Adopting a business name
A doing business as (DBA) filing is an official
and public way to register a business name with either the state or a local
jurisdiction, such as a county. A DBA name is also called an assumed name,
fictitious business name or trade name.
Why a DBA is important
DBAs allow sole proprietorships and general partnerships to conduct business under a name other
than the owner’s or owners’ personal name(s). For C corporations, S corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and nonprofit corporations, filing a DBA allows them to transact business using a name
other than the official company name that is included in the incorporation
Once the DBA
filing is approved, the business can use the name as its official business name
- Open a business bank account
- Create stationery or business cards
- Develop advertisements and/or list the company in
- Undertake transactions on behalf of the company
Common reasons for filing a DBA
There are a number of reasons why business owners choose to file a DBA, and these reasons may vary by business type. Common reasons include:
- To transact business under a name other than the official name of the company or the sole proprietorship. A DBA allows a sole proprietor, corporation or LLC to name the business something other than the legal name, which in the case of a sole proprietor is the name of the individual.
- Open a business bank account. Banks typically require sole proprietorships and general partnerships to have a DBA before opening a business bank account.
- Additional business credibility. Having a DBA can lend additional credibility for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
- New name for new business activity. Often a DBA name is used when a company wishes to enter a new line of business or to market a new product or service.
- Domain name as DBA. A DBA can be filed in order for a company to transact business under the company’s domain name.
- Public notification. Filing a DBA notifies other businesses that the name is in use, as the DBA name becomes part of the public record.
Key Benefits of DBA
There are no limits to the number of DBA names a business can register. Having multiple DBAs can allow your company to effectively run separate businesses under one legal entity, as long as you stay within any limits posed by your business purpose (if incorporated).
When to file a DBA
Doing Business As: Keep in Mind
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, filing a DBA does not provide personal asset protection to the owner(s). Incorporating a company is necessary to protect personal assets from the debts and liabilities of a business. The Benefits of Incorporation