Doing Business As: What Is It and Do You Need It?

Doing Business As

In the course of running your business, you’ve probably encountered more legal fine print and formalities than you ever thought possible. In this post, we’ll break down the Doing Business As (DBA) to see if your business needs one.

What is a DBA?

In the U.S., a DBA lets the public know who the real owner of a business is. The DBA is also called a Fictitious Business Name or Assumed Business Name. It got its origins as a form of consumer protection, so dishonest business owners can’t try to avoid legal trouble by operating under a different name.

When someone files a DBA, it’s normally circulated in some kind of print newspaper (maybe you’ve noticed all those “fictitious business name” entries in the local classifieds). It lets the community know exactly what people are behind a business.

Do you need a DBA?

In general, there are two reasons why a business in the U.S. will need to get a DBA:

1. For sole proprietors: If you’re operating your business as a sole proprietor, then you’ll need to file for a DBA if your business has a different name than your own name. So, let’s say I’ve started a gardening business called Spring Flowers Gardening; I’ll need to file for a DBA for “Spring Flowers Gardening.”

There are a few other details to know. In some cases, you don’t need a DBA if your business name is a combination of your name and a description of your product or service. In this case, if my business was called Nellie Akalp’s Gardening Service, I may not need a DBA. But, if it’s just my first name (aka Nellie’s Gardening Service), then a DBA is required. If that sounds confusing, don’t worry; just touch base with your local (town or county) clerk’s office and ask them if you’ll need a DBA.

2. For corporations and LLCs: If you have filed to become a corporation or LLC, then you’ve already registered your business name and don’t need a DBA. However, you will need to get a DBA if you plan on conducting business using a name that’s different than the name filed with your LLC/corporation paperwork.

So back to my Spring Flowers business… I incorporated my business as Spring Flowers Gardening. My business will need to file a DBA in order to operate under “SpringFlowersGardening.com” or “Spring Flowers.” Likewise, if I opened a Garden Shop, I’d need a DBA for “Spring Flowers Garden Shop.” In short, you’ll need a DBA to operate with any kind of variation of your original name.

The importance of a DBA

I’m sure this sounds like a lot of unnecessary, extraneous paperwork. Yet there actually are a few important reasons to get your DBAs in order.

1. It’s the easiest way to register your name: If you’re a sole proprietor, then filing for a DBA is going to be the simplest and least expensive way to use a business name. You can create a separate professional business identity, without having to form an LLC or corporation. And for sole proprietors, a DBA is required in order to open a bank account and receive payments in the name of your business.

2. For LLCs or corporations, a DBA will let you operate multiple businesses without having to form a separate LLC or corporation for each business. Let’s say your business wants to expand into multiple websites, stores, restaurants, services, etc. You can create a corporation with a relatively generic name and use a DBA for each individual business. This will cut down on your paperwork and expenses when you’re operating multiple projects.

3. Keeps your business compliant: If your business is an LLC or corporation, you enjoy certain legal protections. However, these protections may be invalidated if you’re operating under a different name and didn’t file for a DBA. For example, I may have incorporated Spring Flowers Gardening, Inc. But if I sign a client contract under Spring Flowers (or some other variation like that), that contract may not hold up in court.

Filing a DBA

The rules, requirements, forms and fees associated with filing a DBA are different in each state and county. The U.S. SBA provides a chart which details DBA filings state-by-state. By using a legal document filing service, you can make sure that you’re following your county and state requirements perfectly and won’t be accidentally operating outside of the law.

Wondering what business structure is right for you? See Nellie’s post on business structures.

About the author: Nellie Akalp is the CEO of CorpNet.com, an online incorporation filing service, where she helps entrepreneurs Incorporate, Form an LLC or File a DBA for their businesses. Connect with Nellie on Google+

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  • http://brandonsetter.com Brandon Setter

    I’m confused about the difference between what you need a DBA for and when you need a Business License….. Can you explain what a business license is for and why it is necessary, and when it is necessary?

    • Henry

      Hey Brandon, let me answer your questions “What you need a DBA for? and when you need a Business License?”, “What a business license is for?”, “Why and when a business license is necessary?” ….

      I will answer all four of your questions all in one, ok! Let’s beginning with what is a business? A business is a action of trade for volume or profit. So this means anything you do in exchange for profit/money is considered a business. Due to this action, you need business licenses to be acquired to make this action legal. Depending on how flexible you want or need to profit the action will be placed under different licenses such as DBA (Doing Business As), LLC (Limited Liability Company), and Corp (Corporations). These different licenses have it’s own pros and cons to them. Some of these licenses also provides a protection shield from lawsuits, personal assets, and many more benefits and etc…

      DBA (Doing Business As) is a business license that allows a individual and/or company to use alternative names to make profit legally with minor paperwork. And is considered “AS IS” license, meaning “The alternative name(s) is you!”. Sole Proprietors usually uses DBA’s to protect there personal name from being used.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nellie.akalp Nellie R. Akalp

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for reading my psot.

    DBAs are sometimes called Fictitious Business Names (FBNs), assumed business
    names or trade names. There is no real difference between them and they all
    serve the same purpose: to provide notice to the public of the true owner of a
    business when the identity would not otherwise be known from the name of the
    business itself. To accomplish this, many jurisdictions require that the FBN be
    published in the legal notices section of a newspaper meeting specific
    requirements over a specified time period. If you are a sole proprietor or
    general partnership conducting business using a special name that is different
    from your own name, then you must file a DBA (Doing Business As)
    registration. ON the other hand, in most states, a business is required
    to obtain a business license to ensure its compliance with government-mandated
    guidelines for safety, soundness and tax. There are a number of federal, state,
    local and, in some instances, regional licensing requirements that may apply to
    your specific business. In addition, if the business has employees or sells
    taxable goods or services, the business may also be required to register the
    business with the appropriate taxing authorities. These requirements vary by
    industry and also depend on how the business is being conducted and the location
    of the business. Depending on your state’s specific requirements, failure to
    comply with such necessary licensing and permit requirements may jeopardize the
    business and could result in penalties or leave the business owner without any
    legal protection.

    Simply state DBA’s are registering the business name with your
    state or local county allowing you to conduct your business under an alternate
    name other than your own name where as business licenses are the ticket or
    permit for you to actually conduct business within a state or county.

  • William Spears

    Do I need a separate DBA permit for every county where I sell? (ie, gun shows, flea markets, etc…) …Or just in the county listed as the primary location?

    • Nellie Akalp

      Hi William,

      Thanks for reading my post and commenting!

      To answer your question – General rule of thumb is the DBA is filed in the county where the business is physically located. A DBA filed in every county where products are sold may not be necessary.

      Hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Alessadra

    HI Nellie. Your article was extremely helpful though I do have a question. I have a DBA and just discovered by a routine google search another person using the same name in the exact same business in the same city as mine. Would two businesses be able to use the same name or am I to assume theirs is not registered? Thanks

    • Nellie Akalp

      Hi Alessandra –

      Thank you for reading my post and I am glad you found it helpful.

      As a reminder , I cannot give you legal advice as Corpnet.com is strictly a document filing service specializing in business document filings and corporate compliance. Generally speaking, a person does not have rights to their name under federal law unless you have a registered trademark with the state. A DBA does not qualify; a DBA is merely registration of the business name as a sole proprietorship and although may provide you with common law right of first use, the DBA does not prevent another from potentially using the name. If one would like to prevent others from using the name, then one should consider trademark filing and protection of the name with the USPTO.

      Let me know if we can help you out with this process as our office does offer trademark filing and protection services. Again, in your case, it really depends on who used first and if this is something that you would like to stop, then my suggestion is that you contact a trademark fling attorney and have them send the other business a cease and desist letter from dis-continuing use of your name.

      Thanks!
      -Nellie

  • mike

    Hello, after opening a DBA, then do I need to designate that my business is a DBA when I sign legal documents? For example, if I am signing an NDA then do I need to list the company name as COMPANY, DBA similar to when you have an LLC where I commonly see people list their company name as COMPANY, LLC.

    Many thanks!

    • Nellie Akalp

      Mike: thank you for reaching out. In response to your inquiry; if your company is set up as a sole prop by way of a fictitious business name filing/DBA, then all company transactions, you would be signing as the agent on behalf of the company name. Ex:

      John Doe, owner, ABC services

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Dash

    Hi Nellie.. Your article was very helpful. I do one query though. If my company is registered in India and we provide support to the people in the united states, then how exactly do i go about the registration process and do i need to register it or not? If yes, do i need to register it in the states or in India?

    • Nellie Akalp

      Hi Dash – I cannot provide specific legal advice, but generally speaking an entity would form in the state where the business bank account is located. A Doing Business As (DBA) is a registration of a separate company name if the company is registered under a different name other than the name you’re doing business as. It is needed for banking purposes if the LLC or Corporation needs to assign a separate name to a bank account to accept payment under. Hope that helps! – Nellie

  • T.C.

    Hi Nellie,

    Thanks for your post. I have filed for a Tax ID number under what I thought my company name would be a few years ago. It was the only thing I did when I was thinking about starting a business. Now that I’m really ready to start something, I’m hit with whether I need an LLC or a DBA. I would assume DBA as I would like to keep the same tax ID, but I like the advantages of the LLC. If I file the LLC, could I still use the same tax ID (EIN #) from the one I filed a few years back (again-different name)? I need some advice. Thanks!

    • Nellie Akalp

      Hi there!

      Thanks for the reading the post. You should consider looking into the LLC as your viable option because it is great for a small business who is just starting out with minimal formalities while giving you liability protection and separating your personal assets from the assets of the business. If you do decide to go the LLC route, you will have to apply for a new Tax ID number because the LLC is considered a new entity and will need its own tax id number. We can definitely assist with all of the above filing for you and get this set up for you with minimal upfront contest and quickly. Feel free to reach out to us to: info@corpnet.com or call us at 1-888-752-0363

      Thanks!
      -Nellie

  • T.C.

    Hi Nellie,

    Thanks for your post. I have filed for a Tax ID number under what I thought my company name would be a few years ago. It was the only thing I did when I was thinking about starting a business. Now that I’m really ready to start something, I’m hit with whether I need an LLC or a DBA. I would assume DBA as I would like to keep the same tax ID, but I like the advantages of the LLC. If I file the LLC, could I still use the same tax ID (EIN #) from the one I filed a few years back (again-different name)? I need some advice. Thanks!

  • MikeV

    I have an LLC for an existing business and I want to start a new business that is completely unrelated to the original business. Can I just create a DBA of the original LLC (to save some $$) or must I form a new LLC since the business is unrelated to the original (I definitely want to go the LLC route). Thanks!

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Mike –

      Thank you for reading & commenting on my post!

      Generally speaking, yes, you can have the existing LLC file another DBA under the LLC. :)

      Should you need assistance or have further questions, I’d love to have my Sr. Startup Specialist Amanda Beren assist you anytime. Feel free to reach her direct at 888.752.0363 ex. 105

  • estaples

    If I’m operating as a sole proprietor, using my legal name (i.e. Jonathan Jospeh Smith III), do I need a DBA to market myself using the shorter, everyday version of my name (i.e. “Jon Smith”)?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi there –

      Thank you for reading my post!

      Generally speaking, one only needs to file a DBA as a sole prop, when one is trying to conduct business or open a bank account under a different name than your legal name .

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

      • irie

        then the answer is he will but if he was in NY would they allow DBA as personal name?

        • irie

          i.e. “Jon Smith” as DBA

          • CorpNetNellie

            Hi Irie,

            Very good question. In most states, ANY name can be filed as a DBA (other than names using inappropriate terms – profanity, etc.). However, the state of New York in particular has some stricter requirements as far as DBAs – personal names are not allowed, whether it’s the business owners name or not. For example, if a business owner in New York decided they wanted to file a DBA for a jewelry store called Betty Jean Jewelry, it would most likely be rejected, as “Betty Jean” is a person’s name and peoples’ names are generally not allowed.

  • Ryan R Matthews

    I have a question that hopefully falls into this discussion. I am going to register a single member llc. I will be requesting an EIN, State sales tax #, etc. for that company. Also, I have another project that I want a different name for, but it is not necessary to open a new business. My question is, after I get my single member llc, operable with all the proper #’s, and I establish a DBA for my other “project” or company, can I use the same EIN and State sales tax # for both the single member llc and the dba? Or do I need new numbers for the DBA?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Ryan –

      Thank you for your question. If the DBA will be filed underneath the LLC, it will be protected by the LLC and will not need a separate Tax ID number. It is optional when filing a DBA to obtain a Tax ID number, as it’s also acceptable to use your Social Security Number.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Kahseem Panchoo

    Hello. I’m been doing some research for a business identity and the legal stuff behind it. I’m wondering if I will need a DBA for “Kahseem Panchoo Tech Services”, I live in New York City. It contains my first and last name but will adding Tech Services make me require a DBA?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Kasheem!

      New York is a little tricky when it comes to filing DBAs – they will not allow you to file a DBA using just your name, however adding Tech Services is perfectly acceptable. Generally speaking, a person will need to file a DBA (or Corporation or LLC) in order to have the rights to use that name for their business. I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • AIm

    If I filed my DBA in Atlanta, GA, can I still use the business name filed in Atlanta as my business name in a different state?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi! Thanks for reading my post & commenting! Generally speaking, a DBA is used in the state the DBA is formed in. Most states will not accept a DBA from out of state. Once a business goes into a new state most banks and other organizations need a DBA filed in that specific state. I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • firstinflight

    Thanks for sharing this, Nellie.

