DBA means “doing business as” and is also known as a trade name, fictitious name, or an assumed name. It permits you to conduct business under a name that is different to your legal business name. The process of applying for a DBA is fairly easy, and we’ll take you through the entire process.
It’s important to remember that a DBA isn’t a business structure like an LLC or a corporation and doesn’t provide personal legal protection. DBAs have to be attached to a legal business entity such as a sole proprietorship, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), for-profit and nonprofit corporations, limited partnerships (LPs), and limited liability partnerships (LLPs).
Sole proprietorships and partnerships can conduct business under a DBA, rather than their surnames, whereas LLCs and corporations can use a DBA name in order to diversify their brand.
Is it easy to file a DBA?
It is indeed an easy process, and is accomplished by registering with your state, county, and /or city. There also isn’t a limit to how many DBAs you are allowed to have as it only depends on how many you are financially capable of creating and keeping track of. This is because each one has extra incremental expenses and paperwork. As much, less might certainly be more and having too many is not necessarily better.
How do you set up a DBA?
1. Select your state
DBA procedures and laws differ from state to state. In some states, you are required to register your DBA with the state government while in others, you may need to register with the county or city government.
There are numerous states where you are obliged to register your DBA with multiple levels of governments. An example of this relates to a general partnership. In one state, the general partnership may be required to file at the state and the county level whereas in another state, the same general partnership, only has to file with the county.
2. Make sure your DBA name hasn’t already been claimed.
Prior to filing, it is essential that you verify that the name you have chosen hasn’t already been claimed by another registered business in your state. Not only can it not be exactly the same, but you have to make sure that it isn’t too similar either.
Every state has specific naming guidelines and these need to be abided by. TRUiC (The Really Useful Information Company) offers step-by-step guides to completing this part in accordance with your state. They also provide aid in choosing a business name, including a business name generator. This tool can be utilised to produce both business names and domain names.
It is suggested that you secure the domain name (URL) for your business as quickly as possible. This means that no other business owner can secure the business name in the interim.
It’s a good idea to set up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com) after you have secured the domain name. One option is to use Google’s G Suite which provides a business email service that is accompanied by a variety of other convenient features, including word processing, spreadsheets, among others.
3. Register the DBA in your state
It is required to file your DBA with the state or with the county/city clerk’s office, contingent on your location and business structure.
Numerous states also entail registering a DBA with more than one level of government. An example of this is a sole proprietorship, which might need to file at the state and county level in one state, whereas another state necessitates the exact same sole proprietorship to file with only the county.
TRUiC offers step-by-step help with the process of applying for a DBA from the unique guidelines dependent on your state, to the naming of your business and securing a domain name in accordance with state laws, to finally registering your DBA with the necessary authorities.