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What is a DBA and How to File a Fictitious Business Name?

Why and how to file a DBA for your business ventures.
DBA - How to File a DBA for Multiple Names

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The DBA stands for “doing business as” and is the facing name of a business. Entrepreneurs and online businesses who create products and services under different niches may want to market under a different business name. For the sole proprietor (freelancer), a DBA allows you to market your business under an “assumed name”. For your LLC, a DBA allows you to market your business with a name other than your registered LLC name. And, you can have as many DBA’s as you want.

What is a DBA?

  • Stands for “Doing Business As”
  • Also Known as “Ficticious Name”
  • Also Known as “Trade Name”
  • The Public Name of A Business
  • Register a DBA with the County or State (depending on your state)
  • My State Charges $25 to Register a DBA

DBA Meaning:

DBA means “doing business as” and is required for businesses operating under a name other than their legal name. Filing for a DBA allows you to create a business name other than the one you legally registered. This allows you to collect payment for different brands and niches that you want to grow.

Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are legally required to file DBA’s. I personally have six different DBA’s for different brands that I have created. Here’s how that looks.

Creating Multiple DBA’s Under One LLC

@thebusinesskid

Reply to @ninabanini This is how I setup multiple fictitious names under one LLC.

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Filing a DBA allows you to conduct business under a name other than your own. In the TikTok example, the business is registered as “Startup Media LLC” and has two different niches: coaching and clothing. I would file a DBA as The Business Kid Clothing and another DBA as The Business Kid Coaching.

Both DBA’s are added to the same bank account & the money is deposited into the account. Your accounting software will allocate for different categories so you can see what’s selling and what’s working for you.

Advantages of Filing a DBA

I find that registering the DBA makes it easy to do business. And it makes it easier to separate out your personal and business accounts. Here are the advantages of filing a DBA for your business.

  • Business Banking is Easy
  • Personal and Business Accounts are Separated
  • Use the DBA to Get EIN
  • Start Building a Brand
  • Launch a Website Under the DBA
  • Establish Your Business Separate from Yourself
  • Easy to File
  • Can Register Many Different DBA’s Under One LLC

How to File a DBA

Most DBA registrations are pretty straightforward, but the paperwork and the process may be confusing at first. Here’s how I registered my most recent DBA:

  1. I found my county clerk’s website to search available business names.
  2. My name was available immediately. From there, I searched to see if I could file it online or had to go in person.
  3. I had to go in person to my local county clerk’s office. From their computer, I had to create a printout of the available name on their computer and took a “waiting” number.
  4. While I waited, I filled out the paperwork. They called my number.
  5. I paid the $20 fee and they filed it & gave me the stamped version back to me.

UPDATE: My state has taken over the DBA and now, we file with the Secretary of State’s office and still register the DBA with the County Clerk’s office.

That’s it. You can use this DBA paperwork to open checking accounts and do business with your DBA name. If you need help with any forms or have questions, please let our partners at Incfile take care of you. They’ll even help with your LLC setup for $0. Click here to walk through their simple biz start questions.

Recommendation

If you want to start a small business, you can register your business as an LLC. Read our 4 steps to setup your LLC as an s-corporation. Before you setup your LLC, you’ll want to check if your business name is available. Here’s how.

Then, when you have your business name, your logo or your slogan, you’ll want to register the trademarks to protect your brand. Read our recent post about when to use a trademark, patent or copyright.

If you need money for your business, these are the best ways to get funding for your small business. And then, you could even setup a website for your business in under 30 minutes. Use this guide to get a free domain name and setup your website for under $5.

Frequently Asked Questions About DBA

What is a DBA?

DBA means “doing business as”. A DBA is a registered name of a business that operates under a name different than its business name. A DBA is also known as a trade name, assumed name or a fictitious name.

What does DBA stand for?

DBA means “doing business as”. A DBA is a registered name of a business that operates under a name different than its business name. A DBA is also known as a trade name, assumed name or a fictitious name.

What is a fictitious business name?

A fictitious business name is a registered name of a business that operates under a name different than its business name. A ficticious business name is also known as a trade name, assumed name or a DBA.

Can I have more than one DBA?

Yes. You can have many DBA’s under the same LLC. However, if any DBA gets sued, the LLC is liable. Sometimes it’s best to setup separate LLC’s for each DBA. If you are setup separate LLC’s for different niches and brands of your business, each LLC’s assets and liabilities are separate.

What is a DBA name?

DBA means “doing business as”. A DBA is a registered name of a business that operates under a name different than its business name. A DBA is also known as a trade name, assumed name or a fictitious name.

What is assumed business name?

An assumed name is another word for DBA. DBA means “doing business as”. A DBA is a registered name of a business that operates under a name different than its business name. A DBA is also known as a trade name, assumed name or a fictitious name.

What does it mean to have a DBA?

DBA means “doing business as”. A DBA is a registered name of a business that operates under a name different than its business name. A DBA is also known as a trade name, assumed name or a fictitious name.

What’s the difference between a DBA and an LLC?

Under a DBA, there is no distinction between the business owner and the business. The business owner is liable for all expenses incurred on behalf of the business. Keep in mind, a DBA isn’t a separate legal entity. On the other hand, an LLC provides limited liability protection and is a sole legal entity that exists separately from its owner.

When would you use a DBA?

Let’s say your company wants to create a new brand under a different domain name/website. The DBA can be filed in order to transact business under the company’s domain name and you can receive payments in that new brand / new name.

What is a DBA example?

For example, a business owner John Wood might file a DBA under the name Wood Construction. If John setup an LLC as John Wood LLC and wanted to branch out his offerings, he could setup a DBA under Wood Landscaping or Wood Patio Designs.

Make sure you bookmark this page as I’ll be updating it as often as I can to keep you informed on DBA and Filing a DBA.

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