    I too have a question. Would a DBA be appropriate where the original company (let’s call it Business LLC) operates a website/brand (Website B), but doesn’t go by the name of the website? That is, all contracts, payroll, etc. would be paid by Business LLC, never by Website B. The footer of Website B would have a copyright tied to Business LLC, etc.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my post! Glad you found it helpful!

      To answer your question, generally speaking, whenever a company does business using a name other than their full, legal business name, they are required to file a DBA. This will give them rights to use either name, whether it be for advertising purposes, banking purposes, etc.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

      • firstinflight

        That’s definitely helpful. Thanks! You might have answered this somewhere else, but would a DBA also be required to use “Business” for the public instead of “Business LLC” (in the example above)?

        • CorpNetNellie

          No prob! :) Generally, the businesses will be required to file a DBA if the name varies AT ALL from the full, legal name. (This includes small changes, such as dropping the corporate indicator.)

  • J Acres

    My son is going to buy out/take over an existing tire/repair store. We are unsure if we need to go LLC or DBA. This is a small operation that my son will manage and have 1 other employee. A neighboring business owner said that we should go DBA and have the 1 employee complete an I-9 form.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi J,

      Are you/your son concerned about liability protection? It is important to keep in mind that DBAs in most states do not offer liability protection. With an LLC, which is also very popular amongst smaller businesses, generally the owners’ personal assets are protected. Heaven forbid, if the business is ever sued for any reason, the liability protection will generally protect the owner’s home, car, personal bank accounts, etc.

      -Nellie

  • Andre

    Can I bring a partner into a new DBA, that will be under an existing California corp? The new partnership will only be in the DBA and not the corp. is that ok?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Andre,

      Generally speaking when there is a change of ownership within a DBA, a new DBA is required to be filed. In most counties, DBAs are not able to be amended.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

      • Andre Popa

        My question is in regards to the corp. if I start a new dba under an existing corp, can I bring in a partner to the dba and not the corp? Can I keep this partner from owning any part of the corp?

        • CorpNetNellie

          Andre,

          Yes, when filing a new business (whether it’s a Coporation, LLC, DBA, etc.), it is not required that the owners be the same as the owners listed on the parent company.

  • Mary

    Should I file for a DBA or an EIN first?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Mary,

      Technically, an EIN can be obtained before OR after the entity is created, however it’s generally recommended to apply for the EIN after the entity has been filed in order to avoid any complications.

      • marjorie

        Is it required to obtain a EIN? Or can one use their social? What do you recommend? (my business is photography with no other employees)

        • CorpNetNellie

          Marjorie,

          When creating DBA, filing for an EIN is optional. Some business owners prefer to file for EIN to keep things separate, but using a Social Security Number is an option as well.

  • ROB31

    Hi. I work as a caregiver and i applied in different agencies who provides the patient. One if the agency required me to file for a DBA and i dont quiet understand why should i file for DBA if ut means if i have a business and its name is not my name. I know as a caregiver we are considered as contractual coz as soon as the service renered is done then we wont have work anymore. So what does my job has to do with filing a DBA?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Rob –

      Different agencies or employers will require a person to file as a DBA or sometimes even a corporation or LLC. This could be for one of many reasons, it’s hard to say exactly what the reason is in this case without further information.

  • Wesley

    Thanks for the great info! I do have 2 questions:

    1. I have my business incorporated (Canada) but it is a fairly long name. I wish to register for a DBA which is essentially a shorter version of the legal name. If I was to use my DBA for everything (contracts, bank account, payments, etc.), does that still count as if everything was under my full business legal name since the DBA uses the same business number and GST #? I’m wondering because I read that registering a DBA would be registering it as a sole proprietorship. I wouldn’t want the government seeing my business as a sole proprietor (if I use my DBA name for everything after registering it) rather than as a corporation and as a result lose out on the lower small business tax, etc. Hope I’m making sense here?

    2. As I have an incorporated business already, can I still use “Inc.” after my DBA name or is that not allowed?

    Thanks in advance!

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Wesley,

      We specialize in setting up Corporations, LLCs, and DBAs in the US only. In the United States, the way it works is that when a DBA is created under an existing Corporation or LLC, it is protected by that Corp/LLC and is no longer considered a sole proprietorship. Additionally, using “Inc.” or any other corporate indicator is prohibited when creating a DBA. Hope that helps!

      -Nellie

  • Scott

    If I have existing clients that have been billed previously under the corporate name, do I need to reference on future invoices/checks that the new fictional name is a DBA of the corporation?
    Secondly, for new clients that are setting me up in their financial systems, can I provide them with the EIN # for the corporation but list the company name as the DBA? Do new clients ever need to be told the real name of the corporation or is providing them the EIN # sufficient enough? I’m trying to transition everything to the new name with as little confusion as possible.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Scott – Here are the answers to your Qs:

      1 – Generally speaking, if one has filed a DBA or fictitious business name under an existing corporation or an LLC, it is always best to update your clientele to reference on future invoices/checks that the new fictional name is a DBA of the corporation

      2 – Yes as long as the DBA is filed under the corporation or the LLC

      3 – Generally speaking, it is always best to be as transparent as possible with your clients and let them know that even though the DBA is how you like to be referred to as the business name for the company, the DBA is owned by the corporation.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Adam

    Have an assumed name certificate with 2 owners on it, myself and my partner. We have 1 EIN. We have vendors that pay us pre-tax. Who gets the 1099s? How should we fill out W9s?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Adam,

      I would definitely recommend speaking with an accountant or CPA regarding your tax questions. The Corporate Tax Network is a very helpful resource for all things tax-related, and their information can be found at http://www.corporatetaxnetwork.com.

      -Nellie

  • http://www.raveaboutskin.com/ RaveAboutSkin

    Thanks for sharing this post. I am currently looking into filing dba but wasn’t sure if it is absolutely necessary. Thanks for the breakdown and clarification.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Not a problem – glad you found the post useful! Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out anytime!

  • Tenielle

    This is a great post and I really enjoyed reading all the questions and answers.

    I, too, have a question. I have owned a sole proprietorship as an independent contractor with a company for many years. I am registered with the company under my name and social security number. I recently formed a single member LLC under which I would like to operate my current sole proprietorship and any other related or unrelated ventures I may enter into in the future. In order to have the protection of my LL for my sole proprietorship can I form a DBA and list the owner as the LLC and my DBA business name as my name. Would also need to open a business account. I receive income directly from the company I contract for made payable to myself and the 1099 recorded with my social and name. I hope my questions are clear. Thank you in advance!!!

