What is a DBA?
If the owners of a company want to do business using a name that is different from the original name used to form the business, they must register the secondary name. For sole proprietorships and partnerships the original name is the actual name of the owner or partners.
This secondary name doesn’t replace the original name but acts as an additional, legal name for the business. This name is known by several terms such as trade name, fictitious business name and assumed name. The process for filing this name is often called filing for DBA registration, or doing business as.
For example, if John Smith, owner of a sole proprietorship wants to do business as “Best Carpet Cleaner” rather than ‘John Smith’ then he has to file a DBA.
When You Need a DBA
Although Mississippi does not require the use of a DBA in order to transact business under an assumed name, it is often important to file for such a DBA for practical reasons. Businesses will want to ensure other parties with which it conducts business that it is a legitimate business entity, and that the party to the agreement is the same party with which that other party is dealing. Furthermore, filing for a DBA can also assist a business in obtaining a bank account registered under the DBA name, and may also be helpful to avoid accusations of fraud or deceptive trade practices down the road.
Setting Up a DBA in Mississippi
The name registration process begins with a search to determine the availability of the name in question. Although it is true that, unlike most states, Mississippi will not refuse registration of a fictitious business name because it is indistinguishable from a previously registered fictitious business name, registered trademark, or legal name of another entity, for practical and business reasons it is probably a good idea to choose a name that is not already taken by a business entity operating with the State of Mississippi.
Mississippi DBA Forms
To file for a Mississippi DBA, filers can visit the Office of the Secretary of State in Mississippi and follow the appropriate procedures for registration. Instructions for registration can be found here.
Filers should keep in mind that the forms and fees required by statute in Mississippi are subject to change, and should check the Office of the Secretary of State website in order to ensure that they are in compliance with the law.
Mississippi DBA Filing & Registration
To file for a DBA in Mississippi, the filer will need to provide his or her name and address, the fictitious business name to be registered, every location where the business entity will be using the fictitious name to conduct business, the business' Mississippi business identification number (if applicable), and if a foreign entity the state or nation of organization and a copy of its certificate of authority to conduct business in Mississippi.
Getting a trade name registered by filing a DBA doesn’t change how your company is taxed.
When you are ready to get your DBA, LegalZoom can help. We can help you search for a business name, file the paperwork, register for a trademark, and even get you in touch with a business attorney to answer specific questions about your business.