DBA NAME: What Is It, Examples & Registration

Dba Name
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You’re venturing out on your own and opening a shop. And you’ve come up with a fantastic plan, assembled a stellar group of people, and are now at the stage where you must choose a name. While coming up with a name for your company may seem like a straightforward undertaking, there are a number of legal terminology and acronyms you need to become aware of first. DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” is an important acronym that denotes a firm or individual conducting business under a false name. Using a DBA is the best option if your company needs a trading name that is more marketable than its legal name. This article will go on to explain more on how to get a dba name, degree, registration, and its examples.

What Does the DBA Name Stand For?

The letters DBA represent the abbreviation for “doing business as.” In order to conduct business under a name other than the one on file, a “doing business as” (DBA) certificate must be filed. DBA names can help brand your company, but they don’t offer the same protections as other corporate forms.

Furthermore, to do business under a name other than your own, a DBA is required. This name is distinct from your legal identity as the business owner and the official name under which the business is registered. This is because the name of the person or entity forming the firm will automatically become its legal name. In other words, unless you form a corporation, limited liability company, or other legal organization to conduct business, or unless you change your company’s name and file a DBA with the appropriate authorities, you cannot legally conduct business as your current name.

Hence, if James Morgan opens a tech repair shop, it will be under his name unless he chooses to establish a DBA name, in which case it will be called “James’s Tech Repair Shop.” James’s real name is no longer connected to his company’s name thanks to the DBA registration.

Moreover, remember that you are responsible for meeting the state DBA name regulations that apply to you.

DBA Registration 

Generally, you’ll need to alert the state’s business registration office and provide the required documentation before you can acquire a Dba name, which may include a certificate of good standing, although this will vary from state to state. Notarial certification is a necessary backup requirement in several states. You can register your business with certain others online and even submit paperwork in digital form. Your company’s public record will include the data you provide.

Costs may be less than $100 on the low end. Online payments are available in some states, but a money order or cashier’s check may be necessary for others. One practical limitation to keep in mind is that your “Dba” name cannot finish in “Inc,” “LLC,” or “Corp.” In reality, it just makes it look like your company is incorporated or has some other formal corporate standing.

Except for those exceptions, any name can be registered as a DBA. Make sure no other local businesses are using your DBA name by conducting a quick search. Here are some tips for Dba registration.

#1. Check Name Availability

It is recommended to do an online search of the state or county where the DBA registration will be issued. A DBA name requires originality in the majority of states. No other DBA, LLC, or internationally recognized business may use the same or a confusingly similar name in that state.

Furthermore, searchable databases of registered business names for a certain state are often maintained by state agencies like secretaries of state. In all likelihood, there is also one for the region. You can also enter your DBA name to see if it’s already in use in the state or county..

#2. Location Choice

You will register your DBA in the same state or county where you do business as an LLC, corporation, partnership, or sole proprietor for the vast majority of small businesses. But, you are free to establish a DBA in a different place if doing so would be more advantageous for your company.

#3. Register Your DBA With the State

A DBA registration is typically filed at the same place as other business entity registrations and identifiers (TIN). This can be done at the state’s secretary of state’s office, department of revenue, or county clerk’s.

Unless you already have one, you’ll probably need to sign up for an account. If you registered your LLC with the relevant agency, you may already have a profile there. In order to submit the DBA, you may need to include:

  • Use either the official name of your company or, if you’re a solo proprietor, your own name.
  • Indicators of taxation eligibility, including but not limited to federal employer identification number (EIN), social security number (SSN), and state tax identification number (SID)
  • The name you want to register as a DBA.

You can register for a DBA online, and if it is approved, you will be notified by mail or email. You should know how long it will take to make a decision after the application procedure, which is usually weeks.

To register a DBA, you should expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the state and county. In most states, you must renew your DBA registration every two or three years for a cost.

How Do You Write Your Name With a DBA?

To avoid confusion, you must spell your “Dba” name exactly as it appears on your Secretary of State registration.

If Paul. G Merson, operating as a solo entrepreneur, decides he wants to call his new barbershop the “Kyrian Barber Shop,” he can do so by filing the name with the appropriate state agency.

After getting the OK, he can change his company name to “Kyrian Barber Shop” from “Paul. G Merson.”  DBA registration requirements differ by state, so check your local government’s website for details.