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Tenielle – Thanks for reading! Glad you found the post and comments useful! :)

      To answer your question: A DBA must be filed under the LLC If you have a limited liability company (LLC) and are operating the business under a name that is different from the name of the company or LLC. For example, let’s say that Jane Doe Cookbooks, LLC also wants to operate under the name JanesCookbooks.com, the LLC would need to file for a DBA for JanesCookbooks.com. Likewise, if Jane Doe wanted to expand into cooking supplies, then Jane Doe Cookbooks, LLC would need to file a DBA to do business as Jane Doe Cooking Supplies.

      As such, if you like the LLC to conduct business under a variety of business names, then the LLC must file a DBA doing business under those other names in order to fall under the umbrella of the LLC. The bank account will still be under the LLC name, but you will have to show evidence of the filing of the DBAS so that the bank can accept payment under those other names of the LLC…same tax ID number would apply.

      My co – CorpNet.com can assist you with the filing of this DBA under the LLC if you need assistance with the filing for a minimal fee.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Matt Stravinsky

    Nice article, and informative comments! I’m wondering if it is possible or the general procedures for using a DBA that was formerly in use by another LLC, that is either suspended or closed (“cancelled”, in LLC parlance)

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Matt – thanks so much! Glad you found the post and comments helpful. :)

      To answer your question, generally speaking, DBA’s are filed by the county unless your particular state requires that the filing take place through the state. Either way, if the LLC name is cancelled (not suspended) one can potentially use that name and that name is public domain…just make sure you have done the research and there is no trademark pending on it.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Ron Ray

    Thanks for the info. My question is if we are buying an existing business should we do the DBA or just go ahead and make the business under our legal business name as it is an aquisition.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Ron,
      Great question – there are a couple options. The first would be to file a DBA under the existing business, like you mentioned. This would give you the option to use either name. Another option would be to file an amendment with the Secretary of State and change the name of the business to the name you’d like to use. Hope that helps!

  • Ron Chaney

    If I have a business containing my name, but clearly post on all invoices and let customers know to write all checks to my name rather than the business name, do I need a DBA?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Ron,
      Thank you for your question. A DBA is generally required any time a company does business using any other name than their full, legal business name, even if it is clearly noted how checks are to be made out.

  • Steve

    I have a dba partnership with a friend of mine. My question is how do we need to file our taxes? We have been told we need to file on one of us taxes, using Schedule C all the income/expenses from dba, and the other one should receive a 1099 MISC, half of the net profit. Or do we need to file a 1065 form and then using a schedule K for each of us. Any response will be appreciated.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Steve –

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I recommend you contact a tax advisor to get answers to your question since it is tax-related. You can try: Corporate Tax Network
      Tiffanie Anzalone
      866-893-5730 x5456

      Sorry I couldn’t be more help!
      -Nellie

  • Logan

    Hi Nellie, great article, thank you! I have some questions regarding a DBA for the purposes of doing internet business. It seems that it would be wise to create a DBA so that the legal website docs (Disclaimer, Privacy policy and Terms of Service) are posted with the site’s name as opposed to my own. I can still use my own name in the payments from Google. Do I also need to file it in my home state of New York? My personal banking account is there (there will be no business account for now) and since it’s internet business, I won’t be conducting it only in New York. And I’ve been living in Europe lately anways… Thanks in advance for your clarifications and comments.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Logan,

      Thank you for your question. If the DBA is going to be registered under an existing corporation or LLC, it is almost always required to file the DBA in the same state that the corp/LLC is registered in. If it’s simply going to be a sole proprietorship, the DBA can be filed in any state, though it’s generally recommended to file in a state where you have a physical address you can use as the business address.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Lexi

    Thanks for writing this article. I’ve been trying to figure out this information through tons of research and your explanation has been the clearest yet.

  • joe villarreal

    hello i am starting a car hauler company just with a truck and a trailer i wanted to know if a need a dba because by brother is the one that is going to be driving the truck and im only the owner dont have a name for it yet im lost dont know what to do or how to start a bussines

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Joe,

      It sounds like you’re in the very beginning stages of starting your business, and one of the first decisions to be made is what type of business to file. Are you concerned with liability protection? If so, it’s important to note that DBAs generally do not offer liability protection. It is most common for small business to register an LLC, because it’s easy to maintain for small business owners, but it also offers liability protection.

  • Ken

    If my business name is ABC Flowers, LLC., will I need to file DBA under ABC Flowers if “LLC.” IS not used in business name or signage?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Ken,

      Generally speaking, yes one must file a DBA under an LLC if they will use any variation of the name other than the LLC name

  • sasa

    i had register DBA under my name, i closed that buinsess already. now my husband wants to open new buinsess under his name, he likes to use the same DBA, can he use that? or i have to transfer under his name? our last name does not match. i live in california. thanks

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Sasa –

      Thank you for reading my post and commenting. Generally speaking DBA’s are not transferrable so your husband will have to file a new DBA. Should you need assistance, feel free to reach out to my company for help anytime for a free business consultation: 888.752.0363

  • John k

    What if you find out someone else is using your dba name. I filed the name they did not. What can I do to make them stop

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi John:

      In most states DBA’s are not protected, therefore anyone can use a DBA. When a business incorporates or forms an LLC that’s when the name becomes protected on a state level and if they want to take it a step further a name can be trademarked with the federal government which would cover the protection in all 50 states. Please give me a call and Id be happy to go over this with you: 888.752.0363

      – Nellie

  • Jordan

    I am wanted to form my LLC under Modern Day Revolution Clothing LLC or Modern Day Revolution LLC and refer to my business under the acronym MDR Clothing. Should I form my LLC under the full name and make a DBA to also go my MDR Clothing for short. Or just file the LLC under MDR Clothing and just say that MDR stand for Modern Day Revolution?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Jordan,
      Generally, a business-owner in your situation would file their LLC with their full business name, (in your case, “Modern Day Revolution Clothing LLC”), and then file a DBA or “Doing Business As” underneath the LLC for any other names you’d also like to do business as (such as “MDR Clothing”). Generally speaking, it is required to file a DBA anytime a business owner wants to do business using any name other than their full, legal business names. The DBA can be owned by you as an individual, or, what’s more common, is having the DBA owned by the LLC. Hope that helps!

