Doing Business As … Does Your Business Need a DBA?

The DBA (Doing Business As) protects consumers from unscrupulous business owners.  A sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation or LLC (limited liability company) may file a DBA.  Nellie Akalp at discussed the salient points of the DBA – who needs to file, why it should be filed, and when to file it.  Requirements for filing a DBA varies from state to state and county to county.  Some even have a “publication in a local newspaper” requirement.  The DBA should be filed before operating any transaction under the fictitious business name.  It should be accomplished early as it is also required when you open a bank account for the business or use the name in contracts.

Fictitious Business Name: An Overview

Sometimes called a Fictitious Business Name, Doing Business As (DBA), assumed business name, or trade name, these filings let the public know the true owner of a business.

The DBA or Fictitious Business Name designation was created as a form of consumer protection, to prevent unscrupulous business owners from operating under a different name to avoid legal trouble. When a business files a DBA, it’s typically printed in the local newspaper, so the community can see who is behind the business.

Who needs to file a DBA?

There are two circumstances when your business needs to file a DBA registration:

1: If you are a sole proprietor or general partnership conducting business using a name that’s different from your own name.

2: If you have incorporated or formed a limited liability company (LLC) and are operating the business under a name that is different from the name of the company or LLC.

The benefits of a DBA

The main benefit of filing a DBA registration is it will keep you in compliance with the law.

Filing a DBA gives the sole proprietor the freedom to use a business name what helps market their products or services, as well as create a separate professional business identity. However, be advised that a DBA doesn’t protect your business name from being used by others. For that, you will need to seek trademark protection.

For an LLC or corporation, a DBA lets the company operate multiple businesses without having to create separate legal entities for each business. This will help you control costs and paperwork, while still expanding your business.

Deadline to File

DBAs should be filed before any business is conducted using the fictitious business name.  It’s an affordable process and will keep your business in good legal standing from the start. …

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