DBA, How to register for a DBA, Why would a Business need a DBA Name, Consequences of Using a Tradename Without Registering, validity of DBA registration, Ebizfiling

All you need to know about ‘DBA- A Corporate Finance Institute’


A DBA in the US informs the general public about the company and its owner. The DBA is often referred to as an assumed business name or fictitious company name. If someone registers a DBA, it is usually published in a newspaper. It was created as a means of protecting customers from dishonest business owners who would try to operate legally under a different company name. One can select a business name or DBA for your business if you’re beginning a sole proprietorship or partnership.

What does DBA stand for?

DBA stands for “Doing Business As”. It typically suggests an organization’s functioning name, as opposed to its formal name. Just for ensuring customers doing business with the firm, certain states demand the submission of DBA or fake business name applications. As the corporation adopts a fictitious name that differs from the corporation’s legal name when filing in some states, it is also known as “Fictitious Name Filing.”

How to register for a DBA- A Corporate Finance Institute?

  • The steps involved in registering a DBA vary by state, county, and city. The majority of states require you to submit documentation to the secretary of state along with a filing fee.
  • The validity of DBA registration varies state to state (for example – In Florida it is valid for 5 years, you must submit certain documentation to renew it and according to the regulations in New York, there’s no expiration date of DBA certificate.)
  • Most of the states and municipalities require each filer to make a declaration in a regional newspaper.
  • The declaration will include the legal name of your firm, the company’s contact details and the assumed name(DBA).
  • Your regional government agency will provide a list of approved local newspapers where you can file your statement.
  • You must inform the licensing agency that the publishing requirement was fulfilled after the required amount of time (usually 4 weeks). Some regions need you to provide your own papers with proof of publication, while other states require the newspaper to send the agency the notice of publication (such as a receipt from the newspaper).

Why would a Business need a DBA Name?

The type of business structure your company uses has a big impact on whether you really need a DBA name. A company in the United States would require a DBA for two reasons:

  • General Partnership and sole proprietorship are unregistered business structures

If you operate your business as a sole proprietor or in a general partnership, you must register a DBA if the name of your company differs from your own name. This is because a sole proprietorship and a general partnership are unregistered business structures. This indicates that they are exempt from registering a business entity name or legal entity formation paperwork with the state. You can lawfully operate as a sole proprietor in that country using your fictitious business name, but you won’t have any limited liability protection. That means you are responsible for the debts and obligations of the company.

  • A  Limited Liability Company and a Corporation

When you incorporate your firm, you’re separating your assets, legal name, etc. from your business assets and creating a separate legal entity (in response to a legal business name and separate bank account). This implies you’ll be free from any personal liabilities connected to your company and business bank account, including any legal safeguards in the case that you default on items like small business loans.


A corporation and a sole proprietorship are combined to form an LLC (Limited Liability Company). Like a corporation, owners of an LLC are not individually liable for debts, but the firm will dissolve if one of the owners passes away or it files for bankruptcy. A DBA is not necessary if you have previously registered your business name as a corporation or LLC. However, if you want to conduct business under a name other than the one shown on your LLC or incorporation paperwork, you must get a DBA.


You need a DBA, in order to conduct business under any alterations to your legal name.

Why use a fictitious name while registering a firm?

Here are a few of the most common justifications given by companies for using a DBA name. Keep in mind that these reasons often vary depending on business type.

  • You shouldn’t do business under your own name. This decision is significant for partnership businesses and single proprietorships. Every time you have to publish your business name on a public record, unless you file a DBA, your business name and your personal name will be similar by default. So you might wish to change the name of your company for privacy concerns.
  • A name with more individuality is what you desire. For general partnerships, the company name is the same as the names of the partners. By applying for a DBA, you can do business under a fictional name rather than your own identity.
  • In order to create a business bank account, your bank requires a DBA. Banks frequently demand a DBA before opening a business bank account for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Banks frequently demand that you provide them with the DBA file or assumed name certificate as proof that you registered the name.
  • The present name of your firm does not properly describe the new business you are starting. When a company or LLC wants to expand into a new industry or sell new goods or services that your current business name does not reflect, it is common practice to utilize a Doing Business As name. It can be advantageous to have a name that is more descriptive.
  • A DBA can be submitted to allow a firm to conduct business using the domain name of the company.
  • This is beneficial when the domain name for your company is not available.
  • Having a DBA name can give sole proprietorships and general partnerships more legitimacy to increase the credibility of the company.
  • As the DBA name becomes a matter of public record, registering it serves as a public notification to other companies that the name is in use to get your DBA name and brand name known to the public. However, keep in mind that in some jurisdictions a DBA file does not offer any protection against another person registering under the same name.
  • The legal name maybe long, difficult to spell, hard to recall, or not search engine friendly to use one more memorable name.

Consequences of Using a Tradename Without Registering

Use of a name which is different from your company’s legal name without registering a DBA might lead to legal and financial consequences. Operating a company under an unregistered name is illegal in several states. Until you register, the state may impose fines, restrict your company from operating under the fictitious name, or both. Ensure that your DBA is registered before promoting your services or signing contracts with the assumed name. The majority of banks won’t let you open an account without proof that you’ve registered the business name.


Your company’s name is an important asset that you should safeguard. Using a DBA name can play an important role in your company’s overall strategy. And in such case, it is important to file the proper paperwork, to register the DBA name and to make sure the registration does not expire. Now that you are aware of some fundamental information regarding DBA names and DBA filings, you can work with your business adviser and compliance partner to ensure that everything is done correctly.

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