DBA is an acronym that stands for “Doing Business As”. Often referred to as “Assumed Name”, a DBA is a name that is used by an operating business that is different from the legal name of the company. An example would be if a business was operating under the name “Joe’s Tire”, but the legal name of the business was actually “Joe’s Tire Service Company, LLC”. Anytime a company uses a name different from their legal name, they must register the name as a DBA with the appropriate agencies. Registering a DBA or Assumed Name allows you to operate under that name legally, even if it is not the legal name of the company. It’s important to note that even when using a DBA, the legal name must be used on all government forms and applications including the employer identification number (EIN). This is also true for bank documents, licenses, permits, marketing materials, and company documents.
The requirements for a registered DBA were created as a means of consumer protection. The purpose is to inform the public who the real owner of a business is. DBA’s are also very useful to businesses in many cases. One example is that they can allow companies to expand into multiple markets or locations without the need to legally form an entirely new business entity. Also, for sole proprietors a DBA is the simplest and least expensive means of using a name for your business. DBA requirements can vary by state so it is important to check with your Secretary of State or the government entity that oversees business in your state. In addition to filing paperwork with the state you are operating in, that state may also require you to publish the DBA in a local print publication such as a magazine or newspaper. Generally, filing a DBA is a relatively simple process and can be done in very little time.
To learn more about DBA filing requirements or any other part of the Business Formation Process, we encourage you to review our Business Formation System Page, or schedule a phone call with one of our experts!