  • AVTech

    I registered a DBA last year so I could setup a website and try to get a business going eventually, but I haven’t used it or set up a bank account for it yet. Do I have to file anything for the taxes? I know once I actually start the business I will but what about for last year since it was never used? Do I just file the regular way?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi There – I suggest talking to your tax advisor or cpa further about your concerns.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

      -Nellie

  • Charles

    As a sole proprietor but I have a dba (fictitious name) on my 1099-misc form do I put my fictitious name or my personal name?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Charles – Thanks for reading and commenting! Generally speaking, one would use their personal name. Thanks! – Nellie

      • dora

        I am an Inc. who uses subcontractors. The subcontractors are 1099 subs. It I have a w-9 for a sole proprietor with their personal name and DBA name using their social security number, must I pay the DBA or can I pay personal name that is also on the w9? The checks are direct deposited into their personal accounts with no DBA.

        Am i responsible to make sure that DBA’s I use are registed with a county/state? or any orther Inc’s I use?

  • Thia

    I have done dba about 4 months ago but should I file LLC ? Do I need it . It just a gardening business by mysel

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Thia,

      Excellent question. No matter how small a business is forming a Corp or LLC is always recommended. In fact, it’s especially important for small business owners such a yourself to protect themselves from any type of personal liability.

      Happy to have my team chat with you more via a free business consultation if you’d like. Please ask directly for Amanda Beren: http://bit.ly/Pt4MVP

      -Nellie

  • ChrisStelzer

    Thank you for this post. Easy to read and right to the point!

  • Ivan

    Will a dba show up on my personal credit report?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Ivan – Generally speaking, if you want to establish credit under a business, you would need to form a corporation or LLC. That is one of the many benefits of having a Corp or LLC since you can apply for credit under that Corp or LLC and the name on the card with be under the Corp or LLC name. With a DBA, it is really you doing business, so the credit would be under your name and would more than likely be on your credit report.

  • Jaclyn

    Once I have my DBA I need to advertise in a newspaper correct?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Jaclyn – advertising your new business is good idea to help spread the word. Not all business owners choose to, so it’s entirely up to you.

      Thanks for reading my post!
      -Nellie

  • Bern

    i have an llc but i am being asked if i am incorporated

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Bern,

      An LLC and a corporation are not quite the same thing. An LLC is a limited liability company. They are similar in the sense that they are both registered with the Secretary of State and provide liability protection to the business owner, however LLCs are not considered to be incorporated.

      -Nellie

  • will

    Which is first? LLC or DBA?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Will,

      It really depends – what exactly are you looking to do? It’s very common for people to set up a DBA when they are first starting their small business, and once they get a little bigger and more successful, switch over to an LLC to ensure liability protection. It’s also very common however, for business owners to set up an LLC, then file a DBA (or multiple DBAs) underneath the LLC in order to do business using multiple names.

      -Nellie

  • Danny IMob

    I have a question.. I currently have a sole prop. and am affiliated with another company. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to incorporate both logos and company names so clients know we are the same company. Would I need to file an LLC? For example: My DBA now is Danny’s Financial Services and my affiliation is Chino Real Estate how would I incorporate both names?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Danny,

      How you structure your company is ultimately up to you. A lot of times, we see business owners filing a parent LLC, and then filing multiple LLCs underneath the parent LLC with different names. This way, the business owner is able to use either name, and although each LLC is separate, they are linked through the parent company’s ownership.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • reynroof

    Nellie,
    I have an LLC and performing work under my dba. How should I incorporate that on my contract? Example: Nellie’s Landscape Services, LLC, dba Spring Flowers Gardening. It needs to be on there right?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi –

      When filing a DBA, it gives the business owner the rights to use either name, so it is not necessary to list both – one or the other is fine!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      -Nellie

  • Dora

    I am an LLC who uses subcontractors. The subcontractors are 1099 subs. It I have a w-9 for a sole proprietor with their personal name and DBA name using their social security number, must I pay the DBA or can I pay personal name that is also on the w9? The checks are direct deposited into their personal accounts with no DBA.

    Am i responsible to make sure that DBA’s I use are registed with a county/state? or any LLC’s I use?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Dora,

      I would highly recommend speaking to an accountant or CPA regarding this issue. A DBA must be filed with your local county/state.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      -Nellie

    • Henry

      Hi Dora, let me answer your questions. If your sub-contactors place there personal name on the W-9 form then you pay them on their 1099 using their personal name. However if they used their DBA name or names on the W-9 form, then you must send it to their DBA name. Your not legally responsible if their DBA is properly set-up or not to receive their 1099. However if their is a contractually agreement between you and the sub-contractor(s) or DBA’s then you just follow the contractually agreement. Yes, Nellie is correct! To be on the safe-side make sure you contact a Employment Attorney in your State that also handles Contractually Agreements to ensure your going about it the right way!

  • Jan

    Hi Nellie. Having read extensively about structuring under one roof. I’m still at a lost, because my businesses are not separate, they are the same, just different names. Which is where the confusion set in. Does that make sense? I filed a LLC last year and is doing business under that LLC. I operate my merchant account, accounting and will file my taxes under my LLC.

    I need to take hold of the complete full name of my business (before it is taken) which is, of the same business. I didn’t want my merchant account under the full business name so I filed my LLC under the abbreviations of my business. My question is. Do I file the complete business name as a DBA? and how do I structure it so it doesn’t appear to be two separate businesses? Also I don’t need another bank account. The complete business name would be used in marketing, branding, my website etc. Here is an example: Total Transit and Discount Cab same business. Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully answer my question.
    Jan

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Jan,

      This is a very common structure. Normally when a business owner has an LLC and they want to be able to use additional names for the company, they will file the DBA (or Doing Business As) underneath the LLC. The way this is done is that instead of the owner LLC also being listed as the owner of the DBA, the LLC is instead listed as the owner of the DBA. Hope this helps!

      -Nellie

  • Sue Miller

    Hi Nellie,
    About 10 years ago I formed an LLC in the State of Missouri (SCM Consulting LLC) and operated there for a few years. Then I retired and moved to Florida, where I now live, and I have not conducted any business in Florida under that LLC name. I now want to start a new business and operate under a DBA. My question pertains to which state(s) require that I file for the DBA – Missouri, where the LLC was formed, Florida where I now reside, or both states. And if I relocate again, must I also file with that state? If it matters, the DBA will sell services and not products and will market through a website, just like the LLC did in the past. Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Sue,

      It all depends on who will be owning the DBA. When filing a DBA under an LLC, it must be filed in the state where the LLC is registered. If you are filing the DBA under your own name (rather than the LLC’s name) the DBA can be set up in the state you reside. Hope that helps!

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  • Debarpita Sen

    Hi Nellie, I just formed an LLC for my jewelry designing company. so when I am doing my logo or stationary do I have to use LLC in it. The name that has been incorporated and the name that I use is the same, so I am assuming that I do not have to file a DBA?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Debarpita,

      Generally, a DBA is required when doing business or representing the business as anything other than the full, legal business name of the LLC. This includes the indicator “LLC”.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      – Nellie

      • Debarpita Sen

        Thank you for your response. Can you please tell me how do I go about applying for a DBA. What is the procedure? I am based in Arizona..