You are free to get creative with your DBA name, so long as it satisfies the following requirements:

  • Name your company something that sounds like an existing company’s name but isn’t.
  • If your company is not incorporated, you may not include the words “Incorporation,” “Incorporated,” or “Inc.” in your DBA name.
  • Avoid using phrases like “Federal” “United States” “Bank” or “Trust.”
  • Name it something like “city” or “borough” to give the impression that it is a municipality.

It is important to register a DBA before using it for your company.  It’s also important to register your DBA if you’re going to do business under a name different from your legal name, or you could suffer legal and financial implications.

In addition, in some jurisdictions, using a company name that has not been legally registered constitutes a crime.

Which Types of Firms Require a DBA?

DBAs aren’t necessary for every company. It depends on the company’s type, the laws of its jurisdiction, and the owner’s choices. Certain organizations must use a DBA name by law, while others can opt-out. What follows is essential information. 

#1. Corporations & LLCs

A corporation or limited liability company can use a fake name for its operations without filing a DBA. If you want to do business under a different name, register a DBA like a single proprietorship or partnership.

This is especially common with franchisees since they can’t all use the same name as the parent company or brand. The registration of a DBA name is another way to distinguish a subsidiary of a larger company from the parent company and to show that the subsidiary is operating independently from the parent company while still adhering to the parent company’s objective and primary line of business. 

If Veggies R Us split its ice cream section and renamed it The Cream of the Crop, this would happen. Since The Cream of the Crop operates under a name distinct from that of the corporation that owns it, a DBA registration is required.

#2. Individual Businesses and Joint Ventures

To conduct business under a name other than your own or a business partner’s complete legal name, a DBA must be filed if you are a sole proprietorship or general partnership. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships don’t need state registration for their business names or formation documentation. (But they will still need to get all the appropriate licenses and licenses to operate.)

Until a DBA is filed, the proprietors and their businesses are considered to be the same legal entity and use the same name.

#3. Franchises

In order to distinguish themselves from other businesses in the area, franchisees often register a DBA even if doing so is not required by law. Let’s pretend you invested in a Burger King franchise in your area. Many franchisees choose to incorporate, but if you prefer to operate as an LLC, you can do so by forming 123 Business LLC and then filing a DBA as “Burger King” with the appropriate authorities in your state.

What Is the DBA Name for a Sole Proprietorship?

For all legal reasons, a sole proprietorship or general partnership must utilize the individual’s own name. For instance, if Henry Moore run a car wash as a sole proprietorship, rather than using a name like “Henry Moore’s Carwash,” he would just use his own name.

How to Get a DBA Name

When establishing a DBA in any state, it is necessary to file a DBA registration form with the appropriate state agency. Declaring to the government that your business will be doing business under a different name is called registering a DBA. Your business’s username differs from the company’s legal name and the names of its investors and owners.

Filing the necessary paperwork with the relevant state government is the first order of business while learning how to establish a dba. DBA applications must include the names and addresses of all business owners and the intended false name. Several states and business entities have additional requirements for documentation.

Changing to a DBA name may necessitate meeting additional regulations. The United States Small Business Administration has a comprehensive list of the DBA laws in every state. A fictitious name certificate will be issued to you when you have completed the registration process. Also, read How to Get a Business License: Step-by-Step Procedure Including Cost of Application.

DBA Degree

A doctorate in business administration will show potential employers your commitment to personal and company growth. A doctorate in business administration (DBA) shows you wish to advance your business knowledge and solve real-world problems.

Perhaps you’ve heard of but aren’t familiar with the Doctor of Business Administration (often abbreviated as DBA) degree. Perhaps you have an inkling of what it is but are on the fence about giving it a shot.

What is a DBA Degree?

The Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is the terminal degree in the field of business and prepares students with theoretical and practical knowledge that can be utilized immediately in the field.

Whether you choose to get your Dba degree on campus or online, you can relax knowing that you will develop analytical and problem-solving prowess with a business focus.

In-depth expertise grounded on the most recent findings from the field of business research, theories, and trends can be attained by completing a Ph.D. in business administration. Acquiring a Dba degree will not only establish your credibility as a subject matter expert, but it will also equip you with practical tools for managing complex issues and making important decisions, opening doors to potentially lucrative leadership roles and other professional prospects. 

