What is a DBA?
When a company wants to do business under a different name, it usually files that secondary name with the state of Arizona. In Arizona this is called a trade name, and is commonly called a DBA (doing business as) in other states.
When You Need a DBA
Arizona does not require the registration of a trade name or DBA in order to do some types of business under that name within the state. Unregistered trade names can’t be used on some types of official documentation, such as documents to open a bank account, and are illegal to use if another business is already using the trade name.
Registering the trade name allows the company to secure the name for themselves, requiring an official name search to make sure the trade name isn’t already in use. Registration lets the company use the trade name to open bank accounts, enter contracts, and otherwise use the trade name as an official business name.
Setting Up a DBA in Arizona
In order to determine whether a particular trade name or DBA is actually available in the first place, the filer for a DBA must begin by searching the state's database of trade names currently in use. Once the name has been "cleared," the filer can proceed to register a DBA or trade name. Filers should bear in mind that trade names or DBAs in Arizona cannot contain entity designations such as "corp." or "LLC."
Arizona DBA Forms
Filers interested in obtaining a DBA in Arizona will need to fill out the Arizona Trade Name Registration Application. For additional information on the requisite forms for maintenance and dissolution of a DBA designation, filers can view Arizona's Trade Names, Trade Marks and Service Marks Handbook.
Arizona DBA Filing Registration
Requirements to register a trade name or DBA in Arizona may change from county to county. The County Clerk is typically the governing body that deals with filing DBAs.
Usually the registration requires:
- Name and business address
- The proposed DBA name
- The general business purposeThe date of first use of the DBA in Arizona, and for corporations and LLC's, proof of their incorporation
- Signatures of the applicant or members/officers of the entity are necessary for filing a DBA in Arizona
The DBA application must be notarized, the appropriate fee must be paid, and a self-addressed stamped envelope must be enclosed unless the filer chooses to file electronically, which is permissible in Arizona. This process must be supplemented with a renewal process approximately every five years.
Filing for a trade name or DBA designation in Arizona does not have tax implications. Rather, the manner in which an entity is formed and the relevant state and federal tax laws are responsible for the tax treatment of a given entity, regardless of the trade name under which an entity is operating.