DBA stands for Doing Business As. Across the country, it is also known as a Trade Name, Assumed Name, and Fictitious
DBAs are registered at the state, county, or local level of government, depending on the rules in the jurisdiction in which
you do business. You can locate, prepare, and file your DBA registration documents yourself with your county clerk or other
appropriate official. Or you can use our simple online tool
to do all of that on your behalf.
Some jurisdictions require new DBA Names to be published in local newspapers, which we also carry out on your behalf as part
of the service.
DBA stands for "Doing Business As" and is an official, public registration of a business name with either the state or local jurisdiction. DBAs are sometimes called "Fictitious Names", "Assumed Names", or "Trade Names". Basically, a DBA is an operating name of a business that is different from its official legal name.
A business has only one official "legal name", which is determined by its type of organization. For organizations like Limited Partnerships, LLCs, and Corporations which file with their Secretary of State upon creation, the legal name is the exact business name used in that filing. For Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships, the legal name is the personal name(s) of the owner(s). For example, John Doe.
Without a registered DBA , your business has to operate only under its one official legal name, which if you are a Sole Proprietor, is your personal name! State law requires that you file the proper paperwork to operate even under a variation of your legal business name, and even for a short amount of time. Two examples are below:
• Example #1: Jane Doe begins doing independent consulting work, marketing herself as Can-Doe Consulting. Since Jane hasn't filed the paperwork to create an LLC, Corporation, etc., that makes her a Sole Proprietorship by default. So she must register Can-Doe Consulting as a DBA, since her legal business name as a Sole Proprietorship would be Jane Doe.
• Example #2: The official legal name of an entrepreneur's Limited Liability Company is "John Doe Enterprises, LLC". He markets a home building business in the summer as "JD Homes", and a snow-plowing business in the winter as "JD Enterprises". Those are both DBAs that would need to be registered, because neither matches exactly with his official legal business name.
Yes, DBAs can and should be filed for all business types - they are not just for Sole Proprietors. General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, Corporations, LLCs, and Non-Profits that wish to operate under a name different from their one official legal name are required to register a DBA.
Yes, the laws requiring DBA registration extend to LLCs and Corporations. If the company conducts business under any name other than the exact legal name that appears on the LLC's or Corporation's formation documents, they are required to register it as a DBA. "Conducting business" can include marketing materials, letterhead, business cards, etc. in addition to actual business transactions. Also, banks generally require a DBA registration prior to opening a business bank account or establishing a line of credit.
DBAs are generally filed with the state and/or county and/or city where you are going to conduct business under the DBA name. Some jurisdictions also require publication of an announcement of the DBA filing in specific publications. SimpleFilings has experience with DBA filings in nearly every jurisdiction in the United States, and we are proud to put this experience to work for you.
There are restrictions on the words that a DBA can contain. However, most of the restrictions are in place to ensure that your DBA name does not mislead the general public or imply that the business is a different type of entity than it actually is. For example, you cannot make your DBA name "Acme Incorporated" if you have not filed the necessary documents with your Secretary of State to legally form a Corporation. Likewise, you cannot include "LLC" in your DBA name if you haven't yet filed the documents to legally form an LLC.
When a DBA name is registered it usually does not a reserve the name against future use by another business. The registration of a DBA name is simply for required public notice and financial purposes and does not ensure that the business registering the name has exclusive rights to own it or protected use it. To ensure exclusive rights to the use of a name, trademark registration is required.
Aside from the importance of legal compliance, another important reason to register a DBA is financial purposes. Banks will generally only allow you to open an account under your one official legal name or a properly registered DBA. And in fact, in many states banks require a certified copy of the DBA.
Also, since DBA registration includes a public filing of records, other businesses then have official notice that your name is in use, which helps to protect your brand.
The state, county, and/or municipality where the DBA is filed determines the expiration date. Some are valid for several years, and some never expire. The appropriate agency will notify you at the address of record that you provide if it becomes necessary to refile before an expiration date. Additionally, we will provide with your final documentation the list of agencies that your registration was completed with, so that you can maintain a current address of record with them. This will ensure that any correspondence or notifications from them get to you.
In most cases, state and local jurisdictions require a DBA to be filed prior to transacting business with it. But in some jurisdictions, a DBA filing is required within a specific period of time of the initial date of use (often within 30 - 60 days).
Another consideration is that without a registered DBA, a business can usually not open a bank account in that name.
While the steps involved in registering a DBA vary for each individual filing, the main steps are usually as follows:
• Complete and submit the DBA Registration Application on this site.
• We review the provided information, research existing name usage where applicable, and prepare the required government paperwork. We send the prepared paperwork to you via mail or email for your review and signature(s).
• Sign and return the documents to us for filing.
