Doing Business As (DBA) Name Registration
Filing a Doing Business As name (DBA) allows you to operate and receive payments under a name that is different from your legal business name, helping you create an identity for your business that presents it in a professional light to customers and vendors.
Why should you get a “doing business as” name for your business?
Doing Business As (DBA) Name FAQs
- What is a Doing Business As name?DBA stands for “Doing Business As” and is an official registration of your business name. In some states, this can be referred to as a “fictitious business name” or “assumed” name. A DBA name is different from your personal name. If your business conducts any business – such as transactions, marketing, advertising, or printing out business cards – under a name that isn’t your own name, you will need to file and register a DBA in the state or county you’re doing business in. A good example is if Jane Smith wanted to start “Jane’s Tax Services,” she would need to file for a DBA. Once you have conducted a name search and filed for a DBA, you’ll be able to claim the name for yourself. This helps to reduce any potential chances of fraud.
- What are the benefits of filing as a DBA?The benefits vary depending on who is filing. A sole proprietor can operate under a name other than their legal name which can have many benefits, including added credibility and professionalism, as well as level of separation or anonymity. Filing a DBA also means a sole proprietor can open up a separate bank account under the business name (requirements vary), allowing your customers can make payments to the business itself, instead of to you personally. For an established business, a DBA can allow you to conduct business under any number of alternate names in addition to the one filed with the original formation. That means as a business expands into other markets or takes on new business ventures, the business owner can add additional names or lines of business with ease.
- What are the requirements of filing a DBA?A DBA can be almost any name under which you are doing business. You cannot, however, make your DBA a corporate name such as XYZ, Inc. if you do not have a corporate name that is XYZ, Inc. In other words, when filing a DBA do not add “Inc.” or “Corp.” to your name to create the impression that your business is a corporation when, in fact, it is not.
- What is an example of a DBA and how it works?As an example to demonstrate the usefulness of a DBA, let’s imagine that Jane Brown was a pastry chef who wanted to open her own shop called “Donuts Unlimited.” She wants to eventually open a bank account and accept payments on behalf of Donuts Unlimited, so she files a DBA : “Jane Brown, doing business as Donuts Unlimited.” By filing her DBA, she is able to set up a bank account for her business, and cash checks written to Donuts Unlimited.