If you are a sole proprietor, filing a DBA is the easiest and most cost-effective way to use a business name. You can create a separate business identity without having to form an LLC or business. This allows you to create separate websites that specifically target customers with different needs (e.g., LandscapingTools.com, SnowRemoval.com). You can have as many fictitious names as you want (within reason) under a commercial umbrella. To do business under a DBA, you must complete and submit the appropriate DBA forms and pay a filing fee, after which you will receive a DBA certificate. Depending on the state, you may be able to file with a local or county office, a state agency, or both. Therefore, be sure to review all relevant local government agencies for DTA filings in the states where you do or will do business. Then confirm the DBA login requirements for your organization or entity type. If you are a sole proprietorship or partnership, you must file a DBA if you want your business to operate under a name that is not your full legal name or that of your business partner. This is because sole proprietorships and partnerships are not registered and do not have to file entity incorporation documents or a business entity name with the state. (However, you still need to obtain the necessary business licenses and permits.) Using a DBA name for a sole proprietorship has three main advantages: So if Laura Smith wants to start a technical repair business, her business will operate under her own name, unless Laura registers her DBA name as „Laura`s Tech Repair Shop“. After registering her DBA, Laura`s full name is not legally linked to her company name.
Some States refer to the documents required to register a DTA as a „fictitious name application“ or a „fictitious name certificate“. To operate under an assumed name, businesses must submit an application that includes the name to be used and ensure that another business is not already using the name. Registering a DBA allows companies to operate multiple businesses under a single owner without having to form a separate business entity each time they grow. If you`re hoping to expand your original business to multiple websites, stores, services, restaurants, etc., consider registering each under a separate DBA name. Registering a DBA name for a sole proprietorship or partnership is good for branding, but it doesn`t offer the most important benefit: personal liability protection. When someone files a DBA, it`s usually distributed in some sort of newspaper (maybe you`ve noticed all those „fictitious business name“ entries in local classifieds). It allows the community to know exactly who is behind a company. If you want to go public with your company, the foundation is important. It also gives you more legal protection than a partnership, as a corporation is its own legal entity. If you want to hire or raise funds, integrate them immediately. A DBA allows sole proprietorships to operate under a name other than the legal name of the owner, which can make the business more professional. Database administrators can also be useful when a company wants to launch a new product or industry under a different name, but doesn`t want to create a new legal entity.
However, any company incorporated under one of these entities will still have the option to register a DBA name. This would allow them to do business under a name other than the one on their incorporation documents. Your brand name is the first impression the public has of your business. Ideally, your business name should reflect your product or service and give people a reason to become paying customers. If the sole proprietor, Laura Smith, kept her business name just like „Laura Smith,“ who would know what she was offering until they walked into her store? And why should they feel compelled to go to this store in the first place? And while a DBA in itself doesn`t offer you legal protection, it separates you more from your business. For example, in the unlikely event that your business is sued, you could offer your DBA as proof that your business and its assets are a separate entity from you and your assets. In many states, you need to renew after a while. Make sure you keep track of when you need to renew your DBA, as deterioration can have a serious impact on your business from a marketing perspective.
Registering a corporation or company name is different from registering a trademark. By registering your company name as a trademark, you ensure that no one in any state can use the company name or logo. This extra step can ensure that your business name remains unique so that customers can find your business instead of a competitor.