be required to complete and file the business information change form (Form BLS 700 160). The cancellation of a DBA is governed by WA Rev Code § 19.80.080 (2013). There is no fee for cancellation and you can file the request online.

Need Any Assistance in Filing for a Washington Trade Name or DBA?

The process to register a trade name in Washington requires you to provide complete and accurate information while being compliant with state and federal trademark laws. The process of conducting a trade name search and adhering to trademark laws can be perplexing. IncParadise can gladly assist you with this process. We have expertise and knowledge regarding the Washington Business Regulations and can help you to apply for a Washington DBA online.

We can also provide additional services that will ensure your other business requirements are met like getting a tax id, S corporation status, and dissolutions among others.

Do you want to apply for a Washington Trade Name?