File a DBA – What Is ‘Doing Business As’ While Forming an LLC


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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.

how to file a dba

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.

Easy Registration

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 licensebusiness 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

DBA Taxes

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

To add an DBA to your LLC you need to select the name of your choice and search for its availability. You will be required to fill the DBA form and submit it to Secretary of State office along with your registration.

Adding a DBA to an LLC will give you the ability to use another name for your regular business and financial activities. This will allow you to legally sign contracts and write checks using that name. However, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a DBA before deciding to add one to your LLC.

First, you must fill out a DBA registration form. This form will vary by state and may require personal information. You can file the application online or in person, and the process can take a few days. You will also need to pay a filing fee, which will vary by state.

The process is not as complex as forming an LLC. However, it does require a great deal more time, effort, and fees. Before you file a DBA, it is important to consider which business name is most important to you. A DBA will not change the company name or the owner, but it does change the name of your business. This process can also require you to change business licenses and operating agreements.

In many states, you can add more than one DBA to an LLC. There are 900 jurisdictions that permit DBAs. However, there are some counties and states that do not allow DBAs. In these cases, it’s best to create a separate LLC for each business.

Filing a DBA will help your business to build a name and brand. Having a different name will help you distinguish yourself from competitors and attract more customers. You may also want to choose a name that will reflect the values of your business. If you are planning to expand your business in the future, adding a DBA will be a great option.

Setting up a DBA requires you to file the appropriate forms with the state and county. A DBA will last for several years, but you will need to renew it periodically to maintain its good standing. You’ll also need to make sure you have the necessary licenses and registrations in place.

When forming an LLC, you should always do business research first and choose a DBA that will protect your business name. While filing a DBA with a state or county will give you exclusive rights to the name you choose, you should not use it as a trade name. In fact, you can protect your brand by trademarking your DBA name.

You can obtain a DBA form from the county clerk’s office in your state. Some states allow online filing, while others require paper filing. Either way, you must file the form and pay the required fees. These fees can vary from $5 to $150. You should also get any other licenses you might need as a business before registering a DBA.

While federal trademark registration gives you more protection, it is usually easier to get a DBA name registered at the state level. There are state-level databases that help you check whether a name is already registered by another business in your state. Once you’ve registered a DBA, you can register it with the state that you plan to do business in.

F.A.Qs

Are the DBA and LLC the same?

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.

Does Can DBA have Inc. in the name?

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.

When to file for a DBA?

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.

In Conclusion

Doing Business As is required if you are running a business as a separate entity. The process is pretty easy and explained in this article. To file a DBA one has to name it first. It is strongly recommended for any structure of the business to name your DBA. Also, as this is not a business structure itself, it does not involve tax filing.

1 thought on “File a DBA – What Is ‘Doing Business As’ While Forming an LLC”

  1. Si tenías un DBA y lo pasas a corporation. Por ejemplo tenías empleados y varios camiones y decidisteis quedarte tú solo sin empleados y un solo camión y quieres volver a ser DBA para reducir gastos en pagos de negocio, Payrroll, bookkeeping y corporate taxes . Puedes llevar a cabo ese proceso . Cuáles son los pasos y si es posible cuáles serían los pro y los contra

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