What Is a DBA?
If a business wants to do business with a name that is different from the name used to form the business, it must file the new name (called a trade name). This is often called filing for a DBA, or doing business as. For example, if “Frank’s Hot Dogs LLC” wants to do business as “Best Hot Dogs in Town” then the owners have to file a DBA.
In the State of Delaware, this process is completed through the Delaware state courts, which provide the resources to search, file and maintain DBA designations for businesses.
When you need a DBA
A DBA designation is required for any company seeking to do business under a different name on a county-by-county basis. Businesses should keep in mind that the registration of a DBA with the relevant counties in Delaware has nothing to do with mandatory licensure for businesses.
Those seeking business licensure can register with the Division of Revenue's One Stop Business Registration & Licensing web site.
Setting up a DBA in Delaware
The DBA filing process starts by filing a DBA designation application with the county government in the county (or counties) where the business seeks to do business. Delaware law requires the registration of a DBA; therefore, businesses cannot do business under the fictitious name prior to registration in the relevant county or counties.
To determine if the name you want hasn’t already been registered by another business, search the Trade, Business & Fictitious Names database.
Delaware DBA forms, filing, and registration
DBA registrations are filed with the Office of the Prothonotary of each county in which business is to be done by the relevant business. Because the registration process is segregated by county, the particular requirements of each county may vary.
That said, it is more than likely that all counties will require basic information such as your name, principal place of business, and the name of the DBA designation sought by the business entity in question.
For more information, filers should contact the relevant Prothonotary's Office in each county to learn more about the filing process, restrictions on what names can be registered, and the particular information that will be requested of the filer and the business seeking a DBA designation.
Doing business with a fictitious business name should not have tax implications.
When you are ready to get a DBA, LegalZoom can help you. We can search for available business names, file the paperwork for your DBA, and even get you in touch with an attorney that can help you answer specific questions.
Find out more about DBA State Requirements