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How To File A DBA

How to file or egister a trade name or DBA which is doing business as. A dba is a way to find out who is really running a business.

You may need to file a FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME ("DBA")

Benefits of DBA Registration

�Protect your personal identity by "doing business as" another name.

�Necessary if your business operates under a name other than its legal name.

�Gives you the ability to open a business bank account.

�Collect money under a name other than your own name or your corporate name.

You may need to file a dba if your company is using a business name other than your real name. "DBA" stands for "doing business as." Other names for a DBA are "fictitious name," "fictitious business name," "trade name," or "assumed name." If you are conducting business under a "fictitious" name, i.e., one other than your legal name, you will need to register the fictitious name with your state by filing a DBA.

When must a person, Corporation or LLC file a DBA?

If persons, corporations, limited liability companies or limited partnerships do business with a name that is different than the name set forth in the organizational documents, they must file fictitious business name certificates in the county or counties (or state) where the registered office and the principal office are located. In other words, a person, corporation or LLC should obtain a DBA if the person/corporation/LLC is doing business under any name other than the real name. For example, if an LLC is doing business under the name "Studio City", but the corporate name is "Pinnacle Projects, LLC", then a DBA should be filed for the name "Studio City." If a person is doing business as Anne X's Polish Pottery, a dba should be filed. This DBA filing must be made in the county or state (where applicable) in which the registered office and principal address of the business exists.

What is an example of how a "DBA" is used?

If your name is Jane Brown and the name of your business is "Donuts Unlimited," you would register your business as Jane Brown, doing business as "Donuts Unlimited." If you were a corporation (or a limited liability company "LLC") named ABC, Inc., and your business name is called "Express Cabinets," you would register your business name as "ABC, Inc., doing business as Express Cabinets."

A DBA can be almost any name under which you are doing business. You cannot, however, make your DBA a corporate name such as XYZ, Inc. if you do not have a corporate name that is XYZ, Inc. In other words, you cannot add "Inc." or "Corp." to your name to create the impression that your business is a corporation when, in fact, it is not.

Why would I need a DBA?

DBA registration is necessary if your business operates under a name other than its legal name. Also, banks generally require a DBA registration in order to open a business bank account. It is required if you anticipate collecting money under a name other than your own name or your corporate name.

What information is required for a "DBA" filing?

DBA filings will typically contain the name of the applicant, date of filing, name of the fictitious business and address for the business. Filings can be made by individuals or businesses. It is possible for a corporation to file a DBA to operate under an additional or different name. In most states, you must first file the DBA documents with the appropriate government entity, accompanied by state or county fee. In some states, you also have to publish the name in a newspaper to give notice of the new business name.

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