DBA, an abbreviation for Doing Business As, is an assumed name or fictitious name or trade name (different from the business name registered with the state) that you are using when conducting business. Depending on the state your business is operating in, it may be legally required to use a different business name from your registered business name or personal name. In some cases, it must be filed within 30-40 days of your first business transaction.

Usually, DBA is used by sole proprietorships because the registered name for a sole proprietorship is simply the business owner’s name. Registering a DBA will then mean that the sole proprietorship is able to operate under a professional-sounding business name. However, note that DBA filings are not exclusive to sole proprietorships only. They can also be done for:

  • Not-for-Profit Corporations
  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
  • Partnerships

After a DBA registration is completed, the business can utilize this alternative name for key business procedures such as enter into contracts, perform marketing, establish new bank accounts, write checks, and accept payments.

DBA filings will vary jurisdiction by jurisdiction as every state and county has different regulations about DBAs. Certain DBAs can be filed at state level but usually, most DBAs are filed at county or city level. A notice that comes with proof of publication may be needed in some cases. It is best to consult a business lawyer so that your DBA filings can be performed accurately while adhering to the legal regulations in your state or county.