        • CorpNetNellie

          Hi Debarpita,

          My company CorpNet assists with filing DBAs all over the United States! Please give our office a call and ask directly for Katie Hendrix who can assist and answer any Qs. 1.888.329.1141

          -Nellie

  • Amy

    Hi Nellie, when creating a logo for an LLC, do you need to incorporate the LLC into the logo? If the company is Superior Elevator, LLC, can the logo have just Superior Elevator in it or does a DBA need to be filed to create that logo?

    • Henry

      Hi Amy, let me answer your questions “When creating a logo for an LLC, do you need to incorporate the LLC into the logo?”, “If the company is Superior Elevator, LLC, can the logo have just Superior Elevator in it or does a DBA need to be filed to create that logo?”

      I will answer both of your questions all in one, ok! Let’s beginning with what is a logo? A logo is a symbol or other design use to identify a product, uniform, vehicle, business and etc. A logo to a business is considered as a “Trademark”. A logo can be just the name of your business, but it must be drawn up in a artwork to be considered a logo. Once you have the logo drawn up, then you must make a decision “If this logo will be used locally, nationally, or globally?” If your logo will be displayed on any digital transmissions such as websites where the public will be able to view it, then you will want to file your logo as a trademark federally, by going to USPTO.gov or contact a Trademark Attorney within your State to help you with the process. Price will depend on the logo uses, which starts at $350 and up.

      ** For Advice, you may also want to file a DBA in your state as “Superior Elevator” to protect the actual name of your business. **

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Amy,

      As far as the logo is concerned, it does not have to match exactly the name of the LLC. In fact, many logos don’t have the business name on them at all! If the business is going to accept payments or do business under any name other than the full, legal business name, that’s when the business owner would need to file a DBA.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Gabriel

    Hey Nellie, I have a few questions…

    One: I would like to separate my personal name from my business name. The business name bears two names {Example: “Royalle”}, one name is singular {Royalle} and the other is somewhat like a slogan or catch phrase {“I am Royalle”}… I am trying to figure out whether or not I should use the singular name {Royalle} as the filing name and the catch phrase as the DBA {I am Royalle}. They both bear the same name as the filing name. Which is best for expansion?

    And two: The other thing I wanted to know is if I am filing my own personal name as a separate company kind of like Joel Osteen Ministries or Johnny Bravo enterprises would I need a DBA or would everything be applied under the “first and last name” if I decided to expand personal services? Would it be like Johnny Bravo enterprises llc. DBA “Johnny Bravo Radio” and if I wanted to do “Johnny Bravo ski wear” would I need different DBA’s for both?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Gabriel,

      Generally speaking, a DBA is required to be filed when using ANY name varying from the full, legal business name of the company. The filing name can ultimately be whatever you choose – the DBA will allow you to do business using the filing name OR the DBA name. Hope that helps!

      -Nellie

      • Gabriel

        Thank you Nellie! I guess I get it… lol.

      • Gabriel

        So basically what you are saying is that if I filed “Johnny Bravo enterprises LLC.” now and later decided to open a catering company that I could keep the same name filed, but if I had a building or a van and wanted my advertising to read “Johnny
        Bravo Catering”, that I would need to go back and re-file or add “Johnny Bravo Catering” as my DBA under “Johnny Bravo enterprises LLC.”? And I could write checks out or people could write checks out to either name?

        • CorpNetNellie

          Hi Gabriel,
          That is exactly correct. The DBA will allow you to do business and/or accept payment under either name. :)

          • Gabriel

            Thank you Nellie. You are one of a kind. May God continue to bless you and enrich your family.

          • CorpNetNellie

            :) Thank you Gabriel. Glad to see my post and information was helpful

  • Scott

    Hi Nellie, Why is there no formal search required for the name of a dba like there is when you first incorporate? For example, if I am ACME, INC. and my dba is IBM, why is it allowed when IBM already exists as a DBA for International Business Machines? My concern is my dba may end up being the name of another incorporated company.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Scott,

      The reason there is no formal search for DBAs is because DBAs are not protected on a county level. Therefore, the county will file any name you send them. If you are in a state where the DBA is filed on a state level (i.e. Pennsylvania) the DBA is protected by the state and would conflict with another corporation or LLC on file. In a case like this, we would do a formal search, however in the state where the DBAs are filed on a county level or even state level in certain states there is no search process as the counties and certain states do not check.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • Jamie

    Hi Nellie,

    We have an LLC, “AVG LLC” in Florida, but we want to create a DBA, “ABQ Apps” to sell mobile apps to small businesses in Albuquerque. We currently reside in Albuquerque but are doing virtual business under the Florida LLC.

    We would not be doing any transactions in person in Albuquerque for the “ABQ Apps” business, and all financial transactions would be done virtually – ie: not in person in New Mexico. The customer would be given a website where they could choose to purchase the app from. (www.abqapps.com) However, it would involve some in-person meetings with potential customers in Albuquerque, as well as virtual communication.

    So our questions are:
    1. Do we file the DBA for “ABQ Apps” in New Mexico, where we will be targeting customers, or Florida, where the LLC is located?
    2. Do we need to have a separate DBA under a brand new LLC in New Mexico even if we are not conducting financial transactions in that state (because they are done virtually)?
    3. What about a business license? New Mexico or Florida?
    4. If the money generated goes directly into the LLC account based in Florida, are we able to just operate under a DBA in Florida, even though the DBA name has ABQ (callsign for albuquerque, NM) in it?

    Thank you!
    Jamie

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Jamie,

      Generally speaking, when filing a DBA under an LLC, it is
      required to file that DBA in the same state the LLC is registered
      in. As far as any business licenses that will be required, you will
      need to check with your city and county, as every location/business
      has different requirements. I would recommend speaking with an
      accountant or a CPA regarding your financial questions. Hope
      that helps!

      -Nellie

  • Guest

    Hello :

    Your previous comment : In most states DBA’s are not protected, therefore anyone can use a DBA. When a business incorporates or forms an LLC that’s when the name becomes protected on a state level and if they want to take it a step further a name can be trademarked with the federal government which would cover the protection in all 50 states.

    However, what if a DBA’s is used in “Real Property”. Thus using a DBA by another party, later in time has the ability to “steal” and or “convert” the Real Property, without the original party really being fully aware.

    Thus how does one address this situation, confusing and prove the “True Owner” of the real property, assuming two different people used the DBA’s at different times ?? Thanks

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi!

