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
New Jersey limits the DBA filing to foreign entities, the use of the DBA is somewhat limited there as opposed to other states. That said, a foreign entity - one that has previously been organized under the laws of another state – will already have selected a name and a corporate identity in that state.
If that name is being used in New Jersey, a foreign entity is not only able but is required to file for a DBA under a different name, one that is not currently in use in New Jersey. In doing so, the foreign entity will be required to utilize that DBA name while operating in New Jersey in all facets of its business, including the opening of bank accounts and and the processing of transactions.
Setting up a DBA in New Jersey
The DBA filing process begins with a search of the available names on the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services Business Records Service available here. However, despite the relative ease of searching online for an available DBA entity name in New Jersey, filing for the DBA cannot be done online in New Jersey.
Furthermore, as in most states there are limitations on what you can choose to serve as your foreign entity's New Jersey DBA; for example, you cannot receive a DBA for something that advertises an illegal activity, nor can the DBA constitute a false claim used in commerce.
New Jersey DBA Forms
The entity seeking to register a DBA must file a C-150G form with the New Jersey Division of Revenue. The filing will be valid for up to five years, at which point it must be renewed so that the chosen trade name can be retained. The renewal can be carried out using the C-150R form.
Finally, should the entity wish to discontinue the use of its DBA name in New Jersey, for whatever reason, it can do so by filing a C-150B form to terminate the DBA. The entity will be free to choose an alternative DBA name at that point if it so chooses. Each of these forms must be signed and dated by the appropriate person, which varies based upon the entity involved.
New Jersey DBA filing & registration
When the filer submits the information required for DBA, he or she should attach a copy of the corporate resolutions that formally adopt the New Jersey DBA. This way, it will be clear to the New Jersey authorities that the entity has properly chosen to operate under this name in New Jersey moving forward.
DBA filers will have to provide a variety of information, including the name of the corporation filing the DBA, the original state of incorporation, the date of incorporation, and the trade name to be included in the DBA filing.
The filer will also have to state the general purpose for which the DBA designation will be used, which more than likely will be in line with the corporate purpose as stated in the formation documents for the entity itself.
Getting a trade name registered by filing a DBA doesn’t change how your company is taxed.
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.