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Starting a business is like climbing a mountain. The journey toward the top of the mountain can be difficult at times, but once you reach the summit, the view is amazing. There are roadblocks and learning lessons along the way but ultimately the end reward is immeasurable. One of those road blocks in the path to entrepreneurship may be whether or not you need a DBA (Doing Business As certificate). So continue reading our article to learn more about what they are and how you can create one easily using LegalZoom.
What Is a DBA Name?
DBA stands for “Doing Business As”. A DBA name is a fictitious business name used instead of your personal name, partners names or the name of your LLC or corporation.
Do You Need a DBA?
Just because you have a business doesn’t mean you need a fictitious name. However, there are two instances where you need to file for a DBA registration.
The first instance is if you are a sole proprietor or have a general partnership and are conducting business using a name that isn’t your own name. For example, if John Smith wants to open a candle shop called Sniff This, he would need to file a DBA for “Sniff This”. However, if he wanted to open a candle shop called John Smith’s Candles, he may not have to file a DBA. If the business name implied a group (e.g. The Smith Group) or he just used his first name (e.g. John’s Candles), he’d need to file a DBA.
The second instance is if you have an LLC or are incorporated and are conducting business under a name that is not the same as the name of the LLC or company. For example, if John Smith’s Candles, LLC wanted to operate under the name JohnsCandles.com, he would need to file JohnsCandles.com as a DBA. The same goes for if John Smith wanted to expand his business with the sale of incense and use John Smith Incense in his new business name, then John Smith’s Candles, LLC would have to file a DBA for John Smith Incense.
Still confused? This video does a good job of explaining what a DBA is and when to file for one.
- Standard: $99 + state filing fees
- Premium (includes 30-day trial of attorney advice): $119 + state filing fees
- Federal Tax ID (EIN) Obtainment: $79
- Seller’s Permit Application: $49 for most states
Step-By-Step DBA Registration Online Using LegalZoom
Most people finish filing a DBA with LegalZoom within 15 minutes. It includes lifetime customer support and 100% satisfaction guarantee. Below are the steps taken to file DBA online through LegalZoom.
- Complete the online questionnaire.
- Complete the DBA application through the LegalZip software.
- LegalZoom files your documents with the government after obtaining your signature on the completed DBA application. (Some states (AK, CO, FL, HI, MO, OK and WA) do not require a signature, so the papers are electronically filed directly.) The review period averages about 15 business days after the signature is received.
- DBA application is approved and “County Certified Copy” is mailed to you (typically takes about a week).
- DBA statement is published by LegalZoom. Some states (CA, GA, IL, MN, NE and PA) require your DBA statement be published in the newspaper. Proof of publication will be forwarded to you and a duplicate copy of your statement. If the county requires proof of publication, LegalZoom will file with the county at no additional cost to you.
Congrats, you have your LegalZoom DBA!
More About LegalZoom
LegalZoom is our #1 pick for Best Online Legal Service. We love that LegalZoom offers a wide variety of legal documents and that filing forms online is easy. We are confident you’ll be in good hands if you choose LegalZoom for your business needs.
Will your company use a DBA?