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Doing business as (DBA) names
Register your company's trade name the right way.
State and local governments usually require companies to register any alternate names under which they do business. Called a Doing Business As (DBA) filing, this action allows your company to legally operate under a trade name, also known as an "assumed" or "fictitious" name.
By having a DBA name, it's possible for sole proprietors and general partners to do business using a name other than the owners' personal name. In the case of c corporations, s corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), nonprofits and some other formation types, a DBA filing allows them to do business under a name different than the one that appears on their original incorporation documents.
Here are a few practical examples of how DBA names are used:
- Sole proprietors and general partners often choose to operate under a DBA name. For example, business owner John Smith might file the DBA name "Smith Roofing."
- Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) may register alternate names for specific lines of business. For example, Helen's Food Service Inc. might register the DBA name "Helen's Catering."
By registering a DBA name for your business, you could enjoy:
- better visibility for marketing purposes
- enhanced credibility among suppliers and customers
- an easier time opening business bank accounts
- the ability to transact business under a different name on the Internet
incorporate.com can help.
incorporate.com can complete DBA registrations for corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), and some sole proprietorships and partnerships. Let us know that you'd like to register a DBA name and we'll send you the right application for your DBA filing. You just sign and return it to us and we'll take it from there. Once the state or local government has accepted your request, we'll send you an approval notice. Your DBA name will then be part of the public record.
Doing Business As (DBA) FAQs
- Why would I file a DBA?
- What are the advantages of a DBA?
- Why would a sole proprietor need to file a DBA?
- Why would a Partnership need to file a DBA?
- Why would an LLC need to file a DBA?
- Why would a Corporation need to file a DBA?
- Are there any restrictions on DBA name filings?
- How do I file a DBA?
- Does a DBA require annual renewal?
Why would I file a DBA?
If sole proprietors choose to operate a business under a name other than their personal name, they need to register that name with the state, county, city, or town in which the business operates.
If you own a corporation or an LLC, you may choose to operate under a different name than the original legal name of your business. If so, you will need to register this alternate name in the state, county, city, or town where you conduct business.
You will need to register your DBA name prior to opening a business bank account for your alternate name and before advertising or transacting business under another name.Back to Top
What are the advantages of a DBA?
Filing a DBA can allow you to:
- Do business under a name other than your personal name
- Do business under an additional name, if a corporation or LLC
- Market an additional product or service under a different name
Why would a sole proprietor need to file a DBA?
Sole proprietors often file DBAs in order to do business under a name other than their personal names. For example, John Smith might register "Smith Plumbing" as a DBA.
If you operate your business under a name other than your personal name, you will need to register your DBA with the appropriate state, county, city, or town office.
incorporate.com can help sole proprietors file DBAs with some state and local government offices.Back to Top
Why would a Partnership need to file a DBA?
To avoid doing business under only one partner's name, or under both names, partnerships often file DBA names with their state, county, city, or town government offices. For example, John Smith and Bob Jones might file the DBA, "Smith & Jones Enterprises."
If you manage a partnership that operates under a DBA, you will need to register your DBA with the appropriate government office.
incorporate.com can help partnerships file DBAs with some state and local offices. Call us to learn more about registering your business name today.Back to Top
Why would an LLC need to file a DBA?
If your LLC will operate under a DBA name, it must register its DBA with the appropriate state, county, city, or town government office. An LLC might file a DBA to market a new product or service, or to simply operate under an additional name.
Some state and local government offices refer to a DBA as a "trade name" or "assumed name," since these names usually reflect the company's line of business more accurately than its legal name. Let incorporate.com help your LLC register a DBA name.Back to Top
Why would a Corporation need to file a DBA?
Corporations often file DBAs for additional business names. A corporation might file a DBA to market a new product or service under a unique name. In other cases, corporations simply operate under more than one name.
If your corporation will use a DBA in its home state or any other state, it must register the DBA with the appropriate government office at the state, county, city, or town level. We can help your corporation register a DBA name today.Back to Top
Are there any restrictions on DBA name filings?
In many states, more than one business can file the same DBA name at the local level. However, a DBA cannot include a corporate indicator such as "Inc." or an LLC indicator such as "LLC," unless the business is a corporation or LLC.
Corporations and LLCs can sometimes file DBAs that include "Inc." or "LLC," depending upon the laws of the particular state, county, city, or town.
There is no limit to the number of DBA names you can register. You can file as many DBAs as your business needs.Back to Top
How do I file a DBA?
If you own a corporation or LLC, incorporate.com can help you file a DBA with the appropriate state, county, or local office for a service fee of $150 plus government fees.
If you conduct business as a sole proprietor or partnership, our services depend upon the location of your business. Please contact us for more information about the services we offer in your area. In some cases, we can help sole proprietors and partnerships file DBAs.Back to Top
Does a DBA require annual renewal?
State and local offices have unique rules for DBA expiration. While some state and local governments require businesses to renew DBA filings, others do not. If your business must renew its DBA registration, your state or local government office typically sends a renewal notice to the business.
Depending upon the location of your business, we may offer DBA renewal services in your area. Get help renewing your DBA name by contacting us at 800-818-6082 (toll-free) or 302-636-5440.Back to Top
After you place an order for this service:
- Tell us what name you want to use to file a DBA name.
- Submit payment and information about you and your company.
- We will send you the application materials for your signature.
- Sign and return the form to us for filing with the appropriate government office.
- We will send you the approval notice when the state or local government has accepted your request.
File a DBA Name
plus state fees
Would you rather place your order by phone? Call us at 800.818.6082
Is your business name available? Let us check.