Tips on how to file for a DBA

Tips on how to file for a DBA

Your DBA tip guide:

Firstly, what is a DBA? Filing for a DBA means that you choose to; “doing business as”. More specifically, you trade under an assumed name, a trading name or more specifically a fictitious name. Filing your business as a DBA is merely for branding purposes, under no circumstances does a DBA allow that your assets are protected, DBA’s are not a type of a business structure.

So, how do you decide if the formation of a DBA is something you should consider? Firstly, as a business owner, you need to be mindful that two reasons guide your decision as to whether or not a DBA is something worth pursuing.

  1. Do you have an existing business that is already registered as a formal business entity and you plan to branch out into new products, services or brands?
  2. Is your business not yet registered as either a sole proprietorship or partnership and you would rather prefer to operate under a name other than the personal name you had already chosen for your business?

If you answered yes, well then look no further, follow this guide to assist you to see how you can start the DBA process.

How to set up a DBA?

Step One: Select your state

The process varies from state to state. There are instances where businesses need to register their DBA with either the state government, the country or the city government. Some states require that the DBA be registered with more than one level of government. Unfortunately, Kansas, New Mexico and South Carolina currently do not allow businesses to file for a DBA.

Step Two: Complete a DBA name search

The next step is to search for a name. Being mindful that the name is not already taken by another business within the state in which the DBA is filed. The name also needs to meet the DBA naming guidelines for the respective state in question.

If the business should require assistance with the naming convention for the business in question, there are three steps to keep in mind. The business should come up with the best brand name for the business in question, follow the naming rules for the business structure for the business in question and finally, check and see if the business name is available.

There are platforms available that assist with the generating of a business name, it is also advisable that the business owner secures domain name as soon as possible. This will ensure that the name is secured and cannot be claimed by another business owner.

It is also advisable, after registering the domain, to consider setting up a professional email account. Various platforms offer free services in this regard.

Step Three: Register your DBA in your state

The final step is to file the DBA with the state or with the country or state clerks, this depends on the location as well as the business structure of the business in question. Several states require that the DBA be registered with more than one level of government. Take for example sole proprietorship, they are required to file at the state and country-level in specific states. While other states might require that the business only files at the country level.

Best of all, there are service providers that specialize in the naming process for businesses. So now business owners can choose this route as well, it takes away the stress of having to come up with a suitable business name. The DBA filing service will handle the entire process, this saves the business owner time and energy so that more focus can be on the business.

Choosing to create a DBA helps build your business brand as well as the reputation of the business. It does not matter if the business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or a corporation. Choosing this route will be most beneficial if the business plans on offering multiple diverse products and services, this marketing strategy is also great at attracting and securing more business.

See what many business owners already know, file your DBA.