In addition, you’ll get the advanced abilities you’ll need to perform quantitative and qualitative research in the real world and write about your findings in academic journals. A Dba degree also sets you different from people whose highest level of business study at the graduate level was a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Should I Invest in a DBA?

The choice to pursue a doctorate degree, whether in business or another field, is ultimately one that rests squarely with the individual. It’s going to cost you a lot of money, time, and energy. Although the time and effort involved may be substantial, the potential benefits to your career and bank account are worthwhile. A Dba degree may be right for you if you are driven by a love of business and the desire to learn as much as possible.

Can I Put Dr. Before My Name After DBA?

In academic terms, a DBA is equivalent to a Ph.D. The qualification is a full doctorate and will allow you to use the title ‘Dr’.

What Is the Difference Between DBA and FBN?

Most company owners choose to use a brand name rather than their actual surname when conducting business. The chosen name is then filed with the county in which the business will be based. Establish financial stability with a business credit card or line of credit and business bank account under the new name.

To a corporation, the difference between a DBA and an FBN becomes very important. By law, a corporation must register its name with the state and submit its own tax returns, distinct from its owners’ personal returns. Sometimes a company’s owner will desire to operate multiple entities under the same primary business name, but with their own unique names. For this purpose, the owner of the corporation will register a number of assumed names that will function as subsidiaries of the parent company. Therefore, All Inclusive Landscaping Inc., a corporation, uses the fake names All Houses Landscaping for residential landscaping, All Business Landscaping for commercial landscaping, and We Grow Plants for plant cultivation in place of John Doe DBA Branches and Bushes Landscaping. This allows the corporation to have distinct business accounts while only having to file one set of tax documents.

Thus, a company’s founder who envisions expansion would do well to settle on a name that is both creative and flexible. The name should be descriptive of the company’s offerings and easily remembered. Nonetheless, the name must be generic enough to accommodate the development of multiple sub-brands. All-Inclusive Landscaping is a perfect metaphor for this type of company. The business’s assumed names and DBAs indicate it grows plants and landscapes on residential and commercial premises.

DBA Name Examples 

An example will help illustrate the notion that a DBA does not provide any form of legal separation:

With the help of some investors, William opens a restaurant called William’s Barbeque, Inc. We’ll keep things straightforward and presume he doesn’t have any stake in the property. He is not actually buying anything, but rather leasing space. Many of his patrons have been urging him to expand into catering since he has been in business for some time. So as to better represent his catering company, he has it rebranded by a professional marketing firm. The business is operational, but the name is different from William’s previous venture, William’s Barbeque, Inc. William decides to start doing business as “William’s Catering,” so he registers a DBA with the state.

In this situation, all of William’s Barbecue, Inc.’s assets and income would be at risk if a tragic disaster were to take place in the future while offering catering services under the William’s Catering line of business. Since William’s Catering is a registered trade name of William’s Barbeque, Inc., this is the case.

William should consider incorporating a new business structure (an LLC, corporation, or partnership) for the catering business if he wants to insulate it from the debts and obligations of the restaurant’s main operation.

What Are the Benefits of Having a DBA?

A DBA’s importance to a company extends beyond just one task.

  1. DBAs help sole proprietors build a brand: If you are a sole entrepreneur, you can avoid using your own name in promotional materials by registering for a DBA. This is useful for promoting your company and reaching your target audience.
  2. A DBA can be useful for rebranding a firm: A DBA is a great option for giving your company a new focus. It is possible for a firm to change its name without formally changing its legal structure by filing for a DBA.
  3. A DBA is useful for entrepreneurs operating under different names: Those who run multiple firms and want to differentiate between them can benefit from registering a DBA.


It’s not difficult to register a business name as a DBA, but you must follow the rules set down by your state or county. As a general rule, you should complete all of these steps between 30 and 60 days before opening your doors for business under your chosen  Dba name.

From one week to four weeks, depending on where you live, is the average time it takes to receive permission. After your DBA name has been accepted, you can officially launch your firm. This includes advertising, hiring employees, opening a bank account, and more.

After that, continue using your business name legally and renew your registration if necessary with the appropriate state agencies each year.


Where do you register a DBA?

You can register a DBA for a fee of $25 to $100 at your local courthouse or clerk’s office. In every jurisdiction where your company does business, you must register a DBA.

A DBA name is when the person or company does business under a name other than the legal name.

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