DBA or “doing business as” is a term used to set up a fictitious name for a business so that it can use this new name instead of the legal one for any kind of formal process, bank transactions, submitting of taxes, and so on. It is vital to know how to file a DBA in case you may need one.
For getting the DBA, one will need to go through the process of fictitious name registration. Several businesses have already signed up for this named entity, and hence, it’s time for your business to do the same.
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
What Is DBA?
Before moving forward with our discussion of how you can complete the fictitious name registration for your business, we will talk about the details of DBA first.
Let’s say your business name is “XYZ.” However, for some reason, you cannot use this type of name in the industry. This is where you will opt for DBA registration. Here, you will choose a new name for your business from the search directory, and once you are sure about it, you will start with the filing process.
DBAs are used for multiple businesses, like a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, or any other such type of registered company.
Importance of Setting Up a DBA
No matter you are involved in non-profit organizations or a Limited Liability Company (LLC), DBA has proven to very essential for several businesses. Here, we will discuss the importance of the relevant business names that you can register for.
Every LLC (Limited Liability Company) is asked to process the name’s online registration. However, this particular method is very difficult since one has to consider a great set of rules for ensuring your business doesn’t get involved in any legal conflict. This is why many businesses come up with the DBA since, with this, you wouldn’t have to worry about the registration process.
Operation of Multiple Businesses
If you want to establish multiple business types, it is the DBA that will help you to do so. This fictitious name will make sure different forms of your business are known by unique names, be it a sole proprietorship, multiple LLCs, or anything related to that.
Perfect for a Sole Proprietorship
For sole proprietorship business owners, DBA serves as a great tool for keeping themselves separated from the business and avoid paying personal income tax through the profits earned by the business.
Helps in Keeping the Business Compliant.
If you want to keep your main business and the additional businesses compliant, registering yourself for DBA will be a great idea. Make sure to choose a unique name so that no problem arises with the compliance factor.
Helps in Introducing a Creative Name
In most cases, a professional business advisor will always suggest you look for a DBA name since that will provide you better flexibility in handling business license, business taxes, business filings, and so on.
How to Set up a DBA?
For setting up the DBA name, you will need a proper business strategy. That is why here we have come up with the three most important steps you need to follow as potential business owners to get the fictitious DBA name.
- Select your state
What you must first do is choose is the state where you are going to open the business office. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a foreign LLC or a domestic LLC; you can file for DBA in both cases. State selection is very important because the taxes and other types of details will vary from one to the other.
- Choose a proper DBA name.
What you must do next before filing up the DBA forms is to choose a proper name for representing your business. You need to check whether the name you have chosen is available with the domain list or not. Also, the name you have chosen shouldn’t match with any government entity and must not be similar to another business.
- Register your DBA with the state authority
Once you choose the proper name after complying with all the rules, you will have to look for the registration process with your county or city’s clerk office. Depending on the state, you might have to register your company with multiple government tiers.
For What Businesses Can DBA Be Used?
The DBA name can be used for many businesses. Here, we have explained a list of all those structures where DBA is applicable.
- Sole proprietorships
- General partnerships
- Limited Liability Companies
- Non-profit corporations
- Limited partnerships
- Limited Liability Partnerships
IRS explains the taxation structure for the business and how they operate. However, as DBA is a name and not a business structure, you won’t have to file any tax report for the same.
How to Add a DBA to an LLC
When you want to change the name of your LLC, you can use a fictitious name. This is important because it helps you to better promote your business. However, be careful to pick a name that sounds familiar to your potential customers. You might have the wrong idea. The best option is to choose the business name that will have the most appeal to your target audience. Besides, filing a DBA does not change the owner of the LLC.
Once you’ve chosen the new name, you’ll need to file it with the state and county. Once you’ve done that, you can legally use the new name on your business contracts, marketing materials, and business credit card accounts. Keep the original documents to prove that you registered the DBA. It’s important to note that you must renew this certificate periodically. After you’ve registered the DBA, you should use it with your LLC.
The last step in the process is filing the DBA registration. You’ll need to fill out the form and meet all of the requirements. You can either file the paperwork online or go to your state’s Department of Business and Industry. Once you’ve filed the application, the DBA is officially registered. Once you’ve filed it, you’ll need to meet any periodic renewal requirements. You may be required to pay a fee to renew the DBA.
No, DBA and LLC are not the same. DBA is nothing but a fictitious secondary name which any business can adapt for several reasons, including the LLC, like:
1. Finding the proper domain name
2. Maintaining privacy
3. Separating the business entity from yourself
4. Easy name registration
5. Increasing the credibility
On the other hand, LLC is a company opened by a single or multiple members for protecting their personals assets and yet continuing with a business without having to worry about debts, lawsuits, and others.
No, it isn’t mandatory for the DBA to have Inc. as a part of the name. DBA can be any name as long as it does not represent a government entity or an already formed business.
DBA should be filed when you want to open multiple businesses under a single parent company, or you are not finding a suitable domain name for your business.