What is a DBA?
A DBA is a fictitious name, i.e. a name other than the name under which the business entity is formally organized. DBAs are required in Arkansas under a variety of circumstances.
When you need a DBA
You always need a DBA to use a fictitious business name in Arkansas. This means that a corporation that wants to do business under a different name than the one it was formed under, for example if ‘John Doe Plumbing, LLC’ wants to do business as ‘Perfect Plumbing Company’, then they’d need to file a DBA for the different name.
Setting up a DBA in Arkansas
The DBA filing process begins with a name search to determine whether or not the name a company wants to use is in fact available. That search can be conducted using Arkansas' Business Entity Search. Registration of a DBA or business name effectively prevents others from using that name, so the use of a name that is already taken can lead to a lawsuit brought against the later-adopting entity. Furthermore, should a business attempt to use a DBA name that is not registered within Arkansas, the state is technically able to bring fraud charges against the unregistered business.
Arkansas DBA forms
A number of forms needed to file a DBA registration can be found at the Arkansas Secretary of State website. Filers should be mindful that while the fees are the same, the forms for domestic and foreign filers are different; a domestic filer should use the DN-18 form, whereas a foreign filer should use the F-18 form. The fees are slightly lower for the filing of an online application as opposed to a paper application, and are subject to change at any time.
Arkansas DBA filing & registration
DBA paperwork can be filed online. Filers will need to provide:
The fictitious DBA name
The character or purpose of the business being conducted
The name of the domestic entity and its date of qualification in either Arkansas or the state of formation
The address of its principal place of business
The DBA filing will expire every five years, and it is the responsibility of the filer to make sure that this DBA designation remains up to date on the records of the Arkansas Secretary of State.
While a DBA filing will affect the entity's ability to operate business under a certain name, it does not have tax implications in Arkansas.
LegalZoom can help you file a DBA online in three easy steps. LegalZoom also offers other businesses services, such as forming an LLC or corporation, finding a registered agent, and trademarking your business logo.
Find out more about DBA State Requirements