What is a “DBA”?
If you plan on operating your business under a name that is different from your official legal name, you will be required to file for a DBA. Depending on the city, county and state your business is located, it will either be filed through the state or local jurisdiction/county. DBA’s are called a number of different names depending on who is doing the filing. They are also referred to as “Fictitious Business Names” or FBN’s, “Trade Name” or “Assumed Name.”
What is the difference between my business’s Legal Name and a DBA?
Your business can only have one Legal Name which is the name you file on your EIN (Employer Identification Number) or Tax-ID (Form SS4). Depending on the type of entity you formed for your business, your business’s legal name could also be your personal name(s) of the owner(s). For example, the legal name for a Sole Proprietorship and General Partnerships is the individual’s first and last name.
Do I need to file a DBA for my business?
- Sole Proprietor: Unless you want your business to be your First Last name, a DBA is necessary for you to conduct business under any other name
- Partnerships: If you want your partnership to be called something different than the combined last names of the partners, a DBA will be required. Most banks and many states will also require that you file a DBA with your local jurisdiction or state.
- Corporations (C&S), LLC’s and Non-Profit Organizations: If your business wishes to operate under a name that is different than the official legal name that was filed with the IRS, then a DBA will be required. It is very common for Corps and LLC’s to have at least one DBA they operate their business under.
How do I know where to file my DBA?
It depends on what city/county/state you will be operating your business. It is not uncommon for your local jurisdiction to also require you to publish an announcement in a local paper. Let us take the confusion out of DBA filing! Fill out the “Contact and Expert” form below and one of our ‘Filing Experts’ will contact you via email with easy step by step instructions on how to file for your businesses DBA.
Get Help from a DBA Expert!
Can I start to conduct business under my DBA before it is filed?
In most cases, you will be required to file and receive back a completed filing from your local or state jurisdiction. There are some exceptions to this rule were a jurisdictions will allow up to 60 days from initial use of the name. Ask an expert below to make sure your business is compliant to all state and local DBA requirements.