DBA simply means “doing business as.” And is any registered name that a business operates under that isn’t its legal business name. A DBA is sometimes called a trade name, fictitious name, or assumed name. Registration of a DBA requires a fee and yearly renewal for as long as the business exists and or operates under the registered name.
You may decide that you want to register a DBA if:
- You have a registered formal business entity looking to branch out into new products, services or brands, or to rebrand in general.
- You have an unregistered business such as a sole proprietorship or partnership and would like to operate under a name other than your personal name.
It’s important to note that first-time business owners often confuse DBAs with a type of business structure. They assume that when they register a DBA, they are creating a formal business structure with liability protection, but this is not the case: starting a business and registering a DBA only changes the legal name of the business. The DBA name helps with banking and branding the business, but the business owner’s personal assets are still completely the same as the sole proprietorship or partnership structures.
DBAs are not restricted to sole proprietors or partnerships. If you’ve formed an LLC and your LLC wishes to do business under a name other than its legal name (the name it was created with), you’ll be required to register a DBA in order to do so.
We’re here to help. If you have any questions on registering a DBA, schedule an appointment with Dunham Tax Professionals.