What is a DBA, exactly? Also known as “doing business as,” a “sole proprietorship” or a “fictitious name,” a DBA is a business that is not separate from its owner but has a different name than the business owner operates under. It is typically filed at the county level and might require a notarization. As an entity it’s easy to maintain but unlike the corporation or LLC, the owner is personally liable for the company and its debt.
One reason you might need to file a DBA is if you already have a corporation or LLC filed at the state level and you want to operate under a different name. Say your company name is Widgets LLC but you want to operate as Widgets & More. Then you will need to file a DBA name so that you can do business as Widgets & More.
If you’re starting your business as a sole proprietorship or partnership and you don’t want to incorporate or file an LLC, you will need a DBA so that you can “do business as” a name other than your own name. For instance, if your name is Jane Jones but you want to operate as JJ Ventures, filing a DBA will allow you to operate under the business name and also open a company bank account to accept payments for JJ Ventures.
A DBA is fairly simple to set up but one thing to remember is that every state and county have different requirements and you might be responsible for certain requirements such as a separate publishing in a newspaper that notifies the public of your intent to do business as a fictitious name.
We can help you file your DBA online today! Please note that if you’d like to file a DBA name for an existing corporation or LLC, you must have already formed your corporation or LLC (we do those too!).