Whether you're a corporation, LLC or sole proprietor, there may be advantages to filing a "Doing Business As" or "DBA" for your business.
What is a DBA?
DBA stands for "doing business as" and is an official and public registration of a business name. DBAs are also known as Fictitious Names, Fictitious Business Names, Assumed Names, and Trade Names. Essentially, a DBA is the name of a business other than the owner's name or, in the case of a corporation, a name that is different from the corporate name as on file with the Secretary of State.
What are the benefits to filing a DBA?
A DBA makes it easy to:
o Open a bank account and collect checks and payments under your business name
o Look more professional, by establishing a separate business identity
o Start marketing and advertising under a name other than your personal or corporate name
What is an example of a DBA and how it is used?
If you were a sole proprietor named Jane Brown and the name of your business was "Donuts Unlimited," you would register your business as Jane Brown, doing business as "Donuts Unlimited."
I've already got a name for my corporation or LLC. Do I need a DBA?
If you have a corporation or LLC and want to do business under a name different from your corporate name, most states require that you file a "Doing Business As" name or "DBA."
For example, if an LLC is doing business under the name "Studio City," but the corporate name is "Pinnacle Projects, LLC," then a DBA should be filed for the name "Studio City." This DBA filing must be made in the county or state (where applicable) in which the registered office and principal address of the business are located.
What information is required for a DBA filing?
DBA filings will typically contain the name of the applicant, date of filing, name of the fictitious business and address for the business. Filings can be made by individuals or businesses. In most states, you must first file the DBA documents with the appropriate government entity, accompanied by a state or county fee. In some states, you also have to publish the name in a newspaper to give notice of the new business name.
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