      Thank you for reading my post and commenting. I regards to your question, this would be determined within the court of law. This is beyond our scope of service and I will have to suggest you contact an attorney for some specific legal advice. However, my company has a legal subscription service that you can pay monthly, bi-annually or annually for and get unlimited legal advice. It’s a great service if you want to avoid hefty legal fees just for some advice from a legal professional. Please see the Legal advice page of my company website at http://www.corpnet.com/run-business/legal-advice/

      -Nellie

  • Ann

    Hi Nellie

    I have a DBA and i am trying to purchase wholesale items and i keep getting asked for my business license what am i supposed to send them?.. Also am i to apply for a separate license?. i have an online clothing boutique. Also is there any certain tax information i may need like reseller permit or sellers permit? Please assist

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Ann,

      Most businesses need a business license or sellers permit in order to operate. Check out our Business Licesne Compliance Package at http://www.corpnet.com/business-licenses/. With our “Business License Compliance Package” we tell you which licenses, permits, and tax registrations you need for your type and place of business, and provide the actual applications.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      -Nellie

  • John

    Hello Nellie!
    Great site. I have a question about filing a dba for a website. Should I file it as www(dot)name(dot)com or name(dot)com or simply the name? I appreciate any input. Thank you!

    John

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi John,

      Great question! Often people will need to file DBAs using multiple names. Let’s say a business owner owns a company called “ABC Company”. He might file a DBA for both “ABC Company” and “ABCCompany(dot)com” – that way he can do business/accept payments using either name. Hope that helps!

      Should you have any additional questions, feel free to call for a free business consultation! Ask directly for Katie Hendrix: http://bit.ly/1q1SgaW

      -Nellie

      • TJ Torgerson

        ABC Company and accompany.com would be 2 separate DBA’s right?

  • Al

    Can you have the same dba name that someone is using in a different state?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Al,
      Generally, yes – that’s correct.
      DBA names are registered on a county and/or state level –
      so generally a DBA in one state will not prevent use of the same
      name in another state. If you need any further assistance with
      filing your DBA, feel free to call for a free business consultation at
      888-449-2638 and ask directly for Katie Hendrix. Here is also
      more info http://bit.ly/1jeaPG7

  • Al

    Aftering reviewing Scotts questions, I think the answer to my question is yes. You can have the same dba as someone else in a different state. I’m I correct?

  • Isabel Germes

    Hi! I am trying to open an online cargo trailers store here in FL and I am so lost with all the requirements licensing and wether i need to be a dba or llc, please help!

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Isabel,

      Choosing an entity can be one of the most confusing (and important!) parts of starting a business. I would recommend speaking with a consultant to better understand the requirements / differences between the entity types. My co, CorpNet.com, offers free business consultations – please feel free to reach out! 888-449-2638 & ask directly for Katie Hendrix.

      :)
      -Nellie

  • FredtheWhale

    i’m considering starting a handyman / light contractor service. i want to protect my
    non-business belongings (house) from becoming targeted if there is a legal
    claim against my work. am i correct that a DBA will not protect me in this
    situation and a simple corporation (such as a sole proprietor or llc) might be
    a better solution?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi!

      That’s correct – DBAs generally do not offer liability protection while corporations and LLCs do. If you have more questions or would like to speak with a Business Startup Specialist, please feel free to call my co CorpNet for a free business consultation – 888-449-2638 x110 ask for Katie.

      Thanks!
      -Nellie

  • Amy

    Hi Nellie,

    I’ve got a reverse DBA situation that I’d love some advice on. I currently have an S-Corp that is a different name from my own. The name is not a derivative of my legal name in any way. I’d like to take on some additional freelance work in my own name, but still be able to run the income through the S-Corp. Can I do that? And do I need to set up a DBA for my legal name since it would be a different name than the registered name for the company?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Amy –

      Thank you for your question. Regarding running income through your S-Corp, I would recommend speaking with an accountant. However, if you will be doing business under any name other than your full, legal corporation name, generally a DBA is required to be filed. If you need assistance with filing your DBA or have any additional questions, please feel free to call my co for a free business consultation at 888-449-2638 and ask directly for Katie Hendrix.

      -Nellie

  • Gail

    Hi Nellie! I’m trying to figure out if I need a DBA or if I have to close my business and reopen a new one. I opened my LLC in Florida but have now moved to Texas. I would like to change my business name and someone had mentioned I could easily just open a DBA with the new name. How would that work if I’m in a new state though? Would I have to keep paying FL for my business even though I no longer reside there? My business is online so there is no storefront. Thanks for any advice you may have! =)

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Gail,

      You actually have several options. Florida does not require the business address to be in the state of Florida, so if you wanted to keep the company registered in the state of Florida and just update the address, that’s an option to you. If you go this route, you can either file a DBA to be able to use a different name, or you can change the name altogether by filing an amendment. If you’d prefer to have your business registered in Texas, the Florida LLC would need to be dissolved, then refiled in Texas. If you have any further questions or need assistance with any of these filings, please call my co CorpNet for a free business consultation! 888-449-2638 x110.

  • Joy

    Hi Nellie! I was thinking about starting a cleaning service under my name, Janie smith’s cleaning service. Would I need to file a DBA or can I just work under my own name without having to do anything?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Joy,

      Sorry for the late reply!

      Generally a DBA, corp, or LLC is required to be filed within your state when conducting business and using a business name (even if your name is part of the business name). If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact my company CorpNet for a free business consultation at 888-449-2638. Ask directly for Katie Hendrix.

      Thanks!
      -Nellie

  • http://web.me.com/earthsaver Earthsaver

    Thanks for this comprehensive review! I am a sole proprietor of consulting business. So far, customers pay me to my name. Do I need a DBA to only advertise a business name that does not contain my name?

    If I choose DBA or LLC, am I expected to open a separate bank account in my business name so that customers can write their checks to the business name? Are there ways to stick with my existing accounts?

    What’s the preferred approach regarding taxes? Do I keep this as a consulting business and file Schedule C on my individual income taxes? What are the alternatives?

    – Ben

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Ben,

      DBAs are generally required when a corporation or LLC is going by any name other than the full corporation/LLC name. As far as any tax questions, I would definitely recommend speaking with a CPA or an accountant to assist you. Please feel free to contact my company, CorpNet for a free business consultation at 888-449-2638. Ask directly for Katie Hendrix.

