DBA (Doing Business As): What Is It and When to File?
There are many good reasons to file a DBA, or “Doing Business As,” also known as a fictitious name or trade name. Perhaps you want to open a new business and use a different name from the one your LLC or corporation is using. Maybe you want to be able to accept checks made out to your new business name, or you want to use a name that’s more memorable or descriptive than your legal business name.
What is DBA (Doing Business As)?
A DBA is a business name that is different from the legal name of the company. The legal name of the company is usually the name of the owner or the founders. A DBA allows businesses to operate under a different name.
The first thing you need to do when considering using a DBA is to check with your state’s filing office to see if the name you want is available. Once you have checked and the name is available, you will need to file paperwork with your state to register the DBA.
When Should You File a DBA?
There are many reasons why you might want to operate under a DBA. Maybe you want to use a name that is different from your personal name or the legal name of your company. Maybe you want a name that is more descriptive of what you do or that is more memorable.
Maybe you are already using a DBA and you want to formalize it by filing the paperwork. Or maybe you want to open a new business and use a different name from the one your LLC or corporation is using.
Whatever the reason, if you are doing business under a name other than your legal name or the name of your LLC or corporation, you need to file a DBA.
How to File a DBA?
The process of filing a DBA varies from state to state, but in general, you will need to file paperwork with your state’s business filing office and pay a filing fee. You may also need to publish a notice of your DBA in a local newspaper.
After you have filed your DBA, you will need to use it when opening bank accounts, applying for licenses and permits, and entering into contracts. You will also need to make sure that you use it consistently and do not mix it up with your legal business name.