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.
When you need a DBA
In the State of Nevada, DBAs are not filed on the state level, but rather on the county level. As a result, the specific filing requirements and name requirements may vary from county to county.
That said, there are a number of common considerations that a business should bear in mind when choosing its name, which are generally applicable to all areas of the state.
For example, businesses should avoid using a name that could be viewed as deceptive or fraudulent, i.e. a name that implies the business does something complete different from what it actually does. Businesses should also avoid names that are confusingly similar to pre-existing business names, if for no other reason than to prevent consumer confusion.
Filing for such a name can also be useful for obtaining a bank account under the name filed for in a particular county, or for instilling confidence in those with which the business transacts.
Setting up a DBA in Nevada
The first step to filing a DBA is to research local business name records to see if the name you want to use has already been registered. In Nevada the filing for a DBA occurs on the county level and there is no cross-reference between the various counties and the Secretary of State. This make doing the research more difficult than in other states, so you’ll have to speak with the county government to do your research.
An example of the Washoe County online database is here.
Nevada DBA Forms
Again, because the DBA filing process occurs on the county level, there is no single form that can be used throughout the state in order to obtain trade name registration throughout the state. Filers interested in a DBA designation will need to visit each relevant county website or clerk's office to obtain the right form.
Nevada DBA Filing & Registration
Although filers will need to comply with the individual requirements of each county in the State of Nevada, there is some common information that all filers will need to provide in every county.
Details such as the name to be used on the DBA, the name of the company or person seeking to file the DBA, the principal place of business for the company, and the type of business the company conducts are all common questions on the DBA paperwork.
Filers should also be mindful of renewal requirements and the associated fees, as those will vary not only from state-to-state, but potentially from county to county as well.
Getting a trade name registered by filing a DBA doesn’t change how your company is taxed.
When you are ready to file 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.