      Thanks!
      -Nellie

  • Raj

    I have registered LLC and I am operating a retail store in a mall with a different assumed name. If I want to expand similar store in a different location within the same city, then can I use the same assumed name as my previous location or do i have to file another assumed name? The LLC is formed in Michigan.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Raj,

      Great question. DBAs (or assumed names) are done on a very local level and the requirements and regulations differ from place to place. Because of this, I would recommend speaking with an attorney in your area and they should be able to guide you.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!
      -Nellie

  • regine aristide

    Hi Nellie. in an occupational therapist. i have a DBA and is practicing in NYC. I would like to expand by hiring more therapist in NYC. would I need to change the business type to LLC or Corporation or can I leave it as is.
    I also would like to expand th business to Massachusettes. is it possible to have the business listed in both states, if so, how do I proceed.?
    Thank You
    Regine

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Regine,

      Great question. As far as the entity type, many states will require therapists, doctors, etc. to file as Professional Corporations. This is usually required of any professional requiring a special license to practice. If the business will be operating in two states, a foreign qualification will generally need to be filed. The Corporation or LLC is filed in the home state, and then a filing is done with the second state to qualify the corp/LLC to be eligible to do business in that state as well. My company, CorpNet.com, assists with these types of filings. Please feel free to give our startup specialist Katie Hendrix a call for a free business consultation: 888-449-2638 x110. Have a great day!

  • TJ Torgerson

    Thanks for this article. Do I understand correctly that if one has an LLC then they can file multiple DBA’s under that LLC? Or dies one need to have a corporation license to do that?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi TJ,

      Both LLCs and Corporations can have one or multiple DBAs filed underneath. If you have further questions regarding this, or would like to get some DBAs filed, please contact Katie Hendrix in my office at 888-449-2638 x110. We offer business consultations at no cost and no obligation.

  • Stephanie

    Quick question. I have a LLC and a DBA but want to open another location. It is an existing business and has licenses already. How to I operate under my LLC in Georgia?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Stephanie,

      Will your new location be in a different state than the LLC is filed in? If so, generally what’s required is a foreign qualification filing in the new state. My company CorpNet can assist you with this filing – you can even call in for a free business consultation without any obligation. 888-449-2638, and you can ask directly for Katie Hendrix.

  • lenora paige

    Hi: My question is when filing the dba under the corporation, will I need a seperate EIN number for the dba?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Lenora –

      When a corporation files a DBA under a corporation, the DBA will use the Corporations EIN # as the DBA is just an alternate name for the corporation.

      I hope that helps!

      If you have further questions, feel free to call for a free business consultation: 805.413.5711 Ask directly for Amanda Beren and she would love to help.

      Thanks!
      -Nellie

  • question

    for DBA only, owner is liable to business debt should something goes wrong. What if you have LLC and file DBA under LLC? Then the liable entity should be LLC instead of owner?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi There –

      LLCs and corporations both offer liability protection by nature. Generally, this means that if the company were to be sued, the owners’ personal assets would be protected. There are certain circumstances however that can “pierce the corporate veil”, such as not paying taxes, failure to file annual reports, etc.

      I hope that helps!
      -Nellie

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tomhorneman Tom Horneman

    I’m an author and a composer. I write novels and music for which I get paid. Amazon Kindle books deposits royalty checks directly into my personal bank account and music royalties are deposited by BMI. Someone suggested that I should create a DBA for tax savings because of business expenses like travel, office and recording equipment, musical instruments and translators for my novels. What are your recommendations?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Tom,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I did not get a notification of your comment.

      Generally, I find that small businesses prefer LLCs over DBAs due to the liability protection. However, if your main concern is tax savings, I would recommend speaking with an accountant or CPA to determine what would be best for you and your company. If you have any other questions, please feel free to call Katie Hendrix in my office for a free business consultation at 888-449-2638 x110.

      Have a great day!

      -Nellie

  • Chris

    I filed and received a DBA certificate when I moved to the Houston, TX area. Another person in the same county is using my business name. What are the correct steps for having them cease.

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, DBA names in Texas (and in almost every state) are not protected, meaning that generally speaking, DBA names are always available – even if someone else is using the name as a DBA or even a corporation or LLC. Do you have a trademark on the name? If so, and if the trademark was filed before this other person began using the name, you may be able to speak with an attorney to discuss having them cease, however, as I mentioned earlier, if it’s only filed as a DBA the name is not protected. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call my office for a free business consultation. You can ask for Katie Hendrix: 888-449-2638 x110

  • Sam V

    Nellie,

    If my corporation is registered as SPRING FLOWERS, INC. and the sign outside of my store says SPRING FLOWERS (without the “INC.”), do I still have to file a DBA? (Los Angeles, CA).

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Sam,

      Generally, if the business is being advertised as anything other than the full, legal business name (even if the only difference is a corporate indicator – “Inc.”, “LLC”, etc.) a DBA is required to be filed. If you have any other questions or need assistance with filing a DBA, please feel free to contact Katie Hendrix in my office for a free business consultation at 888-449-2638 x110.

  • Jodie Orgeron

    Hello, we started an LLC one year ago. We are now expanding and we want to change the name. We are now Louisiana Christian Sports Academy. We want to change it to Louisiana Christian School. Can we do this by just filing a DBA instead of dissolving the current LLC and restarting another one?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Jodie,

      You can file a DBA if you’d like, or you can simply file an amendment to change the name of the LLC.

      A federal trademark can be filed (so long is the name is available, of course). Generally, this will protect the name across the United States within the class that it’s registered under. If you have any other questions or would like assistance with filing a trademark, DBA, or amendment, please feel free to call Katie Hendrix in my office at 888-449-2638 x110. Have a great day!

  • Jodie Orgeron

    Also another question. If I form a DBA under my LLC can I later trademark/register the business name so that It can not be used by anyone else in my state? This has been VERY informative! Thank you!!

  • Jodie Orgeron

    I’m not sure if you can help me on this topic so I am sorry if it’s off topic. I have an LLC. I want to open non profit but I want this nonprofit to be a part of the LLC. Is that possible at all? You see I want the non profit to help the LLC but also be open to help other missions. Can the non profit be under an umbrella to the LLC? Or will it have to be two totally separate entities?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Jodie,

      The way you structure your companies is ultimately up to you, though it can be a little tricky when it comes to actually getting them filed. Please feel free to contact my office for a free business consultation at 888-449-2638. Please ask directly for Katie Hendrix who can also assist you with getting your DBA and/or LLC name trademarked!

  • Tom

    I am registering our corporation in a neighboring state as a foreign corporation. Because there is another company in the state using a similar name, we must file a DBA. Once I file the DBA, are we required to use it for any purpose other than dealing with the state?

    • CorpNetNellie

      Hi Tom,

      Great question, Registering the DBA will give you rights to use either name or both names. For example, if an LLC is named Mary’s Bar & Grill, but they have a DBA registered for just “Mary’s Bar”, they then have rights to use either name. If you have any additional questions or would like a free business consultation, please contact Katie Hendrix in our office at 888-449-2638 x110.