File for a DBA Doing Business As


Since a DBA isn’t a business entity, you do not have to file a tax return specifically for the DBA. The income or loss from a DBA is factored into your total tax liability for the business. Depending on your location and business structure, you will need to file your DBA with the state or with the county clerk’s office. Bank of America, N.A., Merrill, their affiliates and advisors do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. Consult your own legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

  • Getting a DBA is often a better choice than changing your business’ legal name.
  • In some states, you register your DBA with the State Secretary of State or other state agency.
  • To learn more about how to use a DBA for your particular business entity type, read our DBA for Small Business article.
  • As a sole proprietor, you can legally conduct business in that state under your fictitious business name, but you won’t have any limited liability protection.
  • You should choose a business name that is unique and easy to remember, spell, and pronounce.

How To Set Up A Dbas vary by county, though they are significantly higher than in other states. All filed DBAs last for five years with the option to renew. Registrations last five years with no limits on renewals. DBA forms are submitted to the Business Services Division of the Secretary of State’s Office. Charges of taking on a fictitious trading name vary from business to business, according to Iowa’s Secretary of State website.

Reasons to form a DBA

This will require some homework and research to be done on your part. You can find this form on your Secretary or Commonwealth of State’s website and typically submit it via online filing in minutes. There is a filing fee in most states for this application. Check out our guide for business owners on how to get a DBA. Because a DBA is not a business entity, there is no such thing as an EIN for a DBA.


It could also boost your company’s credibility and allow you to protect the corporate veil. Make sure you submit forms correctly to your local secretary of state’s office to ensure you properly secure a DBA. If you already operate in multiple areas, you may not have time to file forms everywhere. Additionally, some states require filers to publish a notice in their local newspapers alerting customers to the change of business name. You will fill out the proper form for your fictitious business name request and submit it to your municipal or state government along with your filing fee per the instructions. Let’s say that John Smith works to build the “Tasty Taco Truck” brand but does not register as a business entity with the state.

Why would I need a DBA?

Brand awareness is a big deal; it’s always good to accept payment with the business name that customers expect to see. A separate bank account will also help with bookkeeping and accounting. If you wish to convert the DBA to another entity type, you would need to create Articles/Statement of Conversion and file that along with the application or articles for the new entity type.

  • My guess is likely no, but I would call the state/municipality and ask them about both of your DBA names.
  • A DBA name is not a business entity; thus, you don’t need a separate EIN.
  • Since earning her law degree from the University of Washington, Priyanka has spent half a decade writing on small-business financial and legal concerns.
  • That’s why we put together this convenient list, which includes links to each state’s official website, to help you file a DBA in your respective state.
  • Note that these reasons often vary depending on business type.

So, sole proprietorships are not the only ones that need to file a DBA. This is especially common in California, where tech start-ups are proliferating quickly. You can generally get all of the necessary DBA forms at your local county clerk’s office. Your state and county may allow you to complete and submit the forms online, or you may need to print out the documents and submit them in person or by mail. Several states require you to register a DBA with more than one level of government. For example, a sole proprietorship may have to file at the state and county level in one state, while another state may require that same sole proprietorship to file with just the county.

ways to register a business name

Check with the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Office to determine if there is a specific list of approved publications in which to meet this requirement. You can pay your DBA filing fees in North Carolina using a credit card or debit card. Your local County Register of Deeds will advise if they allow cash payments if you file in person. Getting a DBA is often a better choice than changing your business’ legal name. If you are simply interested in rebranding your company or focusing on another line of business, filing for a DBA is a much simpler process than filing for a legal name change. A DBA doesn’t need an EIN because a DBA isn’t a business entity.

  • DBAs don’t require insurance because DBAs aren’t a business entity.
  • In some states, a DBA might be called a fictitious name, trade name, or assumed name.
  • Yes, in most locations you can file to register or renew a DBA online through the proper office’s website.
  • For example, a sole proprietorship may have to file at the state and county level in one state, while another state may require that same sole proprietorship to file with just the county.

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