• We file all the necessary papers with all applicable agencies and submit payment for fees to them on your behalf.
• We monitor the status of the filing and once complete, we coordinate any required publishing and submit payment to the publications on your behalf.
• We send you a record of the successful registration and any publication documents for your records.
Like all filing requirements, publication requirements vary by the jurisdiction in which the DBA registration is filed. Some jurisdictions require that the DBA filing is announced in specific newspapers for a specific timeframe. In some cases agencies even require proof of that publication. SimpleFilings' service includes the completion of legal publication requirements as part of your DBA registration.
By law, your business must be identified using either your Social Security Number or a Federal Tax ID (also known as an Employer Identification Number). Sole Proprietors can use their Social Security Numbers on all government forms and other official documents. However, to open business bank accounts, banks usually require them to obtain Federal Tax IDs. All other business organizations such as LLCs, Corporations, and Limited Partnerships generally must obtain a Federal Tax ID because the business is an entity separate from the owners. For more information on Federal Tax IDs, please click here.
A business generally needs to obtain a Federal Tax ID if any of the following are true: the business is operating as something other than a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership; there are one or more employees; a business bank account is needed; or corporate credit is needed. For more information on obtaining a Federal Tax ID, click here.
We do offer Expedited and Rush priority services if you'd like to obtain your prepared DBA filing documents quicker (within 2 business days or 1 business day, respectively). Our Rush priority service includes rush filing of your signed documents as well, and we cover additional rush costs imposed by the state, county, or municipality.
The fee for our document preparation andfiling service varies from state to state, county to county, and sometimes town to town because of differing filing requirements and fees that we pay on your behalf. To find out the fee for your jurisdiction, please see our Fee Calculator.
SimpleFilings makes it easy to register your DBA. We handle all of the state, county, and in some cases, city requirements where your business is planning to use the name, in addition to ensuring that any publication requirements are met. Simply submit the DBA Registration Application on this site to get started.
Your Contact Address is where we should mail documents to you for the purposes of completing your DBA registration order. It could be a home address, for example, or wherever is most convenient.
Your DBA Address is a physical address of your business in the state in which you want the DBA registered. Most states and local jurisdictions require that you have this physical address in order to register a DBA there.
Your Legal Business Address is the physical address of the primary office of your business. For example, if your business is an LLC, this is the primary business address you indicated on your LLC formation filing. This could be the same as your DBA Address or different.
To check the status of your order 24 hours a day, simply enter your transaction ID on the Existing Customers page of this site. Your transaction ID can be found on your receipt e-mail. If you cannot locate your receipt e-mail or transaction ID, please contact us.
You can e-mail us at DBA@SimpleFilings.com or by using the Contact Us page of this site. Our fax number is 866-687-7779, and our phone number is 866-659-5241. Business hours are Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm Central. Our specialists look forward to assisting you.
SimpleFilings is a fast and secure solution for several of the most common new business filings, like LLC Formation or Incorporation, DBA Registration, and obtaining your Federal Tax ID. But there can be numerous other filings for you to perform both before and after starting business. As a courtesy, we've listed some below:
• Internal administration - LLCs require fewer administrative formalities than Corporations, but both require some. For example, LLCs must write and keep a document called an Operating Agreement which outlines basic ownership and management information. Many books have been written on the subject of LLC and Corporation administration, and they often include useful document templates. Find them at your library or bookstore.
• Federal government filings - The IRS needs to know how to tax your new business. Filing forms such as IRS 8832, IRS 2553, and IRS 1023 can accomplish this. Other IRS filings, and filings with other Federal government agencies may be required as well. Local tax professionals can be good sources of information on this.
• State government filings - Each state you do business in will have filing requirements such as state tax ID numbers, state tax returns, foreign business entity registration (if it is not the state you formed your LLC or Incorporated in), and annual business entity reports. Offices in each state such as the Secretary of State and Department of Revenue can help you determine which ones apply to your business.
• Local government filings - Each local jurisdiction you do business in may have filing requirements such as licenses, permits, etc. Offices in each jurisdiction such as the County Courthouse and City Hall can help you determine which ones apply to your business.
• Insurance and trade requirements - Depending on the nature of your business, other non-government filings such as obtaining insurance may be necessary to comply with all applicable laws. Consult your insurance agent and applicable trade association.
Starting and running a business is a richly rewarding but never-ending process, and the responsibility for research and compliance is solely yours. But remember that the profits are solely yours as well.
SimpleFilings is not affiliated with any goverment agency. We cannot provide legal, financial, or
other professional services or advice, and at no time do we review the information you submit from a legal, accounting, or
provide on this website is used. Your access to and use of SimpleFilings.com is subject to these and additional Terms of
4049 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64111 | e-mail: support@SimpleFilings.com